GOP peddles myth of phony voters - Oct. 20, Cynthia Tucker column
Cynthia Tucker's risible column about ACORN's massive voter registration fraud misses the point entirely.
While it's true that the chances are slim that Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck will actually show up to vote on Election Day, it doesn't really matter. By dumping thousands of poison registrations on overworked poll workers, ACORN stirs up enough confusion and chaos to fulfill their true mission: covering up real voting irregularities and creating an environment ripe for lawsuits if the election is close.
That Tucker minimizes this danger is no surprise. The mainstream media have largely tried to dismiss any issue that tarnishes the image of Democrats in general and Barack Obama in particular, who have extensive ties with ACORN and a history of working closely with them to effect the kind of social change that has led to - among other things - the credit meltdown that is currently dragging the economy down.
Tucker's feeble attempt, however, to impugn Republicans for using ACORN's high jinks as a tool to suppress minority voter turnout is even more laughable. So now it's racist to point out fraud at the polls?
The right to vote is fundamental to a democracy. Any attempt to undermine that right poses a grave threat, one which Tucker - and the media at large - don't seem to think is such a big deal. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
A free press is also vital to a democracy, but many news organizations have happily squandered that right to become propaganda organs of the Democratic Party. That, more than anything, makes me shudder for the future of this country.
Marc D. Giller, St. Petersburg
This isn't the path that will take us to change
The candidates you recommend are primarily Republican incumbents or their designated successors. This contradicts your editorial lead-in on Monday about an election year that "should bring change."
You recommend Republican incumbents for three out of four congressional seats. Start with the venerable C.W. Bill Young, the longest-serving Republican in Congress. Does change consist of electing him to a 20th term over an outstanding opponent, Dunedin Mayor Bob Hackworth? You use the tired argument that Young brought money in earmarks to our district in the past. Perhaps you haven't heard: Republicans are no longer in charge of the House and certainly won't be after the election.
You also recommend far right-wing Republican Ginny Brown-Waite while saying that her "angry rhetoric inflames rather than enlightens." Another Republican you recommend for Congress is Gus Bilirakis, whose family has held the seat for almost three decades. His opponent Bill Mitchell may not have much experience, but he made the right call on Iraq and even you admit he is knowledgeable on economics and federal regulatory policies.
Your candidate endorsements appear to be in total contradiction of your editorial comments over the past year.
On the local level, the Times supports Republican Pam Dubov who has worked closely with disgraced appraiser Jim Smith for years. You recommend Nancy Bostock for Pinellas County commissioner at large. This is a woman who is known primarily for her socially conservative views.
The prior editorials of the St. Petersburg Times indicate what most citizens instinctively know: We need massive political change at the national, state and local levels. How can you possibly expect change with the same old Republican players and/or their surrogates?
Edward A. McCann, Madeira Beach
Walls and raids not the answer and Wild West weirdness - Oct. 21, commentaries
All right, I get it. The Times doesn't believe enforcing the borders and removing illegal immigrants will solve the mess that the presidential campaigns have largely ignored. Neither do I.
But neither the New York Times editorial nor Bishop Thomas Wenski acknowledge that the first step is creating a standardized identification for those lawfully here. The result would be no more excuses from employers of illegals and many fewer tales of harassment of those lawfully here.
I agree that we can't simply ship all illegals across the border and that a comprehensive policy is needed, but in the meantime, spare the rhetoric and encourage the enforcement of our laws.
Robert Heyman, St. Petersburg
Wild West weirdness - Oct. 21
John McCain, our maverick senator from Arizona, was a staunch leader for a moderate approach to the control of immigration as opposed to the "vocal minority" who applaud the Maricopa County sheriff and his vigilante style that seeks to punish and remove illegals who have dared to enter this country in search of a better life.
How unfortunate that McCain seems to have joined the "vocal minority." How fortunate the native Americans did not have immigration laws.
David A. Plouf, Oldsmar
Where is justice?
Is this really America? We have watched the Wall Street fat cats, greedy politicians and government bureaucrats send our retirement funds, savings and our kids' education money down the tubes.
They got bailed out with our tax money - which will cost us for generations to come - and remain unscathed. Where is our freedom to choose and who will bring these crooks to justice?
Cora Ann Miller, Indian Rocks Beach
'Anti-American' remark costly - Oct. 21, brief
Crossing a line
Your political news section stated that Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota received all her negative feedback due to calling Barack Obama "anti-American," but the McCain-Palin campaign has been saying that, in one form or another, for weeks.
What really got people from all over the country fired up against her, and sending record campaign contributions to her opponent, was when she continued her line of reasoning with the statement, "I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America. I think people would be ... would love to see an expose like that."
I think we're all tired of having our loyalty to country questioned over differences of opinion.
Kay St. John, Oldsmar
Voting by mail
I requested a vote-by-mail ballot from Pinellas County officials for the 2008 election, and was disturbed to learn that in order to use it I would have to sign the outside of the return envelope.
In view of everyone's concerns with potential identity theft, perhaps the voter's signature should be required on a form to be placed inside the mailing envelope, not outside.
Sinclaire Scala, Tarpon Springs