1. Archive


Public Service Commission

So the Florida Legislature did not approve Gov. Charlie Crist's two new appointments to the Public Service Commission. These two acting PSC commissioners voted no on the power rate hike. The committee that selects candidates for the PSC and decides whether to reappoint PSC members is selected by the Legislature and is full of lobbyists. They decided to get rid of Nancy Argenziano and Nathan Skop, Crist's two earlier appointments. These two people also voted against the largest electric rate hike ever. The one remaining person on the PSC, Lisa Edgar, had been appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush. She voted for the rate hike and was receiving text messages from Florida Power & Light during the utility case.

The four people who were protecting consumers from the largest ever rate hike are gone and the person who was working with Florida Power & Light is staying on the PSC. This is going to cost each and every person in Florida and at a time when they cannot afford it.

People, you should be very angry at Florida's legislators. They are not working for the people of Florida. They are working for their lobbyists and campaign donors. We already have higher rates than most states. Florida Power & Light pays our Legislature through their campaigns to raise our rates - legalized bribery.

Debbie Terhune, Treasure Island

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Stacking the deck in favor of utilities

July 1, editorial

Floridians deserve better

This is a perfect example of "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." Floridians do not stand a chance of survival when we have politicians acting like 2-year-olds.

We do not allow children to act like that. Why do we tolerate it in politicians? The Public Service Commission is supposed to represent and protect Floridians. However, when members of the commission vote to deny rate increases to the public utilities, they get kicked off the commission.

It is all about politics. When the governor decided to leave the Republican Party, he lost support from the Republican-controlled Legislature, which vetoed his two new appointments to the commission.

Now, the Public Service Nominating Council, dominated by the Legislature, refused to even interview the two remaining members of the commission who voted against the rate increases. It is one thing to vote against these two remaining members who support the consumers. It is quite another thing to refuse to even interview them!

First of all, we need to obtain the names of the members of the nominating council. Then, we need to see the final contestants in the running. (I think it has been narrowed down to 18). Already, we can see a former member of the Legislature, a former lobbyist, and others who will vote in favor of the utilities.

They should be held accountable by the citizens in the state of Florida.

Margaret Hyde, Clearwater

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Stacking the deck in favor of utilities

July 1, editorial

Abuse piles up

Won't it ever end? The Republican Party continues to fleece the public! Now we have Sen. Mike Bennett, a Republican from Sarasota, heading a PSC Nominating Council that will dance to the tune of the powerful. In this case, power it is - namely, Florida Power & Light as well as Progress Energy. Rate hikes are on the way. The revenge toward Gov. Charlie Crist is just a side issue.

If it isn't credit card abuse or airplane hangars, it is plain and simple theft and skimming of monies for the public good in order to fatten their wallets.

Do these "clowns" called a Legislature think the Floridians are blind? I, for one, will remember come November their perversive antics and indiscriminations.

Gerald Kelly, New Port Richey

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A bad joke

For many years the actions of the Public Service Commission have led me to believe that its name should have been changed to the "Utilities Service Commission."

The one time that this commission acts in the "public interest," members get canned. This is a joke and should be illegal. Just change the name and call it like it is!

Dr. Leroy McCloud, St. Petersburg

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Partisan attack - July 1, letter

Stimulating the economy

I have news for this letter writer: Spending is exactly what will get us out of debt and get the economy back on track. There has to be spending on mass goods and services to create a demand to get people back to work. When these people then have income, it will be spent on more goods and services and the economy will build on itself and come back.

The letter writer is correct in that spending like this won't work on the small scale of the household budget, but it is what fuels the larger economy. The reason that the stimulus hasn't worked well to date is that the Republicans kept it too small with their hypocritical complaints about excessive spending. This diluted the effect of the stimulus that was given and has stunted and slowed the recovery.

The stimulus needs to be designed to put money in the hands of a large part of the population. That does not mean the wealthy or the corporate giants or the big banks. Similarly, the current hypocritical filibustering by the Republicans of the extension of the jobless benefits will slow the economic recovery as it is reducing the supply of money to spend by those who would spend it.

I do agree that George W. Bush will be blamed for economic woes for decades to come. But he is not alone. Dick Cheney also deserves to be included.

Bill Balmer, Seminole

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On Scott's watch - June 27, story

Scott exposed

Thank heavens for these two writers, telling the story of Rick Scott's deception.

I worked at a surgicenter owned by HCA /Columbia during the 1990s. They routinely underpaid employees and squeezed out every dime they could. When I saw he wanted to be Florida's governor, I cringed. People can't be that stupid to vote for this man, I told my husband.

Thanks for this great expose of his wheelings and dealings. Now we really know him for what he is.

Margaret Wareham, New Port Richey

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Media spotlight dims after Rubio locks up primary - June 29, story

Don't forget Snitker

What part of 1, 2, 3, 4 does the Times not understand? After devoting an entire Howard Troxler column to Alex Snitker's Senate candidacy, and essentially acknowledging that he has been intentionally marginalized by the media, Tuesday's front-page article about the race calls it a "three-way race."

This is very much a four-way race: three candidates with serious ethical baggage, and Alex Snitker. The vote in this race is very fragmented, and a 30 percent result could be a winner.

The media's position that he is not a viable candidate will be a self-fulfilling prophecy if you refuse to acknowledge that he is in the contest, and that voters have the opportunity to elect an honest man who will go to Washington, carry out his promises, and go home after one term.

Peter C. Ray, Parrish

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Give us solutions

Can these candidates for governor (Bill McCollum and Rick Scott) do anything better than bash each other? They all are willing to fix our problems. So stop the bashing and give us some real solutions and not just "I will fix the problem." I want to hear some valid ideas, how, when and where they plan to bring this about.

Do they not realize how many people are out of work? Give us some real solutions of how they plan to do this. Otherwise quit spending money on those lousy advertisements and back-stabbing each other.

It's time to address the problems. I would like to hear how they hope to solve them.

Marlene Bedford, Clearwater

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After treating the heart, he turns to the spirit

July 1, story

Caring and compassion

I wish Dr. John Dormois the best of luck in his new endeavor at the Duke University divinity school. Once he gets his degree, those who are fortunate enough to be his students will have a great mentor.

I, as well as the rest of the Tampa medical community, along with his patients, will miss his caring and compassion. I wish him the best of luck.

David Lubin, M.D., Tampa