Don't hide; come clean - June 22, editorial
I disagree with your comment that Republicans in the House are making political theater in pressing on with contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder. Rep. Darrell Issa has received information on "Fast and Furious" from whistle-blowers who he says are tired of Holder's stonewalling.
This was not some deal where someone made money illegally and Holder does not want to be embarrassed. This operation resulted in the death of at least one Border Patrol agent. It is a shame that the president will not allow the release of these documents. This is a serious breach in the trust we give to our government.
Chris Landrum, Brandon
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Trouble from the start
It is troubling and unbelievable that our government would give about 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels and not expect it to be a problem.
Jim Caputo, Spring Hill
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Presidential visit to Tampa
Passing out favors
It's certainly been a successful couple of weeks for our panderer in chief, President Barack Obama. Stopping by Tampa on Friday to shore up support in a critical swing state and to raise some campaign cash, he drops off $11 million to Mayor Bob Buckhorn to build a waterfront sidewalk. On the way to Tampa he stops by Orlando to address a conference of Hispanic officeholders to let them know he is, by executive fiat, suspending the immigration laws for a certain population of illegal immigrants of his choosing, most of whom are probably of Hispanic heritage.
Not to leave his LGBT base out, his administration recently announced that the American military, in addition to getting rid of "don't ask, don't tell," will actually take a day to recognize the contributions of our LGBT soldiers. Coming up next, look for mortgage and student loan forgiveness and the proverbial chicken in every pot.
Back in a time when we actually had critical journalists keeping an eye on the presidency, all of this would be criticized as a disgraceful use of presidential power. Today, it's just reported on the front pages as news.
John Galloway, Tampa
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Guarding ballot integrity
June 22, commentary
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner writes that the "U.S. Justice Department recently demanded we stop removing noncitizens from the voter rolls entirely until after the general election in November."
While I do not have access to the actual statement, I find it very hard to believe that the Justice Department would prevent the state from removing a noncitizen from the voter rolls.
What the Justice Department did say is that you cannot send thousands of letters to voters, based on a very flimsy database, demanding that they prove their citizenship or lose their right to vote.
If the state knows that an individual has violated the law, then by all means do whatever is necessary to punish that person.
To make a ridiculous analogy, it would be like the police department sending a letter to a thousand people saying that you have 30 days to prove that you are not the person who robbed the convenience store last week and if you fail to provide that proof, you will be considered guilty.
Leonard C. Silva, St. Petersburg
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Ken Detzner speaks of integrity, but his column on the ineligible voter purge initiative was filled with qualifiers that clearly indicate the lack of a sound basis for this waste of taxpayer dollars. Topped off with the astonishing (to be read with tongue in cheek) total of 100 names found thus far out of the state's more than 10 million registered voters, his quest for "potential" and "possible" large numbers of fraudulent voters looks all the more silly.
Terri Benincasa, Palm Harbor
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Tampa Bay Rays
Don't worry about owners
The ongoing saga of attendance at Rays' baseball games has seemed to me over the past five years a little beside the point. The team's value has increased from $145 million, when owner Stuart Sternberg "bought his initial stake" in 2004 (according to Paul Sullivan in the New York Times on June 2), to $323 million, as reported by Forbes in March. The size of that "initial stake" was not made public, but it would appear that Sternberg saw well over a 100 percent increase in his investment in eight years, if the reporting is accurate. In other words, the team has more than doubled in value during that time. Would you be happy with that rate of return?
Eventually fans will come to the Rays' stadium, wherever it is, but don't weep about the financial straits of Sternberg and the rest of the Rays' ownership. They're doing just fine.
Edward Cifelli, Dade City
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Younger Americans are getting the shaft
June 22, commentary
Elderly paid their dues
I strongly disagree with Matt Miller's argument that seniors are the ones putting a burden on younger Americans. As a senior, I paid into Social Security for 55 years and Medicare since its inception. I still pay into Medicare. For this, I get a modest monthly check and co-pays on my medical needs.
Meanwhile, millionaires like Mitt Romney pay minimal taxes; hugely profitable oil companies get tax breaks; the military spends billions on equipment it will never use; and farmers are paid not to grow crops.
I think Miller is picking on the wrong chicken.
David Egbert, St. Petersburg
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Let voters have say on Pier options
June 21, John Romano column
Put plan to a vote
Some years back we had a mayor in St. Petersburg who wanted to get rid of our historic Albert Whitted Airport and build condos on the waterfront. There was such a hue and cry over this plan that it went to a vote of the people. The proposal was resoundingly defeated, and today we are noted for our downtown airport.
Now, Round 2. We have a mayor pushing a Pier proposal that many residents don't want. This "cesspool" proposal needs to go before the voters.
Marie L. Moench, St. Petersburg