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Republican Party

I am a senior at the University of West Florida and a conservative. Although my love for my conservative beliefs runs deep, I am a little worried about the future. The Republican Party tends to treat college students as a guaranteed Democratic vote, and my fears are that this attitude will cause many moderate students to keep going to the left.

I remember going to John McCain rallies in 2008 and not once did he mention college students. I can't even remember the last time a GOP candidate had a coalition for college students. If the party just took time and attempted to court the college vote, they might find the results surprising.

College students have fears about the continuing financial crisis and are also concerned about the higher taxes coming our way with the health care law. Although I don't agree with gay marriage and abortion, I believe the GOP needs to come off as less against these issues and more focused on the real problems of this nation. Here's a hint: It's the economy. Then maybe enough college students would shift to the right to give the GOP hope going forward.

Joshua A. Smith, Port Richey

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Greek lessons

As a first-generation Greek-American, I was starting to get annoyed with Mitt Romney continually saying he does not want us to fail like Greece. After speaking to my cousin in Greece, she told me that the Greeks are now saying they don't want to fail like Romney.

Billy Drulias, Palm Harbor

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Homeowner blasts police's Taser useNov. 13

Too much Tasering

There needs to be an honest and thorough investigation of the use of Tasers by police officers. When Tasers were first introduced, they were to be used by officers in situations where their lives were threatened or there was a reasonable threat of bodily harm to them.

A handcuffed woman attempting to escape a police station or, in this case, a concerned neighbor attempting to extinguish a house fire, do not seem to pass the litmus test.

Jim Ahearn, Clearwater

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Obama again urges tax cuts - Nov. 11

Rates would stay the same

This article's headline - "Obama again urges tax cuts" - is at the least misleading.

If the president gets what he wants, we will be paying the same rates as now. What we won't get, unless all the Bush tax cuts expire, is a tax increase.

The president wants a tax increase on income above $250,000, with all other rates staying the same. That is not a tax break and the headline should reflect that.

Tom Frain, Tarpon Springs

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Crist's phone rings: It's Obama - Nov. 11, Tim Nickens column

Party of convenience

What makes former Gov. Charlie Crist think he will have the support of Republicans when he runs for office again? Does he think Democrats and independents who do not trust him will vote for him? After all, he changed parties merely to try to win a Senate seat. What's that say about his integrity and values? He was glad to be a Republican when he was winning but jumped ship as soon as he saw Marco Rubio was going to clean his clock.

Does Crist now agree with President Barack Obama's position that conservatives are merely people who cling to their guns and religion? I believe he does. I think Crist will gladly toe the party line if elected.

Richard Golden, San Antonio

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Myanmar travel on roster for Obama - Nov. 9

Ill-advised trip

This foreign trip is another example of President Barack Obama not leading the effort to get the expiration of the pending tax cuts extended. He just doesn't like to lead or take command. It's a disgrace.

He should not leave Washington until this is settled.

John Hutchison, Tampa

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A rite gone horribly wrong - Nov. 11

Mob mentality

Mobs, groups and associations will do ghastly things that an individual would not do. Wars and genocides happen when people stop being individuals.

I have seen bullying and hazing in both schools and churches. As a young teenager I wanted to invite the black children of our neighborhood to the vacation Bible school held by the church of my childhood. I was told not to do that. They would not be welcome and I would be in big trouble if they came. I gave in to the power of the church. It was a wakeup call and started me thinking about how wrong groups can be.

Now I am an old woman and I believe more than ever in the importance and power of the individual. Witness all the individuals standing in line last week to vote, expressing themselves peacefully and calmly.

Doris Taylor, Brooksville

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Toddler found alive in pool - Nov. 9

Make all pools safer

After reading about a 20-month-old child who wandered into a neighbor's pool and was found underwater by his nanny, I wondered why the pool didn't have some kind of fence to restrain unsupervised children from entering it. The article pointed out that only pools built after 2002 had to have a barrier to protect unsupervised children from entering. This pool was built in 1985 and exempt from the statute.

All pools should have some type of barrier to protect children. Florida law should be changed so that swimming pools will be safer.

Gerard Vernot, Land O'Lakes

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No apology from Scott - Nov. 10

Shortage of poll workers

I have worked as a poll worker for over a decade and I can explain at least some of the reasons the lines were so long at the polls this election.

In the past, for the presidential elections, there were three "inspectors" for each precinct in St. Pete Beach. These are the people who greet you, ask for a photo ID, and have you sign the register. At the primary in August, there were two inspectors for each precinct. Last week, there was only one inspector and only one person, not two or three, who handed out ballots.

There was only one machine, used for two precincts, to process four pages of ballots for each voter. Naturally, the lines were long and people had to wait. Perhaps the same was true in Miami-Dade. I can only surmise that there wasn't enough money for more workers and machines.

Muriel Desloovere, St. Pete Beach

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