Here’s what losing Visit Florida would cost us
Here’s what readers had to say in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.

The high cost of no promotion

Visit Florida is a waste of $30 million | Column, Dec. 6

Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva: How did the stripping of funding for children and families, correction facilities, environmental mandates, education and health care work out for the residents of Florida? I believe tourism is the number one industry in the state. If we follow your recommendation, the results will reflect the same results.

Tourism is a revenue generator that helps fund the general review pot of the state. Last week, Dana Young, the governor-appointed head of Visit Florida, spoke on Clearwater Beach. The information she shared was significantly different than what you base your position on. I guess creative accounting is still living and well in your world.

Florida is one of the top vacation destinations in the United States. The reason for that success is because the counties and state have worked closely together to produce creative messaging. The results attract record numbers of visitors and future residents, from the United States and around the world, year after year. Is Visit Florida a non-performing asset?

Bob Clifford, Tarpon Springs

How respect is really earned

Barr threat misses mark on policing | Editorial, Dec. 7

Attorney General William Barr
Attorney General William Barr [ EVAN VUCCI | AP ]

Attorney General William Barr is correct about respecting law enforcement and our military. But it is respect for the institutions they serve, and the uniforms they wear. As for respecting the men or women who wear the uniforms, that is earned. It isn’t bestowed on anyone just because they are in a position of power or authority.

Several examples are in the news. The servicemen who were convicted of war crimes or were facing a court martial come to mind. Those servicemen disrespected the uniform, therefore, how and why should we respect them? The men, not the uniform.

As my father taught me many years ago: Respect isn’t given, it’s earned. He also said that the definition of character is doing the right thing when no one is watching.

Allan A. Love, New Port Richey

Federalist Society judges

Conservative high court governs state | The Buzz, Dec. 8

The Florida Supreme Court building in Tallahassee.
The Florida Supreme Court building in Tallahassee. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]

As the Florida population becomes more diverse, our government is becoming cemented into one ideology of conservatism instead of the many that are held. The action of using members of the Federalist Society to fill all judicial vacancies will have lasting implications for years to come. The Federalist Society is a group of conservatives and libertarians, but it is their position as “originalists” that matters most. The authors of the Constitution were rich, slave-owning, older white men whose worldly views were quite different from the common man. What the Federalist Society gives us today is that corporations are people; pouring money into campaign contributions is considered free speech; business property rights take precedence over environmental rights; and lawsuits for corporate negligence are settled by arbitration instead of juries. While the Federalist Society’s goal is “reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law,” this grandiose word salad emboldens big business interests but does not bode well for you and me.

Rick France, Tampa