What are they thinking?
Losing my faith in rationality | Column, June 8
I share columnist Richard Cherwitz’s pessimism about our political discourse not being grounded in rationality and logic. In fact, rationality and logic have been in short supply recently as we’ve heard a Republican lawmaker claim that the Capitol insurrection resembled a “normal tourist visit.” It’s a bit more worrying though when a federal judge compares an AR-15 assault rifle to a Swiss Army knife. I’d like to think these are two totally unrelated incidents, but they are nevertheless unsettling.
George Chase, St. Pete Beach
He’s just wrong
I read U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s op-ed titled, “Why I’m voting against the For the People Act,” with more than a bit of consternation and dismay. Although thoughtful and well-written, Manchin’s argument is simply wrong. He is assuming that Republicans have been acting as good-faith opponents.
Manchin opens by writing that “the right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics.” This is a 100 percent true statement, yet Republican-led legislatures across the country are putting into place nonsensical and racially targeted laws they call “anti-fraud” but have nothing to with reducing voter fraud.
These laws do, however, have everything to do with benefiting one party — the Republican Party. Among other restrictions that have nothing to do with stopping dishonesty in voting, these laws limit or even eliminate mail-in voting, early voting and voting on Sundays (a direct missive toward Black American churches’ Souls to the Polls organizing). What does eliminating Sunday voting have to do with fraud? Are people more likely to commit fraud after digesting a nice Sunday brunch?
Manchin might have to open his eyes to what voters across the country are currently facing with these terrible bills and reconsider his opposition to the For The People Act — a national law that would, as he claims to support in his op-ed, “ensure our elections are fair, accessible and secure.”
Michelle Kenoyer, Tampa
No politics is local
Impact fee limits now law | June 8
Apparently, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-dominated Legislature truly believe we no longer need local governments as they continue to seize control over local issues. Their new law prevents local governments from increasing impact fees more than once every four years and limits the increases to 50 percent. So, if the GOP retains control at the state level, maybe we should just tithe our local taxes to them and eliminate the middlemen — our local government.
Craig Lewis, Tampa
It’s not over
Inside Fla. COVID response | June 7
As COVID-19 rates decline, Floridians are lulled into a false sense of security. Florida still has one of the worst case rates in the country, and the state consistently has 10 percent of national daily COVID deaths.
Clay Mickel, Tampa