Reject judicial activism
Kevin McLaughlin ("Vote 'yes' for a high court without fear or favor," Views, Oct. 14), identified by the Tribune as chairman of the Hillsborough County Bar Association's Trial and Litigation section, would have citizens vote "yes" to retain activist judges. Those of us who have been in and around the criminal justice system for many years know why many trial lawyers support activist judges. If McLaughlin believes that activist judges (those who legislate from the bench) are fair, impartial and honest, I've got a bridge over Lake Okeechobee for sale.
The merit retention process and impeachment processes are the only mechanisms by which citizens can reject judicial activism. The "shameless" party here is McLaughlin, who in partisan fashion attacks honest businessmen who care deeply about their country and are willing to selflessly sacrifice millions of dollars to rid our nation of a serious threat to the democratic process as provided by our Constitution.
Stop 'easy money'
Regarding "Continue 'Penny for Pasco,'" (Our Views, Oct. 10):
Penny for Pasco? Almost 10 years ago Pasco instituted a 16.7 percent tax increase borne disproportionately by lower-income citizens. Today the Big Two political parties agree that taxes on both middle-income and lower-income taxpayers are too high. Yet people seriously advocate renewing a discriminatory tax during a recessionary period that has devastated the working class in Pasco? Are they heartless or brainless?
Affluent people don't spend all their income. Marginally employed or unemployed people do. A sales tax hits every dollar of a struggling family but is far easier on the dual-income, no-kids pairings and the wealthy who don't spend all they make every week. They pay a lower effective tax rate than the poor — exactly what Joe Biden and Paul Ryan said is wrong with the current tax system. Don't wait for the blowhards to break their promises. Cut taxes on the poor here, at home, yourself. Counties can't print deficit money. They'll have to learn to do what you already do. Tighten up, live within their (our) means. Cut their addiction to "easy money" even if it's only a penny at a time.
New Port Richey
Deserving of a break
The citizens of Pasco County have a unique opportunity to vote themselves a tax cut. By voting "no" on the Penny for Pasco sales tax extension, citizens in Pasco will pay less on almost everything they buy. Cars and clothes, etc., will have a 6 percent sales tax rather then the current 7 percent.
The Penny for Pasco was not supposed to last forever. It was a limited-time tax that was supposed to expire. But like all taxes, once politicians get used to extra revenues they find all kinds of goodies to spend it on. Pasco County, you deserve a tax cut. Vote "no" on the Penny for Pasco extension.
New Port Richey
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is wrong to push a subsidized restaurant for Curtis Hixon Park — this is great green space. His idea will ruin it. Leave it alone. Why is it prudent to subsidize another venture, as taxpayers are doing with the performing arts center, the aquarium, the streetcar, Raymond James Stadium and others, when we have significant declining tax and revenue bases?
Buckhorn should adopt an entrepreneurial, not a socialist, perspective. If they cannot stand on their own, they should not be in business. How many more monuments to dumbness, such as those pushed by his some of his predecessors, does Tampa need?
Having recently returned from Sweden and Denmark, where bicycles are the norm, Buckhorn's idea to have a rent-a-bike program is short-sighted since our streets are not geared for this. Get the streets done first so the neighborhoods can use bikes, then think about a rent-a-bike program.
Not a modest restriction
One would think a newspaper would get the facts right before editorializing, but the Trib is all wrong on Amendment 6. This proposal, which would diminish our state constitutional right to privacy in order to restrict a woman's right to make a reproductive health decision to end a pregnancy with her doctor and without governmental interference, does not provide any exceptions for rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother. All abortions would be similarly restricted.
This amendment completely removes the citizen's right to privacy in the area of reproductive health. It is the first step toward allowing the Florida Legislature complete control over all of the reproductive choices of Florida women. It would even allow them the license to make laws restricting access to contraception and birth control.
Amendment 6 is, therefore, not a "modest" restriction. It is intrusive and absolutely unnecessary. Florida women do not need or want their private reproductive health decisions made by the Legislature. Vote "no" on Amendment 6.
Praying for more education
Regarding "Altar not the place for politics" (Letter of the Day, Oct. 12):
Yes, I go to my place of worship, as others go to theirs, to hear and understand faith's teachings. But I pray there would be more education from leaders of all denominations when they see a need to guide their flocks and to warn them about a candidate or a cause that may go against their members and the teachings of their perspective faiths.
A recent example of this happened in my church. Our church is currently suing the Obama administration over multiple issues, but the sad fact is that 52 percent of those "who call themselves Catholics" voted for President Obama in 2008!