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Tom Jackson Columns

Jackson: Reader wonders, is that spin, or a tornado of confusion?

Emptying the cybermailbag while wondering whether Tuesday’s conclusion of the state House District 36 contest will leave mud enough for the Oct. 19 Savage Race at Little Everglades Ranch.

Re: High school football gets Hail Mary, Oct. 4:

I read your articles all the time. You typically have an interesting spin or twist. This spin today seemed to characterize a tornado. How do you draw a parallel with praying and bullying? What ax is there to grind?

Have you witnessed coaches and athletes praying before or after a practice or game? If so, what claim to resistance or bullying was demonstrated to force someone into the act (of) prayer?

I have been an educator and coach for 21 years. We, as a team, have prayed for 21 years. Prayer and athletics have been around longer than my 21 years and will continue to be around long after I retire. I can assure you that our student athletes are amazed that this issue has come up. They are asking us, coaches, “What is the big deal?”

They, the athletes, are more determined than ever to continue participating in what they believe in. They believe in bringing honor, glory, and praise to God. Bullying ... really?

Brian Colding,

Pasco High School

The school district cites intimidation, public humiliation and religious harassment as activities that constitute bullying. Are Pirates coaches enforcing an aggressively ecumenical program of prayer? If not, then every Pasco High athlete from excluded traditions who has endured in silence these last 21 years has, arguably, been bullied.

— TJ

Re: Tell us something we don’t know, Oct. 9:

Excellent column today on the plight of doing (and attracting) business in Pasco County. Spoke this morning with a successful businessman from Wisconsin who sold his business and retired here, but grew antsy, and started a new business, which is today quite successful. He said dealing with Pasco County was the worst experience in his life, and if left up to them, there would be no business in Pasco County.

Stephen A. Bennett,

Wesley Chapel

It’s always gratifying when experience corroborates theory.

— TJ

This one landed in my inbox the other day and is worth sharing because it provides a glimpse of the animus whipped up by the special election to name Mike Fasano’s successor in state House District 36:

Bill Gunter, it’s time for you as a pastor and a man of faith to put an end to what you know are lies and deceptive advertisement attacks against your opponent, Amanda Murphy. If your excuse is you have no control over the deceptive mailers coming from an outside political committee (Citizens for Fairness), then it only gives more reason why you should not be our next legislator from Pasco County.

If you can’t stand up to the special interests funding these false attacks against Amanda Murphy then you will never be able to stand up against those same special interests if you were elected as our next state representative. You will be just another “go-along-to-get-along” politician who will fall into lock-step with Tallahassee leadership. The people of Pasco County do not need a legislator who’s unable to think and act for themselves (sic). Bill Gunter, it is time for us to see who you really are.

Thanks and God bless.

Mike Fasano,

New Port Richey

(Fasano is Pasco County’s tax collector.)

Along that line:

I think the Florida legislators and governor should pass a law making it a crime with big fines for anyone who misrepresents (lies) or infers any candidate’s position(s) that cannot be substantiated. Furthermore, any piece sent through the mail must have the sender’s information and the list of contributors to the organization sending the piece out! The list of contributors who gave more than $100 must be available to the public!

Dave Domino,

Wesley Chapel

Though we, too, desire fairly waged campaigns, we suspect the solutions described here face insurmountable First Amendment obstacles.

— TJ

Have a complaint, question or clarifying point? Send it along to [email protected]; the next mailbag dump depends on your contribution.

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