I was appalled at the amount of money spent on hatchet campaigning from outside Pinellas County on both sides of the U.S. House District 13 race. Do we even know what platform David Jolly was running on? They say this election shows what the people want. Does it? Alex Sink lost by a mere 2 percent, so it looks to me the people are evenly split. I am a person with a lifelong illness, making life stressful, as one bad incident and I could lose everything I worked for. I understand the Health Care Act is not perfect, but it has given me peace of mind for the first time in 57 years. I have tried to review the platform Jolly ran on. All I know is he wants to repeal health-care reform, and he has said some things about Social Security. The rest has been blurred by negative campaigning from outside sources.
The election in Pinellas County is over and for awhile now we will not be subjected to the negative political ads sponsored by the various PACs. In place of that will be a lot of analyzing about whether the election results reflected the public’s approval/disapproval of various issues — Obamacare, for one. Here’s what I think tipped the scales for Jolly. The media and a good portion of the voters were disgusted with the negative TV ads. It had gotten out of hand. Jolly finally spoke up about it and defended Sink, taking the risk of offending the PACs supporting him. That was certainly an unusual stand by a candidate in a hotly contested election, but I feel it made him the winner.
Regarding Tribune reporter Howard Altman’s article “Numbers don’t tell whole story of VA benefit backlog” (Metro, March 10):
I take issue with several statements in the article, such as “VA...not responsive to those who have served.” There are millions of veterans such as I who are satisfied with VA health care and benefits processing. I was trained to process claims, and neither the training nor the staffing was insufficient by any means. Many new claims processors were hired to accommodate the huge increase in Middle East war veterans. The VA strives to hire, train and track only the very best claims processors. A veteran’s death is not a direct reflection of how his/her claim was processed. The fact that 1,200 to 1,300 WWII and Korean War veterans die each day does not mean that they were not already receiving benefits. Congressional requirements can easily delay an initial claim by 30, 60, or 90 days.
David S. Reed
Move ’em out
Oddly enough, I don’t recall ever voting for National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer to represent Florida. Nor did I ever vote for any NRA executives. Nevertheless, it appears as though the NRA is running the Sunshine State. Maybe we could call it an invasion of the body snatchers. Yes, indeed, they seem to have a hypnotic effect over our elected legislators. Sure, I understand how it works. Our legislators cozy up to the NRA in order to win brownie points. Their vote for NRA-backed bills assures NRA support and votes when their term of office is up and they are running for re-election. It’s called “quid pro quo.” My solution is to head up all those doggies andmove ’em out of the Florida Legislature. Gun-toting school teachers is a recipe for disaster. And all the back scratching will no doubt leave bloodstains on someone’s hands.
JoAnn Lee Frank
The Tribune has become obsessed with seeing the democratically elected Maduro government ousted in Venezuela. The U.S. has supported and currently supports much worse governments. For example, Colombia. It has one of the worst human rights records in the Western Hemisphere. But Colombia is an ally of the United States so they get a free pass from the Tribune. Why not write articles about the violence and repression there? This is really about getting U.S.-friendly oligarchs back in power.
Keep free market
I continually read letters and columns regarding health care, inequality in income, and the new Common Core education system. What do all three have in common? Redistribution. Redistribution of health care, income and education. What is missing from these redistributions? Creativity, incentives and competition, the foundation for the free market. This is what makes our economy flourish and be the envy of the world. So why is our federal government trying to unravel it? It’s a winner; stick with it.
The award for the best decision by a newspaper goes to The Tampa Tribune for replacing the space once occupied by “Doonesbury” with the witty and imaginative “Rhymes with Orange” by Hilary Price. Now that is a comical comic strip!
New Port Richey