Don’t oint Bruce Bartlett yet
Will Pinellas Pasco voters choose a prosecutor? | 11 April
I also read the article on whether voters in Pinellas and Pasco counties will have an election for prosecution in 2022. Early in my legal career, I served in the prosecution for Bruce Bartlett, who was called to the job after Bernie’s death by McCabe and Fred Zinober, who wrote fervently in a letter to the editor on behalf of Mr. Bartlett after the story was published .
Indeed, Mr. Bartlett has proven himself over a long career in the office. I also agree that he has the compassion a seasoned prosecutor desires.
But we live at a completely different age and at a different time than when we as the old guard formulated our attitude and orientation towards the public prosecutor’s office. When I left that post 35 years ago, it was hard to fathom that an innocent person could be convicted of a crime, given the constitutional protection afforded by a defendant. I’m amazed at Mr. Bartlett’s label of progressive thinkers as “George Soros Guys”. Forty-five years is a long time in one profession, and if Mr. Bartlett had paid even modest attention to mainstream news, he would know the darkly-coded meaning of a “George Soros type” if he were to face such an adversary and perspective.
George Floyd was a repeat offender who passed on counterfeit money and had drugs on his system when police tried to arrest him and send him to jail. But George Floyd was also a citizen and a person. As a nation, we search deep within our collective souls when it comes to law enforcement and our racist makeup. A jury of our colleagues found no reasonable doubt that Floyd was killed by a police officer. But without nine minutes of close-up viewer video, what would the level of doubt have been? How many in law enforcement positions secretly know about “Derek Chauvin types”.
Bruce Bartlett, a man of great integrity and unparalleled experience, may have the ability to make change and adapt the prosecution to the needs of a developing, growing, and soul-seeking society. A healthy, robust debate between him and other qualified candidates would help us know for sure.
David A. Eaton, St. Petersburg
Changes are ignored anyway
Florida legislature passed bill to limit citizen voting initiatives April 27th
What’s all the fuss about limiting donations to drives that want constitutional amendments to be put on the ballot? The legislature has already made it clear on a case-by-case basis that it has no intention of implementing changes anyway. Medical Marijuana, Class Size Cap; Ex-offender voting rights, anti-gerrymandering, Florida Forever – these are just a few of the recent changes that have been undermined, ignored, or rendered unusable by law. Until we oust the current legislators and replace them with people who are more responsive to citizens and less interested in keeping their jobs, let us not kid ourselves: voter-approved amendments are the graveyard of good ideas.
Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg
I don’t have a cow, GOP. Your Red Meat Is Safe Column, April 28th
First of all, thank you for printing Mariel Garza’s column. I laughed so hard that tears almost trickled into my coffee! All we reasonable people can do is laugh at the idiocy of any new crackpot conspiracy theory introduced into the right echo chamber. Second, one letter writer described “unjust enrichment” as a justification for paying reparations to eradicate America’s historic sins. Isn’t it true that a small fraction (1 percent) of people and businesses have been unjustly enriched at the expense of the 99 percent? How about reparations for us?
Stephen Hinkley, Clearwater
Tear off the bandage
Frustration with twin problems April 28th
At its core, there are two solutions to the challenges facing the Hillsborough County’s school system: relinquishing personal ambition and grasping the reality that short-term pain is necessary for healing to begin. Peel off the plaster and treat the wound. The financial crisis is a math problem, a hard skill. The leadership crisis is a two-way communication problem, a soft skill. We need to realize that regardless of the solution, people will be upset. I hope we will choose the best solution, regardless of whether it gets the most votes.
Steve Cassidy, St. Petersburg
Job search requirements required
State extends job search waiver for unemployed Floridians | April 27
I am very disappointed to see that Governor Ron DeSantis has extended the job search waiver until the end of May. Given the difficulty so many companies have in finding people, this doesn’t help. If you want to accumulate unemployment, you should at least have to look for work if you are able to. If I’m one of those struggling business owners. I will definitely take that into account when he stands for re-election.
William Norris, Seminole
Santorum needs a history lesson
“There isn’t a lot of Native American culture in American culture,” says Rick Santorum | 26th of April
In Rick Santorum’s sad, narrow view of the world, Native Americans are fortunate that white Conservative Christians brought their culture to this country in the form of disease, genocide, and slavery, while gay people are only allowed to exist if they’re not openly showing it Showing signs of affection for one another. Aside from his apparent lack of education on American history and a deep-seated superiority complex, it would take a team of psychiatrists to help this man through his innate desire to publicly humiliate himself.
Dennis Bush, Tampa