Voice of the Voters, Jan. 25
Readers speak out about candidates and issues
Published: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 11:26 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 11:26 a.m.
Last spring I had the privilege to be working in Paris where I observed the French presidential election. The outgoing center-right President, at the end of his term, was unpopular. The center-right candidate to replace him made people afraid.
The center-left Socialists should have won. However, they presented a mediocre candidate: Segolene Royal, wife of the leader of the party. The electorate recognized her to be arrogant and devoured by ambition, also lacking the gravitas to be President of the Republic. So Nicolas Sarkozy won, and the rest is history.
Anything familiar in all this? The Clinton machine spinmeisters insisted that Segolene and Hillary are not at all alike. This is partially true. Segolene is quite an attractive woman with an elegant speaking voice. She had genuine experience as president of her region and several cabinet posts. She gave voice to genuinely new ideas. And she brought to the race no negative baggage.
Hillary never held any elective or appointed office prior to being parachuted into a blue state upon her husband's exit from office. During his eight years she authored a disastrous national health care plan repudiated by her own party. And she made one or two disastrous proposals for high position including the Supreme Court, again repudiated by her own party. A mediocre senator from New York, she authored no major legislation and offered no major new idea.
She voted for the invasion of Iraq and co-sponsored an amendment to the Constitution that would make desecrating the flag a felony.
Insiders note that she thinks that she is the smartest person in any room where she is to be found. She has never admitted that she was wrong or ever apologized for anything that she has done. She is arrogant and devoured by ambition. She lacks the gravitas to be President of the Republic.
The French Socialists snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. Will the American Democrats do the same?
We are supporting Lauren Poe in the City Commission, District 2 race. We believe that he will bring a level-headed approach to solving the problems of Gainesville. He gives thoughtful and sensible solutions to those problems. We urge voters to consider the words and actions of candidates, and when they do, they will realize that Poe will provide the balanced leadership that our city greatly needs.
Martha and Vic Harrell
I have been a registered Democrat for over forty years but I never vote a straight Democratic ticket. This year I had hoped to vote for a Democratic presidential candidate. Since Democratic representatives will not be seated at the convention I would not even bother going to vote in the primary this year except for the importance of the tax amendment on the ballot.
Isn't this America? Who took away my right to vote? What are my alternatives? What could I have done?
I could have changed parties several months ago to have one half of my vote count in the Republican primary but the only candidates I would have considered were not rich enough to keep their candidacy going through the end of the year.
In the last election I voted at the local, state, and national level for candidates who sounded like they would change things. Apparently all those people I voted for have now been brought into line by the established politicians. My insurance went up 42 percent, my local government is spending thousands against a tax cutting measure, at the national level "my government" continues to spend billions on the war, and now will print billions more to bail out the economy which will no doubt end up including a bail out for greedy banks.
I believe two things would restore my confidence in elected officials, a viable third party in this country and term limits at every level of government. America is still the greatest place to live on the planet and we will get through our problems.
Larry R. Davis,
I received a postcard from our county commissioners in the mail today with a plea to vote 'No' to Amendment 1. It would have been humorous if it were not so indicative of the less-than-honest nature and political methods of these commissioners.
They state that Save Our Homes has created inequities in so far as 1) non-homesteaders pay more taxes for the same services than homesteaders; and 2) new home owners pay more for the same services than long time homeowners.
The commissioners had ample opportunity to rectify this perceived inequity while property values were exploding the past five years by 1) lowering the millage rate for all taxpayers; and 2) lowering the tax rate on non-Homesteaders. I never heard this proposed at any time by these commissioners who appear to be sympathetic to the tax burdened non-homesteaders.
On the contrary, they have only increased taxes wherever possible on homesteaders and non-homesteaders alike without discrimination.
The implication of the postcard's message is that the county commissioners are interested in fairness and equity. However, their position never indicates tax relief of any kind as a method of achieving this lofty goal. A voter could logically assume that the commissioners, in their quest of "Equal Taxation for All," would prefer eliminating completely, if possible, the homestead exemption and the tax restriction of Save Our Homestead.
Vote 'YES' - Amendment 1.
Stephen J. Otton,
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