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Sarasota Thursday, May. 1, 2014 3 years ago

Letters to the Editor


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: The Sarasota Observer welcomes letters on current, local topics. Please email them to Deputy Executive Editor Jessica Luck at [email protected]. Letters pertaining to local issues receive priority. Letters may be edited for grammar and space, and must include writer’s full name and address.

+ Responses to ‘Why Jeb Bush Will Win’ editorial
Dear Editor:

Not a good idea. We have already had two Bushes too many in the White House.

Roy Diton,
Longboat Key

Dear Editor:

I enjoyed your opinion article “Why Jeb Bush will win,” and the accompanying history of voter transitions. However, two items are worth mentioning: First, in 1992, when (Bill) Clinton ousted (George W.) Bush, the primary reason was not the infamous “no new taxes” but the third-party candidacy of Ross Perot, who siphoned off 19% of the popular vote, primarily away from Bush, and (for better or worse) gave us Bill Clinton.

Second, although I would like to think that Jeb Bush (or anyone) could beat Hillary Clinton, the voting demographics are against it. Women are the biggest voting bloc in the country, and they have supported the Democrat candidate 55% to 45% in the last few elections. Add to that their not-so-secret wish to see a woman in the White House, plus the overwhelming support of (and indoctrination of the public by) the “mainstream media,” and you have a formidable hill for any opponent to climb.

Archie Urciuoli,

+ The back story on Barfield answers questions
The April 10 Sarasota Observer queries whether the Barfield-Mogensen team “while clouded in the capes of protecting the taxpayers … appears to have a business strategy of targeting City Hall for financial gain” or whether, on the other hand, they are “performing a public service.” The opinion piece is silent on the critical back story, which I submit, supplies the answer to the paper’s question, “What is going on?”

Reading tea leaves is not an option for getting inside Barfield’s head and reading his intent. But we do have recourse to a basic principle of law, grounded in commonsense, that an actor’s practices, honesty and credibility are subject to challenge (impeachment) by a showing of past anti-social behavior, criminal convictions in particular. So, what is the critical omission from the opinion piece? Simply that Barfield has led a lifetime of crime since the age of 17. His is not a case of one who 20 years ago possessed marijuana or passed a rubber check. By his own admission, he has accumulated 68 (no typo) convictions.

In 1999, he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury before a federal grand jury, arising out of false accusations he made of improper conduct by a federal judge and an assistant U.S. attorney and, additionally, for wire fraud for extracting $50,000 from two felons awaiting sentencing by falsely promising them that he had “connections” and, thus, could obtain leniency for them. Prior to that, he was jailed for grand theft, forging checks and using stolen credit cards.

 A judge in the federal case described him as a “con man’s con man, that’s for sure.”

Is this helpful? Having fleshed out the opinion piece with the telling back story, I ask whether con man Barfield is “performing a public service” or “targeting City Hall for financial gain?” What do you think?

Frank Brenner,

+ Drivers are failing to heed the signs
Dear Editor:

Wake up, people!

What will it take for drivers to stop at the blinking red stop sign on Ocean Boulevard and Higel Avenue? I have lived on Siesta Key for 20 years. I would say at least one time a year, if not more, I have almost been hit driving on Higel Avenue. I have seen more drivers blow right through the stop sign then I care to. What will it take for people to notice that stop? First, there was just a red stop sign. That was not enough to stop people. Then blinking lights were added around the sign. Still, drivers ignore. Then there was a sign put so people could read that Higel traffic does not stop.

I think the police would find many drivers doing this if they could hide somewhere. Yesterday one driver was right at my side door. I could have touched her car if I wanted.

Maybe a red blinking light on Ocean Boulevard and a yellow blinking light on Higel Avenue would help. I would hate to see an accident happen there. Drivers — pay attention — your lives may depend on it.

Joanne Christian,
Siesta Key

+ Concerned Americans discuss foreign policy
Dear Editor:

A group of my friends (call us “concerned Americans”) meet every week to discuss current events and politics. We typically have six to 10 people show up for our discussion. Recently, the discussion turned to our absent foreign policy and Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. Most of the group felt Ukraine will be next and blamed our president for making the U.S. into a foreign policy laughing stock. I defended Mr. Obama and said that even if Ronald Reagan were president today, he couldn’t do anything because the Europeans appear to be unwilling to support Ukraine or stand up to Mr. Putin. I was immediately corrected by one of my friends who said that Reagan would be acting differently. He said President Reagan would be telling Europe what needs to be done and then fully supporting them in implementation. He would not play politics on such a vital matter.

I have to admit that this is the difference between today and what we once had: leadership in the Oval Office. Miscreants may test our resolve and challenge our principles, but leaders do not back away from such actions. The world is not becoming freer or safer because America is shying away from its leadership role as a super power.

Mark Esbeck,


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