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Letters to the editor: Readers question recent column on elections

Readers sound off

  • By
  • | 9:20 a.m. November 16, 2020
  • Sarasota
  • Opinion
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Column featured unproven allegations

While your editorial of Nov. 12 calls for truth and integrity, you do nothing but engage in unproven allegations and innuendo. You start by dismissing U.S. journalists as “media shell proxies” for the “Democratic Party Machine.”

It must then follow that whatever baseless conspiracy theories you choose to spin have  credibility. Starting with your assertion without any specifics, that House Resolution 1 “For The People Act” is a “recipe for voter fraud.”

In fact, it calls for prohibiting governments from interfering in our elections, strengthening
cyber security of voting and requiring the president and vice president submit 10 years of tax returns prior to running for office. You might enlighten your readers as to which of these measures you find threatening to our democracy.

You then go on to a series of claims without a shred of evidence and ask, “why did alleged
misdeeds (at least here you acknowledge them as alleged) occur in states and cities that Democrats control?”

The answer is: because that is a complete falsehood!

Of the six battleground states where Republicans are contesting the results, only two have Democratic governors and all have Republican control of both houses. Sir, where are your
journalistic standards?

As you said: “In this this charged moment, honest fair-minded patriots would put the sanctity of
the constitution and our elections above politics.” But you failed.

Bill Matthes

Longboat Key

Examples, please, of diminished safeguards

Once again, the editorial in the Nov. 12 edition of The Observer by Matt Walsh makes one wonder how he can, week after week, twist reality to such an extent as to allow it to serve his needs. His editorial this week, “Voters Deserve the Truth,” is no exception.  

First is Mr. Walsh's lambasting House of Representative Bill 1 from 2019, stating that this bill is misnamed and is a recipe for voter fraud.  Read it, he tells us, forgetting to tell us that this bill happens to be hundreds and hundreds of pages long. Assuming that perhaps Mr. Walsh has in fact actually read it, this humble reader (and so many others, no doubt) do not have the time or temperament or reading speed or intelligence or possession of Mr. Walsh's gifts to struggle through this.  The fact that Mr. Walsh does not even grace his readers with even one example of how this bill does what he claims, in the hundreds of pages which he has digested, leaves me wondering.  Not even one example?

The claim that Democratic Party representatives filed hundreds of lawsuits to “remove most of the safeguards that have helped this country maintain the integrity of its elections for two-and-a-half centuries” is also further unsubstantiated.  One wonders what these “safeguards” might be.  Or even what one of these challenged safeguards might be. 

In fact, these lawsuits have mainly been filed to reduce gerrymandering attempts of Republican legislatures to ensconce themselves in power and to reduce attempts by Republican legislatures to make it much much more difficult for Blacks to vote. 

These safeguards which Mr. Walsh wants to protect are to “tell a certain tribe [whites] that, no matter their station in life, some part of the world,  indeed the best part of the world, was carved out for them.” (Ta-Nehisi Coates).  When their leader (Trump) tells them this, reinforced by his surrogates (the Walshes of the world) who are, as is Mr. Walsh, employees of Jared Kushner, it is no wonder any election in which they are the loser they would wish to hotly contest.

Of course, as not noted in Mr. Walsh’s article, HR 1 was never put into law.  Of course, it is my understanding that almost all of the Republican-launched lawsuits to protect the treasured legacy of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution have generally been dismissed. So it looks like we will join the ranks of “all other crooked tin-pot hellholes with rigged elections” as Mr. Walsh notes.  Such as which Black nations in Africa?  If what is happening here occurred in other countries, they would be a laughingstock.  As are we now.

Edward Braun, MD


Nov. 12 column takes the cake

You have written some scurrilous editorials in the past, but your current distortion of the truth takes the cake. How does it feel to be on the same side as that clown, Rudy Giuliani?

Keep it up, pal. Our national security, both foreign and domestic, is being compromised every day people like you aid and abet the least qualified president in the history of the United States. 

Richard Gold


TIF just means we’ll be taxed more

Thank you for your clear and informative description of the Bay Park project in your Nov. 5 editorial.

It certainly would have been better from several angles if the project were a private enterprise, guided and limited by strict contractual arrangements. However, as you intimate, we will have to live with a city-run project that is likely to be pushed and pulled by many interested groups.

We also know of the serious deficiencies and liabilities that the city of Sarasota incurred in prior projects, such as the Palm Avenue Garage and the Lift Station.

All that said, the city and the Bay Park Conservancy have come up with the disingenuous concept of Tax Increment Financing, making it sound that residents will not be financially affected. Wrong, they will be paying for the expensive development.

When the city needs funds that have been pre-assigned to the Bay Park, it will have to look elsewhere. We will all be taxed more. Unfortunately, not everybody understands that tax money is fungible (interchangeable) but also finite. It can be moved around and exchanged but not multiplied without further taxation.

Gerald H, Fickenscher