Democrats play the fear card

Letters to the Editor
Published October 20, 2006

Re: Brown-Waite has shown she doesn't merit our support on Election Day, Oct. 13 letter to the editor:

Once again as the election draws near, Democrats throw out the fear card, as we see in the letter from Bob Dodd that somehow President Bush and Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite want to take our rights away.

Mr. Dodd thinks we should be nice to our enemies and maybe they will be nice to us. He wants to blame America first. He also is one of those who shows a lack of knowledge of American history.

Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt did more to subvert the Constitution than President Bush has ever done.

What really angers me about Mr. Dodd is that he called Ms. Brown-Waite a "chicken hawk" and uses the term "goose-stepping for her hard-line support."

Mr. Dodd, your rights have not been infringed upon. You got to give your opinion and nobody has come and taken you away.

Ms. Brown-Waite is one of the few good ones in Congress. She speaks her mind and knows when something is right or wrong, even if it is contrary to her party's position.

Peter Stathis, Spring Hill

Veterans worried

Re: Veterans, be patient with reorganized services staff, Oct. 10 Times editorial:

I present views I've collected from officials with the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs worried about outcomes for Hernando County.

State Statute 292.11 outlines the responsibilities counties have in hiring certified veterans services officers with duties specific to helping veterans and their dependents with claims for compensation, pension and benefits. The county veterans officer is in charge of the budget, the administration of his or her office, protection of classified documents and is mandated to advocate for veterans' issues.

Other certified veterans officials cannot talk to anyone other than their peers in addressing issues specific to veterans affairs, I was told by a respected trainer for certifying veterans in the law under Title 38 of the U.S. Code. They could not discuss anything with Jean Rags, the new director of the department, for instance.

This person cited catastrophic consequences of allowing a county manager in social services to take over the county veterans office in Sarasota, and the buzz about Hernando County's takeover is already crossing lines among county veteran officers and Florida Department of Veteran Affairs officials in key positions at clinics and hospitals helping veterans with their claims.

The statute was cited over and over to note that the budget is the responsibility of the county veterans director along with the administration of the office, hiring of personnel, the maintaining of classified records and having only paid secretaries interdicting with claimants for calls and appointments, not volunteers for all the obvious reasons.

Because the state statute is not funded, its mandatory laws are open to violation by county commissioners and their administrators, DVA officials made clear. So Hernando County's takeover by a bureaucratic manager cannot be challenged by the statute, despite the unfortunate consequences and cautious suspicions by other veteran officials.

Hernando County may not be invited to the state's County Veterans Officers conferences, and interaction between and among other veteran organizations could be limited. Former Director Larry Davis has been stripped of his responsibilities. The county cannot pretend Davis is something he is not for participation in events outside Hernando County.

Deron Mikal, Brooksville