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March 6, 2001

Please pardon my friends
It is the corrupt system of campaign finance that allows people to buy friendship which influences the pardoning power of a president.

Solutions to water crisis
Gov. Jeb Bush's recent summit on the drought was a promising response to this region's water crisis. With forecasts predicting the driest back-to-back years in recorded history, the time has come for state officials to better coordinate water policy before the drought causes more severe environmental and economic damage.

Following trail of injustice
Broward County's Frank Lee Smith is dead, but the issues raised by his conviction -- and his 14-year confinement for a capital crime DNA evidence confirms he did not commit -- are very much alive. Gov. Jeb Bush had no choice but to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the case, given the serious charge of perjury leveled against sheriff's detective Richard Scheff, whose morphing testimony was key in sending Smith to death row and keeping him there until he died of natural causes. Only time will tell if the special investigation becomes an exercise in getting at the truth -- or in whitewashing.

Experience backs a touch screen voting system
I was a resident of Mount Laurel, N.J. (a town of 138,000) in 1995. We had used Shoup voting machines for many years but felt it was time to update. So the committee looked into many newer systems.

Martin Dyckman
Absence says a lot about election overhaul
TALLAHASSEE -- Others may doubt the need for an election overhaul, but not Gov. Jeb Bush. He was emphatic on all the key points Monday at a press conference where he received the report and recommendations of his task force. Yes, he said, every county should have optical-scanning machines that read ballots at the precincts. Yes, the state should help finance them.  

Taking jobs, alienating customers
For weeks Americans have been told that the outsourcing of high-tech jobs is good for our economy. So said Greg Mankiw, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers in a recent report signed by President Bush. So, too, writes Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in articles praising the rise of call centers in India used for everything from making airline reservations and reading medical X-ray films to providing tech support for American computer firms.

Philip Gailey: Democrats fall off campaign finance reform wagon
Well, what do you know. Soft money is back, and it's making hypocrites of all those Democrats who fervently championed the McCain-Feingold campaign reform law, not to mention those Republicans who objected to the law's restrictions on issue advocacy.

Bill Maxwell: Who is for the farm worker?
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is touting legislation to improve the lives of Florida's 300,000-plus farm workers, who endure institutional and systemic injustices each day in our fields and groves and their personal lives.

Robyn E. Blumner: For some defendants, an American gulag
In Bernard Malamud's masterpiece The Fixer, inmate Yakov Bok was subjected to psychological torture in a Soviet gulag through the humiliations of constant shackling and repeated strip searches.

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