Posey's votes, dark money's trail and voting with morality: Letters, Oct. 16, 2022

Posey's votes don't benefit taxpayers

Kudos to Eric Rogers for exposing Congressman Bill Posey’s votes against federal disaster relief funds after Hurricane Ian devastated Florida’s west coast. He also opposed measures to boost U.S. tourism, to help struggling veterans and assistance for victims of the 9/11 attacks.

But these are only the tip of the iceberg.

Posey also voted against things like The Violence Against Women Act, Consumer Fuel Gouging Act, Paycheck Fairness Act, Consumer Protection & Recovery Act and so many others that would have directly benefited the people in Congressional District 8.

Now Posey wants to waste taxpayer dollars to investigate claims of fraud in the 2020 election even though no less than 63 courts have dismissed the claims due to lack of any evidence. Bill Posey has forfeited his right to continue serving in Congress.

S. Richard Marshall, Melbourne

Spokesman: Yes, Rep. Posey votes no sometimes, and here's why

Unfortunately for FLORIDA TODAY readers, a recent letter to the editor attacking Congressman Posey misled them because it left readers with selective facts and only half the story.

We all know Washington puts bad stuff in well-named bills.

Take Congressman Posey’s vote against President Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Act.”  Nice name, but it does nothing to reduce inflation and now official federal budget authorities are telling us what Posey knew from the start. Gas and food prices are again rising, we are importing more oil from overseas and wages are stagnant.

Ms. Wolff attacked Posey for voting against H.R. 6968, but when you read the details of the bill you find out it doesn’t apply to current contracts to import oil from Russia and, in fact, it gave President Biden complete authority to waive restrictions on Russian oil for any reason. So, it wasn’t really a ban. The Senate amended the bill to replace broad waiver authority with specific certification requirements sending it back to the House and Posey voted for it.

He was attacked for voting against the Afghan visa bill (H.R. 3985). Ms. Wolff fails to tell readers that the bill had so many national security loopholes that Speaker Pelosi never sent it to the Senate. She also left out the fact that a few weeks later Posey voted for the alternative bill (H.R. 3237) which was signed into law providing visas to Afghan allies along with important national security screenings following the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Details matter.

George Cecala, Washington, D.C., is communications director for Congressman Bill Posey.

Congressman Bill Posey was one of the speakers at the 10th annual Space Coast Prayer Breakfast held at the Grand Manor in Melbourne on May 5, 2022.
Congressman Bill Posey was one of the speakers at the 10th annual Space Coast Prayer Breakfast held at the Grand Manor in Melbourne on May 5, 2022.

Questions you might want to ask

Thank you, FLORIDA TODAY, for the 2022 Nonpartisan Voter Guide from the League of Women Voters. The No. 1 change cited on page 1 is that “drop boxes,” i.e., “secure ballot intake stations,” are no longer available 24/7. Thanks for sharing this information about these “secure” boxes.

Under the “Getting to know the Candidates,” the League dedicates five pages of Democrats’ responses to questions, but there is not one response from any Republicans, and the “Important note” cites none of the Republican candidates offered responses. Not one. I find it very interesting that all the Democrats could be contacted by this nonpartisan group, but not one Republican responded.

What would be very helpful to your reading (and voting) audience would be a chart with the major issues in this election, denoting where each candidate stands. This information is easily accessible to investigative reporters.

Sample questions: Supports Florida as a sanctuary state, yes or no? Supports a woman’s right to choose abortion, even up to the moment of delivery, yes or no? Supports teaching CRT in math books, yes or no? Supports “gender reaffirming surgery" (castration, sterilization) for minor children, yes or no? Supports biological males competing in girls sports, yes or no? Supports depleting our emergency oil reserves, yes or no? Supports buying oil from foreign countries, instead of energy independence, yes or no?  Many issues could be clarified by a simple chart.

Lonnie Jones Taylor, Indian Harbour Beach

Know who's funding that dark money

In the Oct. 10 story "Far-Right Group Eyes Brevard," by Ralph Chapoco, liberal "dark money" is cited as a reason for the creation and expansion of the group "County Citizens Defending Freedom."

But the article makes no mention of the dark money funding the CCDF. Their website shows three partners: Liberty Counsel, Turning Point USA (TPUSA), and America's Future. Internet searches reveal all three receive funding from libertarian multibillionaires including the Koch Foundation as outlined in Jane Mayer's book "Dark Money."  TPUSA has shared staff with Americans for Prosperity, the Koch network’s main political arm.

The Job Creators Network Foundation, cited in the AP article "Group files lawsuit over Biden student loan plan" by Jill Colvin in the Oct. 11 edition, is also funded by dark money.  Specifically, the group received $50,000 in 2021 through DonorTrust, a funding conduit for the Koch Foundation's PAC, under a project opposing public health measures to combat COVID.

When presenting articles on political action groups, I suggest FLORIDA TODAY provide insight into their funding. "Follow the money" has long been a maxim for law enforcement — as well as journalists. How and by whom a group is funded gives a window into the philosophy, motivation, and goals of the group. People deserve to know about these ties to inform their views of groups across the political spectrum.

Lori Alvord, Satellite Beach

Recognized as the country’s 14th fastest-selling master-planned community in 2021 by RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, the town has exceeded more than 2,000 homes sold.
Recognized as the country’s 14th fastest-selling master-planned community in 2021 by RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, the town has exceeded more than 2,000 homes sold.

Does Babcock Ranch have something to teach us?

A town of 50,000 people near Fort Myers was designed to protect homes and people during major storms. And it worked. Babcock Ranch, a community a few miles north of the now-devastated Fort Myers area, is 100% solar-powered with an underground power matrix.  The community never lost power during Hurricane Ian as it passed directly overhead.

I live in Viera, which has extensive underground power lines and have never lost electric power. Scientists tell us that the changing climate will bring more of these monster storms to our state. It’s time for Florida politicians and leaders to accept this and make our state resilient to these hurricanes. FPL is adding more solar panels all over our state and our leaders need to support and encourage underground power lines in more communities. Florida is called the Sunshine State and we need to make it work for us. While there is upfront costs, it is a wise investment in our future.

Karen Yates, Viera

Believing humans affect climate isn't stupid

In his Oct. 9 letter, Mr. Norris asserts that it is stupid to think that man is somehow causing climate change on earth. He insinuates that Mother Nature is so powerful, that anything that man does to the environment can have little effect.

I am not a scientist. But I am not stupid either. Look at a graph. See how the climate has been very gradually warming for many, many years. Then we have the beginning of the Industrial Revolution on the graph. Man begins to use fossil fuels more and more. The line on the graph starts to shoot upward and continues to shoot up a steeper incline as fossil fuels are used more and more. A coincidence? I don’t think so. This is not normal warming. Man has made a significant change in climate.

But what about all those climate scientists around the world who have devoted their whole careers to this study? Almost 100% agree that man is causing this unnatural rapid rise in warming. It’s not just scientists in the U.S. It’s worldwide. They’ve been trying to warn us for years. What could be their motive for a false alarm?

Climate change is now beginning to show its worst effects, among them more violent weather. Like Ian.

I don't think I'm the one with stupid beliefs.

Karen H. Whitehead, Viera

Our freedoms: Is it really that simple?

The Amendments identify and define our rights as set forth in the United States Constitution. Only one deals with rights too numerous to enumerate and define. Here, we must emphasize that human rights endowed by our creator are various and must be recognized as emanating from common sense and applying to all.

This is not to say that anything we can imagine is valid, as well.  For example, a problem that we are facing in contemporary society is that there is no significant punishment or deterrent  for institutions engaging in wrongful interference with an individual's rights and privileges. We seem only to have clearly defined laws dealing with individuals and their actions toward other individuals or institutions. Thus we are left to trust in the actions and judgement of organizations with power to enact great harm on people who have no power to enforce  any clear standards of justice. Instead, individuals must engage in expensive and tedious legal recourse just to see that the offenders are told to "cease and desist" the offending behavior — but, with no punishment  or consequences.

We desperately need laws and clear penalties that apply equally to individuals and organizations or institutions.

Today, we are seeing citizens and other innocent people abused and violated. Yet, the perpetrators are not punished for their wrongs. This must stop if our country is to survive. Citizens must act without delay.

Sylvia Sharpe, Doug Sharpe and Paula Estridge, Melbourne, are members of the Brevard Republican Executive Committee.


'Vote wisely and vote with morality'

It defies logic that  some American should want the lowest common denominator for their political appointee. Why would you want someone who lies?  Why would you want someone with a domestic abuse record? Why would you want someone who discriminates? Someone who might raise drug prices for seniors? On and on the lowest common denominators seem to be attracting votes.

I hear, “I just want to keep the Senate in (insert party of choice) hands." But, this person will vote — this person will represent democracy. Will this person actually have your best interests at heart? Will this person keep democracy sacred and a way of life that is good for all Americans?

We are a nation united as one. Vote wisely and vote with morality and integrity — because that person is going to represent you in the next election.

Laura Petruska, Melbourne

Democracy or authoritarianism? Voters will decide

Most people would say political polling has been terrible since the 2016 election. But polling reports a stunning political schism developing since 2008.

Polling in 1964 showed 77% of the country “trusted the federal government to do the right thing all or most of the time.” After the Vietnam War and Watergate, that number dropped to 36%. It decreased to 25% at the end of 1980 and remained flat — 50 years of "very low trust."  But "truth" has distorted radically for Republicans since Obama won the presidency.

A Reuters/Ipsos 2019 poll found that 56% of Republicans said it was “probably true” or “definitely true” that Obama had been born in Kenya.

A March YouGov poll shows that 49% of Republicans and 52% of Trump voters in 2020 believed Democrats were involved in child sex-trafficking operations.

PolitiFact reports “Roughly 70% of Republicans don’t see Biden as the legitimate winner.” And a Monmouth University poll this past June reports that 61% of Republicans considered Jan. 6 a “legitimate protest."

The Republican Party appears increasingly detached from truth and reason, and attached to paranoid conspiracy theories. This is not political or ideological party polarization. This is a divide between reality and rationality.

Believing that the government was untrustworthy in 1974 is quite different than today believing the lie that an election was stolen by baby-eating Democrats, the Deep State, and corrupt voting machine companies.

Perhaps the most critical question every 2022 voter must answer is whether they support rationality and democracy or irrationality and authoritarianism.

Jeff Dorman, Satellite Beach

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Posey's votes, democracy on line, dark money: Letters, Oct. 16, 2022