Don't vote for a bully in November
When Americans look around the world, who are the leaders we condemn?
Vladimir Putin, obviously – and also Xi Jinping, Viktor Orban and others who are bullies.
Now who are the global leaders we admire?
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, obviously – and many others who, like the Dalai Lama, fight for freedom.
As we apply the same lenses to our own country, who are the American leaders who have been bullies?
Donald Trump, for one: he was someone who would punish and fire people who disagreed with him, and then refuse to fill their positions with qualified replacements.
Who are the American leaders we have admired?
Certainly Bill Clinton and Barack Obama: both are ranked among our more popular presidents. Clinton and Obama embraced healthy discussion and dissent, and they even appointed people from the opposing party to serve in their administrations.
Now ask yourself this question: Where do Gov. Ron DeSantis and his opponent, Charlie Crist, fit among these categories?
You should think long and hard about this question before you vote on Nov. 8.
Wylie Crawford, Sarasota
Nuclear energy is the best choice
There is a global problem on the horizon, and it is energy.
The world economies cannot exist without energy on demand.
Recently I watched an ad on television that cited wind and solar as key sources of energy.
But there is only one proven source of energy available on demand that is not dependent on the weather, and that is nuclear energy.
Yes, wind and solar need to be included in the energy mix – but they are dependent on the weather.
Difficult times are on the horizon now that Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to shut down major energy sources, in the form of oil and natural gas, to much of the West.
Our country will continue to provide energy, but we must be aware that it will not be enough while gas and oil prices keep rising.
Nuclear produces zero emissions, and it has been a major source of energy for the countries like Germany and France.
Kenneth Bowers, Sarasota
Remembering Pete Antonacci
Pete Antonacci, who served as a Florida deputy attorney general and held many other roles during his distinguished career, personified ethical public service.
He was always fair and frank, and he always had a keen sense of upholding justice.
Pete intensely examined the complicated issues he was assigned to study, and he never equivocated when giving his interpretation of the facts at hand.
I sought Pete’s counsel on youth justice policy issues.
During my several meetings with him over the decades, I always came away better informed – and greatly inspired to take next steps forward.
County clerk celebrates our Constitution
Recently my office celebrated Constitution Week, which is held every year from Sept. 17 to Sept. 23 to mark the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.
The Constitution established three co-equal branches of government, creating a separation of powers and a system of checks and balances. This system of checks and balances ensures that no one branch of government has too much power.
Our state Constitution mirrors the federal constitution in many ways, but it also includes critical government oversight at the local level.
In 1838, the Florida Constitution established a clerk and comptroller as an independent constitutional officer and elected public trustee, creating a system of checks and balances at the county level. Independent oversight guarantees residents that expenditures are lawful and policies are being followed.
I serve as Manatee County's clerk of the circuit court and county comptroller. We perform more than 1,000 different constitutional and statutory functions and duties that increase with legislation, regulation and reporting requirement changes.
This office is home to a dedicated group of accounting experts, auditors and clerk staff who provide the necessary oversight of the county's finances and policy.
As we look forward to celebrating Constitution Week in 2023, please know that your clerk and county comptroller's office is protecting the public trust by the constitutional authority granted to oversee the tax dollars of "we the people."
Angel Colonneso, Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller, Manatee County
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Florida voters need a leader, not a bully; nuclear energy is vital