Letters to the editor

Congressman Rooney

In 2010, our Congressman, Rep. Tom Rooney, voted against the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010. This bill would have raised the tax deduction on business startups and benefited small business investors in other ways. It passed the House on June 8, 2010, but died because it was never taken up by the Senate. It isn't clear why Rooney voted against it, except that the bill was sponsored by a Democrat.

Rooney voted against the Disclose Act. One purposed of this bill was to protect U.S. elections from influence by foreign investors or foreign corporations. For instance, it would have prohibited campaign contributions from corporations when a majority of the board are foreign nationals. It also prohibited government contractors from making campaign contributions. The Disclose Act was supported by Common Cause, Public Citizen and the League of Women Voters. It was opposed by Planned Parenthood and many business interests. The House passed the Disclose Act on June 24, 2010, but it never became law because it was never considered or passed by the Senate.

One practical effect of the act, if it were passed, is we would know who is paying for all the negative attack ads that appear just before elections.

What kind of laws does Rep. Rooney sponsor? He cosponsored the Economic Freedom Act of 2010, which never passed either House of Congress. Despite the grandiose title, the effect of this bill would be to eliminate capital gains taxes and cut corporate profits taxes. It isn't clear where the lost revenue would be made up. The bill is convenient for investors and corporate executives, but what does this do for economic freedom?

It apparently hasn't occurred to Rooney that endless corporate mergers result in ever larger companies, stifling competition. Whatever stifles competition stifles economic freedom. Rooney has no interest in the environment. On energy, he favors nuclear power but otherwise has no interest in solar or any other alternative to fossil fuels.

Dale L. Gillis


Service hours

Senate Bill 566 by state Sen. Tom Lee proposed a change to the service hour requirement for the Bright Futures Scholarships. This bill, if passed, would allow students who volunteer for political campaigns to count the hours toward the required service hours. This is a wonderful idea for politicians. Free campaign help.

Instead of these kids working at a homeless shelter or Humane Society, they get to be free labor for the very same politicians that are in favor of this change. What a great deal for the people of Florida. You pay for scholarships and your elected officials get to save money running for office.

Further, how many kids of the mostly wealthy politicians will "earn" their taxpayer-funded scholarship working on the campaign of dad or his fellow legislators? Politicians push self-serving legislation all the time. It is rare to see a bill that so overtly benefits these "public servants." This is way over-the-top and the voters of Florida need to call and remind these people who they work for. This propose legislation is ridiculous and should be withdrawn immediately.

Dana B. Orr

Avon Park