I am Voting yes on Amendment 1
Vote your choice on Amendment 2
However, I am voting NO! on Amendment 3
Amendment 3 was placed on the ballot by the Republican state Legislature in a blatant attempt to give Rick Scott the power to gain more control over the supposed non-partisan judiciary.
It is a win-win for Scott and the Republican Party. If Scott loses in November, he would be given the power to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court and other appellate courts before he leaves office.
If he wins in November, he would have the same power in 2019 when he is term limited and leaves office.
The argument that it is designed to prevent a constitutional crisis over whether the incoming or outgoing governor has the power to make the appointments is bogus, since the Supreme Court has issued the advisory opinion that it is the incoming.
To be fair, if Charlie Crist wins, he would have the same opportunity in 2019 when leaving office to pack the courts with his people.
With the Republicans having a huge majority in the legislative branch and holding the governor’s office, the courts have been the only check on the Republicans having absolute power.
The amendment is designed to help remove this last obstacle.
The courts have been the only protection we the people have had in preventing bad amendments from being placed on the ballot, bad bills from becoming law and the state constitution enforced.
The courts cannot be gerrymandered, but a gerrymandered legislature can try to change the laws to manipulate the court system to its advantage.
MARVIN JACOBSON | Clermont
Vote yes on Amendment 1
Concerning a letter to the editor in the South Lake Press on Oct. 1, letter writer Andy Dubois certainly has an interesting concept why residents of Florida should vote against Amendment 1. The only problem is the facts don’t back up any of his statements.
Conservation land is generally undeveloped land. Property taxes are at a much lower rate than those paid for land developed for business or residence, so there isn’t much loss of revenue. That is, of course, the purpose of conservation.
The land is not paved and contaminated with chemicals so water can be filtered into the aquifer to supply drinking water for Florida. The Green Swamp in Lake County and the Biscayne Aquifer of South Florida are two examples. Conservation property does also protect many species of wildlife, flora and fauna.
Mr. Dubois may want to take another look at Monroe, Collier and Franklin counties.
What they all have in common is they are in the top five counties in Florida with the LOWEST property tax rates as of January 2013.
They are wonderful examples of low property taxes with coastal living, diverse populations and conservation to save our water and land.
Only a quarter of Monroe County and half of Franklin County are comprised of land while the remainder is protected water areas.
Collier and Monroe counties are part of the Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve. Franklin County has fishing industry, state parks and several rivers located on the Florida Panhandle.
This conservation of land and water not only supplies us with drinking water, it is a large part of the economy of this state, the reason may people move to Florida, locate their businesses here and certainly a major tourist attraction for our state.
Not only does conservation of land and water not raise property taxes, Amendment 1 does not create a new tax.
The funding is a percentage of the current stamp tax paid when a home is sold. Amendment 1 just makes sure the money is dedicated for land and water conservation and cannot be diverted by the Florida Legislature. We have found conservation is not high on the list of priories for our Legislature.
Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, Amendment 2 (2014)