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Opposes Ron DeSantis

Editor, The Beacon:

There are many important issues of concern for Florida voters, and two such issues are the environment and health care. While Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum has issued comprehensive policy plans on both subjects, Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate, has offered some ideas on environmental issues, but nothing on improving access to health care.

Since Mr. DeSantis’ time in politics has been to serve three terms in the House of Representatives, we should examine his votes on these two issues to better judge how he stands.

The League of Conservation Voters, which ranks politicians’ votes on environmental issues, found that during his three terms in office, Mr. DeSantis voted a mere 2 percent of the time for legislation that protects the environment. Instead, he voted “yes” on bills that allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and that slash funding for the EPA.

He also voted “yes” on a bill to prevent the EPA from implementing its standards to reduce methane pollution (a greenhouse gas that impacts climate change) from new and modified sources in the oil and gas industry.

Florida is already feeling the effects of climate change, and our air and water quality is important to our health and well-being. During his time in Washington, Mr. DeSantis did not seem concerned with the environmental impacts we face. In light of his voting record, his claims that he will be a “champion for protecting our environment” do not seem legitimate.

According to studies by the Commonwealth Fund, an organization that has worked for 100 years to improve health care in the United States, Florida’s overall health care ranking in 2018 is 48. This means Florida is in the bottom five states of the ranking.

When the Republican-led House of Representatives voted in 2017 to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Mr. DeSantis voted “yes” for repeal. Then, he joined the majority of Republican House members in the White House Rose Garden for the macabre celebration of taking health care away from millions of people, as well as removing the protections for those with pre-existing conditions. The Senate subsequently failed to repeal it thanks to the outpouring of millions of Americans who demonstrated against repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Floridians need a governor who will fight for clean water and air, and be serious about increasing the number of people who have access to health care. Ron DeSantis is not that person.

Anna Santilli


Recommends voting no on Amendment 13

Editor, The Beacon:

On Election Day, Floridians will have the chance to vote on Amendment 13, which would effectively ban greyhound racing in Florida, as well as allowing for free-standing gambling casinos.

Some people have been conned into believing greyhound racing is a cruel and inhumane sport. The organization spearheading this is only interested in your donations, and has collected much money over the years, which supports their lavish lifestyle. They spend little, if anything, on the welfare of any dogs, and they have no plans to assist with the placement of the 8,000-plus greyhounds who will suddenly be “homeless” should Amendment 13 be passed.

As someone who has been involved in greyhound adoption for nearly 20 years, having fostered nearly 200 new retirees, I do not believe these dogs are being abused. When I receive them from the tracks, they are happy, friendly, gregarious, people-oriented dogs, certainly not what one would expect of an animal who has been abused by humans.

I have visited a few tracks. I have visited a few kennels. I have met owners and employees, and I have seen no indications of abuse.

These dogs are not forced to run as some people claim. They run because they love it, and when their racing careers are over, they are handed over to various adoption groups to be placed into loving homes in Florida and around the country. And they continue running because they love it.

Sadly, making greyhound racing illegal will result in illegal greyhound racing. Currently, there are regulations that ensure the welfare of these dogs through periodic inspections and testing. No one can regulate an illegal activity hidden out of public view. There will be no way to ensure the dogs have proper food, water, shelter, veterinary care, etc., and are adopted out when they have finished racing.

There will be no more adoption groups. It will be a horrible life for the dogs, ending in a horrible death, and a sad day for those of us who truly love them.

Please vote no on Amendment 13. Do not believe the propaganda! It will not be good for the dogs.

Suzanne Ewing