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Readers take on concerts, legislators, no-bid deals

Scott, I was thrilled to see your column regarding the Taylor Swift concert tickets. My daughter was online at home, ready to purchase, and I was the same at work. We both hit the button to purchase the tickets, and one minute after....GONE! She called me crying as she did not score one. Debby

Debby, the truth is: You and your daughter never really had much of a chance. Long before sales opened to the "general public," more than 10,300 of the 12,100 tickets had been sold to insiders and those with connections. You and thousands of others were just competing for scraps.

Scott, thanks for framing the issue in a new and relevant light by highlighting how it's really a matter of taxpayers being cheated when this stuff happens at a venue that we paid for. Jeanne

That's the key for me, Jeanne. If it was a private venue, I wouldn't care who got special access.

Weak article. This is how free market capitalism works. Mark

Mark, your note bolsters my belief that many of those who scream loudest about "free markets" don't even understand the concepts they are screaming about. Free-market capitalism would be artists and promoters building their own venues, risking their own money and reaping the rewards — not profiting off a taxpayer-funded venue.

So how do we game the system? Bill

Well, Bill, the only sure-fire way is to buy higher-end season tickets to the Orlando Magic. Those are the only folks guaranteed the option to buy many tickets. But there are some other tricks scalpers use — accessing certain credit cards and email lists — that I'm sharing at orlandosentinel.com/takingnames.

Can we fix this? Sue

Orlando could follow the lead of other venues and look at ways to short-circuit the professional scalpers (like paperless tickets tied to the credit cards used for original purchase). But at a minimum, the city should come clean and disclose how tickets get distributed for each show. Give the people who own the arena a fighting chance.

I have to tell you that the article you wrote on churches — about the good we don't read much about — was your best.  Normally, when I see your name, I read the first few lines and realize that I don't want to read any further "trash." Cynthia

Um … thanks.

Scott, I dig your idea about boosting the pay for legislators, so that regular folks can serve, too. At first, it sounded counter-intuitive, but if we get more truly civic-minded people, it could save money in the long run. Janice.

That's the idea, Janice … though I realize it's a big "if."

They should be paid by the day — not annually. Raff

No, Raff! The last thing we want is to encourage these guys to do is spend more time legislating.

Scott, I like your idea for a pay boost for our bozos in Tallahassee. Considering the amount of mayhem they produce while in session, why not pay them $100,000 for the first 20 days — and then start deducting $10,000 for each day thereafter. Lou

Now you're talking, Lou.

Scott, you were right when you said a lot of people would think your idea was stupid. I'm one. Jim.

Ha-ha! You said I was right.

Scott, I read your piece with great interest regarding the no-bid deal on software for Orlando.  As a former contracting officer, I am appalled at awarding an $8.7 million contract without a competitive bid. You stated that council members should take a stand against no-bid contracts. True. But they should also investigate … and take appropriate action. Donna.

Donna, you are a hoot! The City Council actually question the mayor?? Take action?? Good one.

Scott, I enjoy your columns. While I don't always agree with your positions, I do read for insight.  Besides, if I think you are spot on 50% of the time and have your head up somewhere dark the other 50%, that isn't half badBill

Actually, Bill, that's exactly half-bad. Still, I'll take it.

smaxwell@tribune.com

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