On readers' minds: Making contact with politicians

Lots of questions and comments from you guys lately. So here goes …

Scott, I wanted to pen a letter to Bill McCollum and was wondering what you call the attorney general. — Ross

Well, I call him worthless. But the formal salutation would be "General McCollum" or "Attorney General McCollum."

Scott I want to call Gov. Crist and let him know what I think about the budget. What's the best number? — Betty

It's 850-488-7146. Speaking of which, the last time I spoke to the governor by phone, it didn't go so well. I had left a message for him a couple of weeks ago. And the next morning, my cell phone rang — at 6:25 a.m. Usually I'm up by 6. But this day, I was in the midst of deep sleep. So I hear the ring, fly out of bed like my sheets were on fire and answer the phone in a voice that sounded like a bullfrog with a mouthful of gravel. "This is … um … Scott." On the other end is a voice peppier than a high-school cheerleader: "Hi Scott!! It's Charlie Crist! I know it's early! But I was up and running! So I thought I'd call now! I didn't wake you, did I?" I'm not sure what it is about that question that makes us all lie. But we do. And I did, saying something about how I'd been up for hours and had already run a few errands. Then we did the interview. Whatever that man drinks in the morning should be illegal.

Scott, thanks for your excellent column on the budget cut of Healthy Families [the state's program to prevent child abuse]. I firmly believe that when you write columns such as this, you not only inform the people, but also spur them into action. — Paulette

Let's hope so, Paulette. Silence often means consent.

Read the story:

Florida slashes program preventing child abuse

Care to redeem your paper?   Might I suggest adding a Conservative columnist …? I know they are hard to find coming out of Journalism Schools where Liberals and Progressives, not to mention Marxists, have indoctrinated young minds for generations. — Joseph 

How true, Joseph. Back in J-School, all my professors stressed that every story should answer the five W's (Who, Where, When, Why and What's the best way to promote revolution and destroy capitalism?). You're also right about the conservative columnists. If only the Sentinel would carry conservatives like Charles Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg, George Will, Kathleen Parker, and … oh, wait, we do. Not to mention we have one of the most conservative (and talented) editorial cartoonists in America in Dana Summers, whose pieces are re-run by conservative media nationwide. And we have an ed board that has historically endorsed Republicans over Democrats about 2-1. But yeah, other than that …

Hey Scott, how about a campaign to get the Marlins and Jaguars here in Orlando, since they are both dying where they are? — Bobby

Bobby, if those guys want to spend the money to move up here and pay for their new home, then, by all means: Welcome to Orlando! But I'm not a fan of taking another half-billion dollars from taxpayers to subsidize millionaire athletes and their billionaire team owners. You might try asking Mike Bianchi, though. He has never met a tax-money giveaway for athletes he didn't like.

We do not need you and your [expletive] column. Your mother would be ashamed of you. — Asa

When she reads about me lying to the governor, you might be right.

Another good column today [post-traumatic stress among veterans]. Our vets need help — and have been needing. — Ralph

You're right, Ralph. The military needs to take a more pro-active role when our soldiers return from combat. And our politicians need to address these issues in more meaningful ways than Memorial Day speeches during campaign season.

Scott, I think too many good people in this state are just not paying attention, because if they did, then we would not have so many clowns in office.Patricia

Patricia, please don't sully the reputation of clowns. Unlike Florida politicians, clowns are entertaining and make you feel good … well, except for those ones who paint on sad faces. I've never really understood that. I mean, who the heck wants to see a sad clown?

Scott Maxwell welcomes your letters and phone calls (at the office … during work hours) at 407-420-6141 or smaxwell@orlandosentinel.com.

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