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It was Joseph-Marie, the Count of Maistre, who observed more than two centuries ago that people get the leaders they deserve. If no one of virtue and conscience cares to hold office, and voters acquiesce to subterfuge and electoral sleight-of-hand, the results are sadly predictable. Let us hope in 2014 that is not the case in Sarasota County. % To the Editor: In the Feb. 28 article On your mark, get set …, the reporter incorrectly used the phrase "Republican" machine when writing about my statement regarding my being a target of the local "political" machine. There is a big difference between the two. The reporter was referring to comments I made at the Village Walk Republican Club meeting in response to an attendee's ques- tion regarding an incident that made the news media last year. Before the meeting, the woman asked about a local political player who stole my identity to make illegal political contributions in my name. It is true that he was a Republican and his attempt was to dis- credit me among fellow Republicans. The fact is he did not do it to advance a Republican agenda or for any Republican cause. The Republican Party was not involved or aware of his actions. The fact is there are local influential people who use politics as an end to their greedy means. They want to control the political scene to advance their personal agenda. I am known as someone who will not bend to their wishes, and for this reason, they tried to derail my political plans. In this crime, the Republican Party also became the victim. Since the news broke last week, I've had to explain to people that the local "political" machine is not a "Republican" machine. As members of a community, we should con- demn the actions of this political machine but make sure we don't mischaracterize an inno- cent group in the process. Lourdes Ramirez Siesta Key LETTERS TO THE EDITOR LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader wel- comes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone num- ber of the writer. Letters should be emailed to, with "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line. Let- ters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other fac- tors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader. ARTICLE INCORRECTLY ATTRIBUTED ACTIONS TO 'REPUBLICAN' MACHINE OPINION Sarasota News Leader March 7, 2014 Page 105

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