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THE 2014 RINO REVOLUTION EDITORIAL Among the mossback f a c t i o n o f t h e Republican Party, no sobriquet is considered more pejorative than "RINO" — an acronym for "Republican in name only." The "true believers" of the party (i.e., right-wing zealots who make up the party's core) hurl this epi- thet at any Republican they feel does not pass their ideological purity test. But for those who are registered as Democrats or with no party affiliation (NPAs) — given the Republican stranglehold on local elected offices — the term RINO can be a badge of honor … and a pathway to participation in our somewhat-flawed democratic process here in Sarasota County. For whatever reason, the local Democratic Party does little or nothing to identify qualified prospective candidates for public office or to encourage those individuals to run with both organizational and monetary support. Instead, only the occasional crank or gadfly typically files to run as a Democrat, offering a Hobson's Choice to other Democrats who usually only can vote — or not vote — for the Republican on the ballot. To make matters worse, the local Democratic Party earnestly urges local Democrats to vote for such unlikely, unelectable candidates because they are Democrats. One would hope that, in the 21st century, so-called "Yellow Dog Democrats" would be extinct, but they appear alive and well in the Democratic Party leadership in Sarasota County. So it is up to Democrats and NPAs to be proactive in ensuring their say in the next OPINION

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