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Monday, Nov 24, 2014

Officials: Sarasota GOP leader charged with stealing rival’s name


SARASOTA — A former leader of Sarasota’s Republican Party has been accused of stealing a GOP rival’s name to make donations to the campaigns of President Barack Obama and other Democrats.

Investigators said Robert Waechter wanted to make Lourdes Ramirez appear to be a disloyal Republican and hurt her possible campaign for the Sarasota County Commission.

Waechter, 71, was accused of buying a prepaid debit card in Ramirez’s name last year and using it to make donations to Obama and Democratic congressional and legislative candidates, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported. Those donations could have been used against Ramirez in a Republican primary.

Waechter was charged with fraudulent use of personal identification. The former member of the Sarasota County Republican executive committee is scheduled for trial in January. He has declined to discuss the charges.

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