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Not really surprising, for the 2nd week my LTTE was not published in the Lake County Leader.  [See Part 1 in the left column for clarity].  I wrote an email to the editor, Ms. Ramos, and to the reporter for the “Heart and Soul” story, Mr. Gray.  I asked if it would eventually be published.  Mr. Gray replied by email and said, “As we do with all of our letters, we checked yours for accuracy to ensure that the figures you mentioned were valid. After looking into it, we found a few of the numbers included in your letter to be untrue.”

He then elaborated in his email (this is paraphrased) by explaining that the $64,000 for Darlis and Daniel Smith was “only” $16,000 per person annually over two years.  He also told me I was “inaccurate” to say that GPCF and Polson were to put up $140,000.  He gave details, including going to the trouble of naming cash donors, ultimately stating the figure is $100,000.  He also offered to “discuss this matter and/or [their] letter policy with [me] over the phone.”  I called immediately.

The conversation began with Mr. Gray explaining the policy of not printing inaccurate information.  I told him I agreed, but also told him I was confused.  We talked about the math calculation:  $16,000 x 2 x 2 = $64,000.  He was of the opinion that I should include that the payout was over two years.  I told him I would revise the statement, but reminded him that what I had stated was NOT untrue [and thought to myself…he just didn’t like it].

Mr. Gray then said it was the other figure that was really a problem ($100,000 or $140,000).  I asked him where he got his information.  He conceded that he talked to city hall [does he mean Todd Crossett?] and Heart and Soul [does he mean Darlis and Daniel Smith?  These are the individuals who gave the false and misleading information in the first place!]  I told him I had the budget in front of me, read the column totals, which indeed added up to $140,000.  He didn’t have a relevant comment but asked if he could see a copy of the budget.  I said I would scan it and send it within minutes.  The email message sent with the budget attachment included, “After your review, please let me know if you see other needed changes.”  I was referring to the revision offered to mention that the $64,000 was paid out over two years.

Result?  Thus far, I have not heard anything more.  I sent the letter again and asked that it be published.  Will the LTTE be printed in the Leader on August 9th?  Would anyone care to participate in the poll?

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