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Political tools and privileges

May 30, 2008

Re "Prickly issue," editorial, May 27

Former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez has been audited by the Franchise Tax Board, and none of the expenses were for personal use. All were for official purposes, as the law allows.

Perhaps if The Times had focused on that, our office would not have received the more than 2,000 hate-filled letters and e-mails laced with racially offensive language that led to Nunez's comments, which The Times incorrectly assumed were an attack on the newspaper.

Unfortunately, racism and sexism are widely used as political tools. Both Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton can tell you that. So can Nunez. He is correct, notwithstanding the false assumptions of the Times editorial board.

Steven Maviglio

Deputy chief of staff

to the Assembly speaker

Sacramento

--

When Nunez first took office, I detected a chip on the shoulder. His cries of racism have revealed this chip -- ethnocentricism and perceived victimization. It is pathetic for a man in his position who has been caught abusing his privileges to pawn off criticism as a racist attack. If he had any notion of seeking higher office, he just doomed his chances. America doesn't have the stomach for Nunez's brand of divisiveness. Nor should Sacramento.

Tara Murphy

Arcata

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