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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Eric Eikenberg: Opposition research meister?



Our erstwhile colleague, Peter Wallsten, writes in the Wall Street Journal today about the Charlie Crist-Marco Rubio battle in the U.S. Senate's Republican match-up.

Note this section: "We will begin to let folks know of the record -- both records," said Eric Eikenberg, who Monday left his job as Mr. Crist's gubernatorial chief of staff to take over operations of the Senate campaign.

One thing to hit Rubio on: Taxes. Rubio supported a sales-tax swap to replace homestead property taxes. Crist folks said it was tantamount to a tax increase. What they might not say: Crist backed a similar proposal last year (amendment 5) before the state Supreme Court threw it off the ballot.

Anyway, so much for ignoring Rubio.

A major Crist backer said Eikenberg was supposed to join the campaign after the New Year, but he had to sign up early. "They didn't expect Rubio to rise this quickly," the source said. "They're nervous." Rubio supporters say Eikenberg is no maestro. Look at his involvement in U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw's 2006 and George LeMieux's 1998 runs for office. Both lost.

-- Marc Caputo

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:26pm]


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