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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Exploiting Rubio's tax swap - the flip side

Baxley1_4Baxley2jpg_2You knew this was coming - an attack ad against Republicans who voted for Marco Rubio's tax swap. A mailer goes after SD3 candidate Dennis Baxley.

"Baxley votes for largest sales tax increase in history!--Despite Governor Crist and other Republican leaders opposing it, Baxley voted for a 42% sales tax hike," the mailer says.

It was put out by Conservative Citizens for Justice, which shares an address with the Florida Justice Association (trial lawyers). We're awaiting word from Conservative Citizens, but a trial lawyer lobbyist has helped Baxley's Republican opponent, Charlie Dean. One problem: Dean voted for the sales tax increase, too. It was part of Rubio's overall tax plan that would have resulted in an overall tax decrease. Dean also voted for the insurance bill cited in the mailer.

"Can you imagine presenting Dennis Baxley, the most staunch conservative in the House, as a taxer?" Baxley told the Buzz. "To me, this (mailer) is a big statement on something we need to do about 527s. This is deception from the word go."

UPDATE: Dean, who got one of the mailers himself, said he knew nothing about it or the organization. "I don't like it. I don't condone it," he said. "I expect the same kind of crap will come at me next." Asked if he would call the group and ask them to cut it out, he said that is not his role. "I didn't even ask them to do this. ... I'm busy running a campaign."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:23pm]


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