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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

George LeMieux sends mixed messages on spending, earmarks

WASHINGTON — From his U.S. Senate office in March 2010, George LeMieux declared he would have voted against the $787 billion federal stimulus "now that we see how little of that money has stimulated the economy."

It was the earliest sign he was abandoning his political patron, Gov. Charlie Crist, and confirmation of his political ambition.

But behind the scenes, LeMieux was trying to secure hundreds of millions in stimulus dollars for Florida, letters he sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation reveal.

As LeMieux mounts his campaign to return to the Senate, the contradictory signals have come into view.

LeMieux, 41, is positioning himself as a rigid fiscal conservative, sounding alarms over government spending and the national debt. He's attacking GOP primary rivals and incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson for seeking millions in funding for local projects. (story here)

[Last modified: Monday, May 16, 2011 3:45pm]


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