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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hasner tries to blame LeMieux for debit card fees



George LeMieux spent only 16 months in the U.S. Senate but that has provided plenty of ground for his opponents to explore. Today, the Adam Hasner campaign is trying to link LeMieux to growing outrage over debit card fees.

At issue, LeMieux's vote for an amendment to the Frank-Dodd financial overhaul that is being blamed for the fees. The amendment, offered by Rep. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., limited the "swipe" fees banks can charge merchants each time someone uses plastic. But banks are getting around that by charging customers instead. Bank of America, for example, said last week that it will start charging $5 a month.

The Chicago Tribune editorial page has branded it the "Durbin fee" (others are calling it a tax) though the lawmaker says banks are just trying to rip people off.

LeMieux voted against the overall bill but Hasner sees an opportunity in the vote on the amendment. "Despite his best attempts at political reinvention, his past actions speak louder than his current words," Hasner spokesman Doug Mayer said in a release. "Voters are tired of establishment politicians saying one thing and doing another, and his support of the 'Durbin Tax' is another example of how Senator LeMieux has made a good living doing just that."

Responds LeMieux spokeswoman Anna Nix: "Poor Adam keeps getting tripped up by his own record. While George LeMieux sided with small businesses, consumers, and retailers and stood up against Wall Street and its lobbyists, Adam was in Tallahassee voting for tax increases, requesting millions in wasteful spending, and accepting cash and campaign checks from the very bank he is now criticizing."

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 2:27pm]


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