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The ugliness has started. Sort of.
Until now, Congressman Allen West has remained almost silent when it came to actually having an opponent in the race for the District 19 congressional seat -- though Democrat Patrick Murphy followed him up there after West bailed on District 22 for friendlier demographics.
Those big spenders? On the right, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; on the left, the smiling face of Patrick Murphy, getting inexplicably blamed for expiration of tax cuts that he most certainly had nothing to do with. West's graphics have gotten really snazzy the past few months, but this glittering, ominous poster is one of the best, albeit one of the most confusing. What did Murphy, a certified public accountant, do to help along "Taxmageddon"?
"President Obama and the big spenders in Congress are planning 'Taxmageddon' on Jan 1 2013 -- after they've had to face the voters of course," West wrote.
He's referring to the expiration of numerous Bush-era tax cuts on personal income, capital gains, and dividends, plus several other tax breaks. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke yesterday warned that if Congress didn't intervene, the economy was going to take a swift punch to the face
Murphy campaign manager Anthony Kusich confirmed that this was the first time West has acknowledged his opponent in print and said Murphy is not planning a Taxmageddon.
"If there is one candidate in this race that understands how to ease the tax burden on the middle class, it's the CPA and small-business man," Kusich said, adding that Murphy is "definitely in favor of repealing the Bush tax cuts on the upper-income earners."
While this wasn't a substantive hit to any of Murphy's actual beliefs or proposals, it's the first volley -- more than six months before Election Day -- in what's going to be a long, ugly fight.