Saturday, September 11, 2010

Candidates point fingers over tax policies

In the competitive 7th Congressional District race, the major-party candidates and their supporters have been criticizing their opponents about everything, including tax policies, in recent news releases.

Ed Bradley, chairman of the Upper Darby Democratic Committee, recently called Pat Meehan, the Republican candidate in the 7th Congressional District race, “a hypocrite” for supporting Maureen Carey, vice president of the Upper Darby School Board who is a candidate for state representative in the 164th district.

Meehan has criticized his Democratic opponent, state Rep. Bryan Lentz, D-161, of Swarthmore, for supporting the 2008-09 state budget, which included $1 billion more in spending than the previous year.

Lentz, on the other hand, has argued that the spending increase went toward education in places like the Upper Darby School District.

“Out of one side of his mouth Pat Meehan is criticizing Bryan Lentz for supporting state budgets that boosted funding for education, while out of the other side he’s praising a Republican candidate who raised property taxes relentlessly to fund school budget increases that her school board was passing,” Bradley argued in a release. “It’s hypocritical and the worst kind of politics imaginable. The stand that Pat Meehan takes on funding the education of our children shouldn’t depend on what letter a candidate has after their name. This is the same kind of political thinking that the Republican Party used in backing Pat Meehan’s career as a law enforcement official even though he lacked the experience to prosecute cases.”

Virginia Davis, Meehan’s spokeswoman, called Bradley's statement an "accusation by Bryan Lentz's supporters."

The Meehan campaign also recently criticized Lentz on tax policy. The news release stated that during a visit with a small business last week, Lentz retreated on what tax cuts should be extended.

“Either Bryan Lentz is realizing his policies are bad for our district, or he’s pandering to different constituencies. Either way, he has some explaining to do,” said Bryan Kendro, campaign manager for Meehan, in a release. “For months, Lentz has been opposed to extending tax cuts for those making over $250,000, but when confronted by a voter, he sang a different tune – perhaps realizing that his tax cut policies are not only bad for the economy but bad for families and small business owners.”

When confronted by a Daily Times reporter about whether he was retreating on his view of the tax cuts, Lentz said, “My position from the beginning is there should be a priority to have tax cuts for the middle class citizens because they are the ones who will invest in the economy.”

Lentz said there could be some flexibility for citizens who make between $250,000 and $1 million, but not for citizens who make over $1 million. “We shouldn’t add to the deficit so millionaires can have a tax cut,” he said.

Meehan, on the other hand, has said there should be tax cuts for both the middle class and also those making more than $250,000 because he believes they are the ones will make investments in the economy.

“This is the wrong time to be talking about raising taxes on anybody,” Meehan said during a joint debate in late August.


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