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June 23, 2006

McGavick and the Ted Stevens strategy

Posted by David Postman at 3:43 PM

Mike McGavick's campaign just issued a press release to announce that Senate Republicans will maintain the state sales tax deduction from the federal income tax:

In a meeting yesterday, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee told Mike that state sales tax deduction provisions will be included in upcoming tax legislation.

Grassley also just hosted a fundraiser for McGavick. And this is the second time that McGavick's friends among GOP senators have helped him take credit for D.C. action. He's trying to become the non-incumbent incumbent, getting credit for the good things while continuing to criticize the dysfunctional nature of Congress.

Just like with his letter to Ted Stevens in March about oil tankers, McGavick says the Senate is doing what he asked.

From the release:

Mike sent a letter to Senator Grassley last month asking that the deduction be included in a future tax package.

"There have been reports that in the near future, the Senate intends to take up a second tax package and that extension of the state sales tax deduction may be included," Mike said in his letter. "Inadvertently raising taxes on Washingtonians and the residents of the other seven states who would benefit from the extension is not the right course to keep local economies growing."

The deduction had earlier been removed from pending tax legislation, prompting Washington's Democratic senators to speak out. "Patty Murray blamed Republicans for making no commitment to what she calls an issue of fundamental tax fairness," the AP reported, and Cantwell called the decision "outrageous."

McGavick's grab for the spotlight may not sit well with Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, either. He has been the state's foremost proponent of keeping the deduction and is credited with saving it for the previous two years.

The issue has come up in a Senate race before, and caused tension among the delegation.

UPDATE: Cantwell spokeswoman Charla Neuman says by e-mail that Canwtell and Baird were responsible for extending the deduction and have been fighting to make it permanent.

"Anyone who knows this issue knows that a permanent deduction is the only way to ensure Washington families truly get tax fairness. They have been working with their colleagues on both tax committees to make sure Washingtonians will continue to receive this tax deduction. It's a shame that it's become a political toy on the other side of the aisle, but the important thing is Washington families get the tax cut they deserve."

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