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Allred ad touts disputed tax role

Fri., Sept. 17, 2010

BOISE – Another fight has erupted over the accuracy of 2010 campaign ads, with Republicans arguing that Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Keith Allred has no cause to boast about killing Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed gas tax hike.

A recent Allred ad claimed he and his nonpartisan reform group, The Common Interest, “stopped Butch Otter’s gas tax and registration fee hikes” in 2009. But Allred at the time was a lobbyist, not a legislator.

Still, he insists his work that year was critical in undermining support for higher fees. The former Harvard University professor has made his opposition to Otter’s gas tax and registration hikes a campaign centerpiece, saying both would have shifted more of the burden for highway maintenance from heavy trucks to cars.

House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, said Allred is overstating his role.

“That made me cringe the first time I heard it. I was there,” Bedke said of Allred’s TV ad. “I looked at Keith’s group as an ‘after-the-fact’ collector of data from its members. He’d report that data, but rarely did that translate into taking an activist position on it.”

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