Politics

Senate Hopefuls Adam Hasner and George LeMieux Trade Jabs

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: October 6, 2011 3:55 AM
George LeMieux and Adam Hasner

George LeMieux and Adam Hasner | Credit: Gage Skidmore - Flickr

On Wednesday, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner -- one of the leading Republicans looking to challenge Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012 -- took aim at one of his chief primary rivals, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, for backing a measure allowing banks to raise fees for using debit cards.

The Hasner camp noted that, during his 16 months in the Senate, LeMieux backed a proposal from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., allowing banks to add fees. Durbin’s proposal was part of the Dodd-Frank Act, the largest overhaul of financial institutions since the New Deal. While LeMieux voted for the Durbin proposal, he voted against the Dodd-Frank Act.

"If Floridians are wondering why they will soon be paying more to use their debit cards, they need to look no further than Senator George LeMieux," said Doug Mayer, a spokesman for Hasner, on Wednesday. "Despite his best attempts at political reinvention, his past actions speak louder than his current words. 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."

The LeMieux camp fired back at Hasner, hitting the former legislative leader’s record in Tallahassee.

"Poor Adam keeps getting tripped up by his own record,” Anna Nix, a spokeswoman for LeMieux, wrote Sunshine State News on Wednesday. “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."

Nix added that LeMieux would support repealing Dodd-Frank if he returns to the U.S. Senate.

Earlier in the day, Hasner, who won a straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference event in Orlando last month, unveiled the backing of one of the leading conservatives in the Florida House -- Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando.

Eisnaugle, whose wife, Carrie, is the president of Florida Right-to-Life, announced he is backing his former caucus leader and praised Hasner’s conservative stances on social and economic issues.

"Having both known and served with Adam, I am convinced that he is the best choice for Floridians concerned with the economic and moral direction of our country. His strong conservative record and dedication to supporting pro-life and pro-family issues is unmatched in this race," said Eisnaugle, who represents parts of Orange County. "Adam is exactly the kind of family-focused conservative that Floridians need in Washington to rein in spending, reduce taxes, and work to end decades of fiscal and social irresponsibility."

"Eric's commitment to fighting for traditional family values and limited-government principles stands out as an example of the kind of public servant both America and Florida need now more than ever," Hasner said. "His expertise and leadership will be a great addition to our efforts and I am honored to have his support."

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.


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