Oregon Republicans are furious with Democrats for accusing them of backing a 30% sales tax - and they've got reason to be mad, because they're not doing anything of the kind.
A mailer sent by Future PAC, the campaign arm of Oregon House Democrats, claims that three GOP House candidates - all in the Portland area - support a 30% sales tax. Such a claim is sure to open the eyes of Oregon voters, to whom the very thought of a sales tax is toxic.
The basis for the claim? Well, the three Republicans are members of, or have appeared at events hosted by, the right-wing group Americans for Prosperity. And that group, the Democrats say, has backed a proposal to replace the federal income tax with a national 30% sales tax.
Let's see if I can follow this logic: Because the Republican candidates have some tenuous connection with a group that supports the sales tax idea, THEY must support it too.
The Democrats' claim actually is even sketchier than that, because former Oregon Republican Rep. Jeff Kropf, head of the Oregon chapter of Americans for Prosperity, told The Oregonian that although individual members might support the 30% sales tax, the organization itself has taken no position on the issue.
Americans for Prosperity, which is guiding and organizing the supposedly "grassroots" Tea Party movement, is a thoroughly sleazy outfit, bankrolled by the ultra-right-wing multi-billionaire Koch brothers, and I wouldn't even consider voting for anybody who was associated with it. But if Democrats wanted to let voters know the Republican candidates were linked to the group they could have simply said so. To claim they're supporting a 30% sales tax is just plain dishonest - and smacks of desperation.