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Friday, September 21, 2007

OH-05 Steve Buehrer: Conservative 'Watchdog' Is Bureaucrats' Lapdog

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Republican State Sen. Steve Buehrer is running for the vacant OH-05 congressional seat on his conservative credentials, which means he's an advocate of smaller government. But he apparently likes government officials. Buehrer is pushing to give elected officials -- yes, that would include lawmakers -- and civil servants a hefty break on their state income taxes. Buehrer has signed on to co-sponsor SB 191 in the current session of the Ohio General Assembly which grants a $10,000-a-year tax deduction by 2009 for government workers who get pensions, annuities, allowances, benefits or other payments on account of age or retirement.

Buehrer's opponent in the Nov. 6 GOP primary is State Rep. Bob Latta of Bowling Green.

The Buehrer-backed bill says:

"The deduction under division (A)(25) of this section shall not exceed four thousand dollars for taxable years beginning in 2007, seven thousand dollars for taxable years beginning in 2008, and ten thousands dollars for taxable years beginning in or after 2009."

Buehrer's proposed tax break would cover those receiving checks from the police, fire, teaching, school and public employees of Ohio retirement systems. SB 191 does not cover the general public who get Social Security or private pensions. It does cover military and federal retirees.

Buehrer has received "Watchdog of the Treasury" awards as a conservative who pays attention to government spending and tries to keep it under control. This bill, some would say, makes him look like a lapdog for the bureaucrats and elected officials who work in offices from townships, to City Halls, courthouses and the Statehouse.

Meanwhile, an online publication called The Conservative Voice has written glowingly of his candidacy. But it isn't totally certain of what federal office he is seeking. As you can see by clicking this link the headline and some of the story says it is the House and OH-05. But the 11th paragraph wrongly says it is the U.S. Senate: "As a US Senator, Ohio parents can count on Steve to continue to give American children the education they deserve."

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