Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CD6: The STACHE Act Becomes a Campaign Issue // Delaney, Afzali and Brinkley Weigh in on $250 Mustache Tax Credit

Maryland Juice has been covering the evolving debate surrounding the STACHE Act, a proposed law that would grant mustached Americans a $250 tax rebate on hair-care products. News outlets recently reported that 6th Congressional District Rep. Roscoe Bartlett would send the bill to the House Ways & Means Committee for further study. Various contenders for the CD6 race are now using the STACHE Act as a campaign issue. MSNBC today reported:
MSNBC: The American Mustache Institute claimed Tuesday that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett had lent his support to the 'Stache Act, which calls for a tax deduction of up to $250 a year for facial hair grooming.
But Bartlett's office said he never supported the measure. Staffers said Wednesday that they only forwarded a copy of the proposal to the House Ways & Means Committee, without the congressman's knowledge, after receiving a media inquiry about it. That led the institute to believe Bartlett, who has long had a mustache, supported the measure.

"For the record: Roscoe is pro-stache, but he does not believe Americans should pay for people's personal grooming decisions," Bartlett's chief of staff, Deborah Burrell, said in a statement....
At least one of Bartlett's Republican primary opponents is criticizing him over the facial hair flap. The longtime incumbent faces several challengers in the 6th District, which was redrawn to include more Democratic voters.'
The American Mustache Institute, meanwhile, issued a statement faulting Burrell for what it called a "shameful reversal...."
State Delegate Kathy Azfali, who is challenging Bartlett in next month's primary, said the 'Stache Act situation was a sign that the 10-term incumbent had lost control of his staff and "is out of touch with voters."

Roll Call reported on additional candidate reactions:
ROLL CALL: It was quite the situation Tuesday when word spread that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) was supporting the American Mustache Institute-backed Stimulus to Allow Critical Hair Expenses Act....

Lawmakers on both the left and the right were unimpressed, although they might be the only ones.

“Serious times demand a serious Congressman,” Don Murphy, a spokesman for state Sen. David Brinkley, who is challenging Bartlett in the primary, tells HOH.

“If you believe that ‘stached’ men should get a tax break due to the expense of maintenance, [then] should bald men, with less maintenance, pay a surtax?” he asked. “And where’s the break for women? … If [Bartlett] would like to lobby for tax breaks for ‘million-hairs,’ we suggest he do so as a private citizen, not as a Member of Congress....”

“This bill isn’t funny,” said Will McDonald, a spokesman for John Delaney, a Democratic candidate for Bartlett’s seat. “This is exactly why so many Americans want new leadership in Congress.”

Long live this story.

LONG LIVE THE STACHE ACT! Come on, this is pretty damn funny. Maryland Juice shout-out to Bartlett aide Lisa Wright for keeping it real. What's wrong with a little humor here and there? Have you seen the ridiculous bills that lawmakers sponsor? Seriously! Official Maryland Cookie Day or whatever.......

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