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Political Pulse: Zoller strikes back at Collins, calls him a big spender
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She said it was coming.

Martha Zoller’s campaign launched its own offensive this week against an opponent in the 9th District U.S. House race, former state Rep. Doug Collins.

She’s calling him a big spender that the country can’t afford.

Collins’ team has had its missiles pointed at Zoller for months, saying the former radio show host had a soft stance on social issues conservatives care about. And Zoller, who promised at a forum last month that she would soon start focusing on his record, delivered this week in a barrage of daily news releases targeted at Collins.

“We can’t afford anymore Republicans like Doug Collins that act like conservatives on the campaign trail and tax like Democrats behind closed doors,” Zoller said in the statement.

Zoller is attacking Collins for two votes in favor of a bill that would have taxed hospitals 1.45 percent of the revenue from their patients, making the payments to the state quarterly.

The tax was Gov. Sonny Perdue’s proposal to fill a hole in the Medicaid budget.

The original bill never passed, but a compromise, which included hikes on dozens of fees, included hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks for wealthy senior citizens and property owners.

The tax cuts were what Collins’ campaign focused on this week in its defense.

“Georgia’s seniors received a $150 million tax break, state property taxes were decreased by $95 million and Medicaid was protected to provide services for those who needed it the most,” Loree Anne Thompson, a spokeswoman for Collins, said of the final bill passed in 2010. “Martha Zoller’s time would be better spent researching current Georgia law rather than focusing on legislation that never even made it to Gov. Perdue’s desk.”

But Zoller’s folks say the end result isn’t the point.

“Now Doug Collins, being the professional politician and trial lawyer that he is, will surely offer the slick response that the final bill passed was actually a $347 million tax cut,” said Zoller campaign manager Ryan Mahoney. “What he won’t admit is that the original bill that he voted for was a straight-up tax hike.”

Ashley Fielding is the senior political reporter for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:


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