Topeka Democratic incumbent Dennis Moore and Republican challenger Phill Kline continue to spar publicly about tax and campaign finance issues in their race for the 3rd Congressional District seat.
Kline is questioning Moore's credentials as a tax cutter, suggesting the Democrat is trying to change his image. Moore's camp says the Republican is "yelling fire where there isn't even any smoke."
Moore's campaign criticized Kline for failing to post his campaign contributions on his campaign's Internet site, something the Republican said he would do last month. Kline called it "a silly issue."
And Moore's campaign tried to rib Kline about a fund-raiser he had Thursday evening at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., noting that as a legislator Kline voted against a speedway bill in 1998. Kline said his vote was being misrepresented.
Moore is seeking his second two-year term in the 3rd District, and Kansas Republicans have made beating him their top priority. The district's voter registration favors Republicans, but Moore took advantage of a split between GOP moderates and conservatives to win in 1998.
Tax relief is a key issue. Kline has pointed to his career as a state representative, during which he consistently advocated large tax cuts.
His campaign suggested this week that Moore opposed legislation to phase out higher federal income taxes for some married couples, despite Moore's vote to override President Clinton's veto of a Republican plan.
Kline's campaign said Moore voted against ending the "marriage penalty" three times, then did a "stunning election-year flip-flop."
It cited two votes in 1999 on a GOP proposal to cut taxes $792 billion over 10 years and a 2000 vote in favor of a Democratic substitute for a GOP marriage penalty bill. Moore later voted for the Republican bill, which offered larger tax cuts than the Democratic version.
Moore spokeswoman Kim Hall replied, "Phill Kline is yelling fire where there isn't even any fire."
Another Moore aide, Jack Martin, said Moore didn't support the big GOP tax bills because they were fiscally irresponsible.
"There was all sorts of stuff in that boondoggle," he said.
Kline said the votes show Moore is no tax cutter.
"Dennis Moore is trying to be something he's not," Kline said. "We get to run on our record, and he's running from his."