Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River) criticized election opponent Ami Bera at a forum this weekend, saying the Elk Grove Democrat supports higher gas taxes. Bera was quick to dispute that, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Both men were sparring over remarks Bera made during a 2010 telephone town hall, when Bera said an increased gas tax was worth considering.
"He wants you to pay more at the pump than you do now, not for infrastructure but for punishing you, because he says as a doctor he knows how that's changed (behavior)," the Sacramento Bee quoted Lungren as saying at the forum.
The Sacramento Bee said Bera "suggested in an interview after the forum that he had been misquoted" in 2010, and his campaign manager disputed Lungren's portrayal of the issue:
"Dr. Bera does not support increasing the gas tax and never has," campaign manager Josh Wolf said in an emailed statement. "In 2010, he was asked if an increase in the tax would help curb consumption and he replied that it would, although he never stated that doing so was a good idea. He didn’t support it then, and he does not support it now because it would be an unfair tax on the middle class."
The Bera campaign declined to comment further on the issue.
Readers, what do you think? Did Dan Lungren mischaracterize Ami Bera's 2010 remarks, or does the audio say otherwise? Leave your thoughts as a comment below.