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Oops: Florida Dem Mailer Reveals GOP Challenger's Social Security Number

12:25 PM, Sep 20, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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The Florida Democratic Party sent out a mailer this week that disclosed the Social Security number of a Tea Party favorite in Florida's 22nd District race.

Allen West, who rose to national prominence on the strength of a 2009 speech that went viral on YouTube, is a retired Army Lt. Col. running against Ron Klein, a Democrat elected to his first term in 2006.

Florida Democrats' latest attack on West is likely to produce more backlash than erosion of West's support:

The Florida Democratic Party sent out a mailer last week detailing Republican congressional challenger Allen West’s 2005 tax lien and court orders to pay delinquent credit card bills. West is challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Klein.

The mailer includes a reproduction of the $11,081 tax lien filed against West in Marion County, Indiana, and paid off four months later. The document, pulled from public records, includes a column titled “Identifying Number” that shows West’s nine-digit Social Security number. Although the number isn’t specifically identified as a Social Security number, West campaign manager Josh Grodin said there is no mistaking what the number is.

West called it an "unprecedented new low in American politics."

Well, not entirely unprecedented. Two DSCC aides fraudulently acquired then-prospective senate candidate Michael Steele's credit report in 2005 using his Social Security number. The FBI investigated the two aides.

West also challenged Klein in 2008. An April poll in the district showed West up two points.

Klein has attacked West as a "right-wing nut," but has also been forced to take some right-leaning positions of his own, coming out in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts. Obama, and possibly Pelosi, will travel to the disrict for a fundraiser Oct. 11, giving Klein a bunch of money and West another talking point.

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