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Malinowski hits Kean over Paul Ryan fundraiser, Kean hits back

Former House speaker raising money for Republican challenger

By Nikita Biryukov, August 24 2020 3:30 pm

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-Westfield) is getting a fundraising boost from former House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) is less than pleased.

“Tom Kean says he’ll restore the SALT deduction, even as he gets paid by the man whose crowning achievement was taking it away,” Malinowski campaign manager Daniel Fleiss said. “Tom Kean’s loyalty lies with Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and the Washington Republicans who fund his campaigns. He’ll never stand with us.”

Ryan spent five years as House speaker before retiring from Congress in 2019. He presided over the chamber in 2017, when a Republican-led Congress passed a tax bill that capped the widely-used state and local tax deduction at $10,000.

The cap hit blue states like New Jersey, where cost of living and property taxes are high, disproportionately, and 2018’s Democratic challengers, like Malinowski and Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) made the SALT deduction a core campaign issue.

A PAC connected to Ryan was active in Malinowski’s race, and the then-speaker personally came to fundraise for Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) and a handful of other Republicans in vulnerable New Jersey districts.

Kean has backed eliminating the cap.

“The concept of working with people with whom you don’t agree with on every issue is completely foreign to Tom Malinowski,” Kean campaign manager Theresa Winegar said  “That’s why he votes with Nancy Pelosi 97% of the time and why he will never get anything done. Tom Kean has a proven record of working with both parties to solve problems for New Jersey.  Tom Malinowski is a partisan hack who does the bidding of his radical party leadership, including voting to kill tens of thousands of New Jersey jobs.”

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