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Lugar accuses tea party rival of cheating on taxes

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Ramping up his game as he nears one of the most worrisome elections of his 36-year career, Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican, has released a new radio and television ad accusing his tea-party-backed primary rival of cheating on his taxes.

Forced to attack state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who trails him by single digits, Mr. Lugar implied that Mr. Mourdock filed for a homestead exemption he knew he didn’t qualify for.

“For years, Richard Mourdock received $45,000 in illegal second homestead tax deductions,” the ad says. “Mourdock, our state treasurer, claims he didn’t ‘notice’ he was cheating … yet, he studied his tax statement closely enough to appeal his assessed value.”

“Then, once a candidate for U.S. Senate, Mourdock conveniently decided to pay his taxes. Richard Mourdock — the more you know him, the less you trust him.”

Backed by ads from the conservative group Club for Growth and armed with an endorsement from the Tea Party Express, Mr. Mourdock is giving the once-popular senator a run for his money in the May 8 primary.

If Mr. Mourdock wins, Democrats see a possible opening for Rep. Joe Donnelly to beat him in November and help shore up their Senate majority.

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