Hopefuls for Kennedy seat spar on taxes, fees

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“I’ve been called a lot of things. I find it quite amusing that I’m being called a big government spender,” he said, adding it is Mrs. Coakley who will follow in the “tax and spend” tradition of Democrats.

A Coakley campaign spokesman conceded that “while she didn’t have a vote, she did not oppose those budgets.”

While Mrs. Coakley spent another day out of sight, Mr. Brown made a campaign stop at a brewery in the city’s South Boston neighborhood to pick up an endorsement from National Federation of Independent Business, which represents more than 7,000 members in Massachusetts.

Mrs. Coakley also made a pitch for the small business vote by unveiling a middle class, small-business tax-relief plan.

The plan calls for providing small businesses with extra capital, spurring job training by supporting a job training tax credit and increasing tax credits for businesses that hire veterans.

The proposal also includes making permanent a $2,500 college tax credit and increasing tax credits for child care.

Joseph L. Kennedy, a Libertarian running as an independent and no relation of the late senator, is also seeking the seat.

Mr. Kennedy died Aug. 25 of a brain tumor.

Wednesday is the last day to register to vote in the special election, which is scheduled for Jan. 19.

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