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The nephew of former President John F. Kennedy demanded Wednesday that Republican Linda McMahon cease running an advertisement that uses Kennedy's likeness to push for the extension of 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, including on the wealthiest of taxpayers.
Edward M. Kennedy Jr., of Branford, said in the letter that McMahon's ad is "dishonest because it distorts the legacy of President Kennedy in order to mislead voters into thinking that President Kennedy would support your position on tax policy."
The ad, which is posted to the campaign's YouTube account and titled "A Good Idea Then and Now," is a ploy to bring "false legitimacy" to McMahon's position on taxes, Kennedy wrote, and an "attempt to conflate (McMahon's) economic policies with President Kennedy's in order to capitalize on his legacy."
"Please stop misleading voters," Kennedy added.
A message seeking comment on the letter was sent to the McMahon campaign Wednesday afternoon.
When John F. Kennedy supported lowering income taxes in the early 1960s, the country had "virtually no deficit" and a top marginal rate of 91 percent, the younger Kennedy wrote. He also said that Kennedy's call for tax cuts was aimed to boost the income of the middle class. McMahon has said she agrees with Republican leaders that all of the Bush-era tax cuts must be extended, including on the wealthy, rather than just those aimed at businesses and middle-class taxpayers, as President Obama and McMahon's opponent, Richard Blumenthal, have suggested.
"By refusing to extend tax cuts to middle class families until the wealthiest Americans get tax cuts, you endorse the policies of President George W. Bush, not the legacy of President Kennedy," the younger Kennedy wrote.
Kennedy is the son of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. He is an attorney and investment banker and a president of the Marwood Group, an investment firm headquartered in New York City.
The younger Kennedy has given to Democratic politicians in the past, including his father and brother, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I. Edward Kennedy Jr. endorsed and campaigned for Democrat Ned Lamont in the party's primary for governor this summer.