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Will clunker ‘hypocrisy’ be a speed bump to Congress?

So far, dealers challenging for Congress have a good record.

They're three-for-four in Republican primary races. Mike Kelly won Tuesday in Pennsylvania, and Tom Ganley and Jim Renacci won in early May in Ohio. And the odd man out, Indiana's Bob Thomas, may have a second chance after the opponent who defeated him, U.S. Rep. Mark Souder, resigned because of a sex scandal.

The fifth challenger, Scott Rigell in Virginia, is a front-runner in his Republican race. That primary is June 8.

All the dealer challengers told me in March that they're fiscal conservatives. All told me they would have voted no on cash-for-clunkers legislation. But they submitted sales through it anyway. And now that's causing headaches on the campaign trail.

According to yesterday's USA Today, their opponents are criticizing the dealers for railing against taxpayer bailouts when they themselves benefited from clunkers. "It's the hypocrisy of it," Rigell opponent Ben Loyola told the paper.

The dealer candidates defend their participation, saying they owed it to loyal customers and employees to participate in the only incentive moving the metal during last summer's doldrums.

Can you imagine how much emptier their showrooms would have been then if they'd said no?

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