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Sen. candidate Aaron Bean: I didn't vote for illegal immigrant-tuition bill. But he did.

With the entire state Capitol Republican power structure behind Aaron Bean for Senate, perhaps someone could brief him on his votes from his time in the Florida House.

Or perhaps someone could make him read the PolitiJax blog that, two days ago, reported on his May 2, 2005 vote for HB 6005 that could have given in-state tuition breaks to some illegal immigrants. It's the subject of a hard-hitting third-party ad produced by Republican for Floridians for Ethics and Truth in Politics, which is backing opponent and state Rep. Mike Weinstein.

“It’s disappointing when they don’t tell the truth," Bean said this morning on Jacksonville’s WOKV radio (sound here). "You know, just this week, they’re making crazy claims that Aaron Bean is in favor of illegal aliens getting reduced tuition, and nothing, Rich, could be further from the truth. Never have [I] supported that, never will support that, but that’s the claim that the other side is making in our race, and that’s just crazy.”

Crazy indeed.

Bean was the subject of an attack ad about illegal immigration and, by wrongly denying it, ensured the creation of another attack ad that questions his honesty and his diligence as a lawmaker. The folks at Floridians for Ethics and Truth in Politics just got an in-kind contribution. From Bean.

Any other answer probably would have been better. He could have mentioned that other top House Republicans (current U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and current congressmen David Rivera, Sandy Adams and Dennis Ross) also voted for it. So it's ok.

Or he could have pointed out that, under the bill, illegal immigrants aren't expressly named. So it's confusing. (Never mind the press reports at the time).

Or he could have said that only a few illegal immigrant kids could have gotten the tuition break because it was so limited (students had to be here for three years, been enrolled in a public college of some type and filed an affidavit stating that they'd "file an application to become a permanent resident.")

But, instead, Bean did the ole other-guy-is-lying routine.

At this rate, Weinstein doesn't need Floridians for Ethics and Truth in Politics. He might be able to rely on Bean to beat Bean.

Bean's campaign issued a written statement saying: ""Aaron Bean did not believe that the legislation extended benefits to illegal immigrants, and it is evident that he was not the only one that believed this at the time of the vote. "To avoid any future confusion let me be clear, Aaron Bean does not support extending any benefits to illegal immigrants. He did not then, and he does not now."

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