California Secretary of State Deborah Bowen, the state’s top elected Democrat, has rejected Republican congressional candidate Phil Liberatore’s ballot designation, alleging that Liberatore’s description as "IRS Problem Solver," is overly broad and associated with an entity or organization.

Liberatore, a CPA who calls himself the "IRS Problem Solver" in radio ads promoting his tax resolution services, said he is fighting back:

"I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years advertising here and listeners know me as the IRS Problem Solver who solves problems with the Internal Revenue Service," he said in a statement.

Liberatore is still on the ballot, though, according to spokesman Mike Martin. The ballot provides space for a short description of the candidate and Liberatore had wanted to include “IRS Problem Solver” as part of it.

Liberatore is challenging incumbent Gary Miller, R-Calif., in a district that stretches across three Southern California counties from Mission Viejo to Whittier (see CPA and IRS Foe Launches Congressional Campaign). Liberatore’s campaign highlights Miller's vote in favor of the TARP bailout bills. Liberatore is also a published author whose book, "An Inside Look at the IRS," will hit bookstores this spring.

Liberatore promises an appeal: “This is plainly politics,” he said. “Secretary Bowen knows how much Americans dislike the IRS and she doesn't like the fact that it is part of who I am and is seeking to limit the information that voters can have. I trust voters to make an informed decision about who can best represent them and I am determined to go to Washington to alleviate the influence of the IRS over American lives. This is just the first of many speed bumps ahead placed by career politicians who are fighting change.”

Liberatore isn’t the only CPA running for Congress this year. Joseph DioGuardi is running for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s seat in New York (see Another CPA Announces Campaign).

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