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Posted February 14, 2005 at 6:22pm

Ned Monroe has been hired by the National Restaurant Association to be its vice president of political affairs. [IMGCAP(1)]

Previously, Monroe served as director of political affairs for the Associated Builders and Contractors, where he was responsible for a $1.8 million federal political action committee.

Before that, Monroe served as political director and deputy campaign manager for Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), executive director of the Republican Party of Florida, deputy regional political director for the Republican National Committee and Virginia campaign manager for George H.W. Bush for President.

Monroe will report to Lee Culpepper, the association’s senior vice president of government affairs and public policy.

Tax Time. Political donors could be in for a tax break if Rep. Tom Petri (R) gets his way. That’s because the Wisconsin lawmaker is planning to reintroduce his bill to provide a tax credit of $200, or a deduction of $600, for like-sized contributions to federal candidates.

Both limits are doubled for joint tax filers, and the tax benefits would also apply to contributions to the national parties.

While noting the “slow death of the presidential check-off,” Petri acknowledged in a “Dear Colleague” letter this week that candidates and parties have experienced a recent boom in hard-money contributions from small contributors.

“It is time that Congress recognize the shifting tastes of America’s small campaign donors and enact legislation to foster the expansion of this trend,” Petri wrote.

For Financial Literacy. Reps. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas) and Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) will announce today the creation of the Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus.

The caucus is being created to provide a forum for Members of Congress to promote policies that advance financial literacy and economic education. The caucus aims to identify and analyze legislation of interest, host roundtables and other educational forums, organize and promote events such as a “Financial Literacy Month,” and provide a focal point for communicating with the Senate and executive branch.

“I urge my colleagues to join me and Congresswoman Biggert on the Caucus so that we may begin to help our constituents by reviewing policies that could help secure their financial independence and security,” Hinojosa said in a statement.

The announcement will be made at a 10 a.m. press conference in Room 2220 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

— Louis Jacobson, Amy Keller and Amanda Arcuri