DFLers Tuesday chided First Congressional District GOP candidate Randy Demmer for "trumpeting a message of fiscal responsibility and smaller government, while taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in government money for himself."

The First District DFL said his salary and benefits as a member of the Minnesota House along with farm subsidies and small business help since1995 have totaled over $800,000.

But Demmer, R-Hayfield, said the DFL calculations include housing expenses for which he was reimbursed, not income, and that the small business tax breaks were much smaller than the DFL claimed.

Demmer also said his philosophy of less government wasn't at odds with participating in the farm or business programs. "It's exactly what the federal and state governments should be doing, refunding taxes to people in exchange for private sector job creation," he said.