WASHINGTON (AP) — Richard Carmona arrived in Washington a political novice in 2002 and left four years later scarred and frustrated. He didn't go quietly.

A year after his term as the nation's 17th surgeon general, the one-time $500 campaign donor to President George W. Bush turned on the administration, telling Congress that mid-level GOP appointees orchestrated his appearances for political gain and muzzled him on hot-button issues like stem cell research and sex education.

As investigators for a Democratic-controlled House committee looked into his allegations back then, one of those appointees returned the criticism, accusing Carmona of taking excessive trips on the taxpayers' dime to his homes in Arizona and California.

The brouhaha is being refought now that Carmona, running as a Democrat, is given a chance of taking away a Senate seat Republicans have held for almost two decades.

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