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It was a close call, but we have a winner in Capitol Alert's latest Caption Contest.

Drumroll, please....

1.) "And kids, this is what happens to the career of Republicans who vote for tax hikes."

The clever reader behind this round's winner is State Net Capitol Journal editor Rich Ehisen.

Ehisen said his entry was inspired by a recent conversation with a Republican Assemblyman about the "perils that the budget season brings for many people in the building."

"I just thought of someone's career going up in flames," he said.

Ehisen won with about 25 percent of the vote. He edged out the runner-up -- "
"And that's how you make $19 billion disappear. Questions?" -- by just one vote.

It should be noted that the Ehisen selected the silver medalist as his second choice, too. He wrote in his vote entry that he wanted to cast a ballot for that one if choosing his own was "verboten."

Lots of readers also liked the "smoke and mirrors" entry. Sadly, only one reader shares the sense of humor of this Capitol Alert scribe, who was hoping the Bobby Flay line would "throw down" in the final vote.

Click here to see all the funny finalist entries.

This was Ehisen's first time entering the caption contest. He takes home a $25 gift card to Temple coffee shop.

Thanks to all who played and voted!

A special thanks to the bureau's intrepid photographer/videographer Hector Amezcua for snapping this shot of Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, participating in an experiment at the 22nd Annual State Scientist Day at the Capitol.

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