Two More New York Republicans Stand Up To Grover Norquist's Tax Bullying
Two new GOPers are standing up to Conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist and his stubborn "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," and they're both New Yorkers.
Upstate GOP congressmen Richard Hanna and Chris Gibson have both said they will not adhere to the guidelines of Norquist's pledge. Gibson signed the pledge last year when he was a newly elected congressman. Hanna has steered clear of it in the past, and says he won't sign on now.
The two join a growing list of opponents and defectors of Norquist's pledge, including notable Republican members of Congress like Long Island Representative Peter King and senators Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss.
"You swear an oath to the Constitution," Hanna tells the Oneonta-based Daily Star. "That's enough."
He went on to say "I know a lot of people are walking away from it. They did what they did in the moment. I'm not sure anybody thought about the full ramifications of signing the pledge. They have the right to reflect on the decision and change their mind. They should have every right to say: 'I did it then and it was OK then but it's not OK now.'"
Norquist's pledge is basically a promise to their constituents that lawmakers won't vote to raise taxes under any circumstances. If a candidate refuses to sign the pledge -- or fails to live up to its requirements once elected to office -- Norquist moves heaven and earth to make sure that person isn't elected (or re-elected) to Congress.
As we've noted in prior posts, Norquist's basically the Scut Farkus of the Republican Party.
In the last Congress, 95-percent of Republicans signed the pledge, and were subject to Norquist's bullying. But as the country approaches the so-called "fiscal cliff," a number of Republicans are changing their tune.
As Congressman King explained over the weekend, "if I were in Congress in 1941, I would have signed a declaration of war against Japan. I'm not going to attack Japan today. The world has changed, and the economic situation is different."
As we reported yesterday, Norquist responded by taking a shot at King's wife.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.