Will Upton

Daily Media Spotlight December 13, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Monday, December 13th, 2010, 4:29 PM PERMALINK

The Daily Beast says he is, “The One Man Who Can Sink Obama’s Tax Plans.”  When it comes to President Obama’s debt commission proposal, which may raise taxes by $1 trillion, $2 trillion, or $3 trillion depending on who you ask, ATR’s Grover Norquist stands athwart yelling stop!  So does the proposal have a chance? “Not if Grover Norquist has anything to say about it. The longtime face of the GOP’s anti-tax wing has been leading a crusade against the commission’s fragile progress through his group Americans for Tax Reform, and budget experts are openly fretting that he’ll sink their proposals before they get anywhere near Congress.”

Warner Todd Huston has a great post at Publius’ Forum taking on the notion that business extenders are earmarks.  He argues, “Many on the left are saying that the business extenders in the deal are pork, or are an earmark, or are even ‘costing the government.’ Ryan Ellis explains why these claims are incorrect re the business extenders… The first thing he mentions is that business extenders aren't new to this tax deal and that they've been around for a long time… In any case, whatever else is wrong with this idea -- such as the pork that is being added every other hour at this point -- the business extenders are not a detraction here.”

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All Formally Declared Candidates for RNC Chairman Confirmed for January 3 Debate

Posted by Will Upton on Monday, December 13th, 2010, 1:07 PM PERMALINK

All four of the formally declared candidates for the Chairmanship of the Republican National Committee (RNC) have confirmed their participation in the Monday, January 3 debate at the National Press Club.  Hosted by Americans for Tax Reform and The Daily Caller, the debate will begin at 1:00 p.m. ET.

As of today at Noon, the formally declared candidates are Saul Anuzis, Maria Cino, Reince Priebus, and Ann Wagner. 

The event details are as follows:

When:   Monday, January 3, 2011 from 1:00 pm – 2:30 p.m. ET (Doors open at Noon).

Where:  National Press Club (529 14th St. NW), 13th Floor, Ballroom

RSVP Required:  debate@atr.org

Hosted by:  Americans for Tax Reform and The Daily Caller

Additional co-sponsors:  The Susan B. Anthony List

Metro, driving directions, and parking information: Click here

Debate Website:  You are encouraged to submit and vote on questions to be asked during the debate at www.RNCdebate.org

Note: ATR hosted a similar debate on January 5, 2009.  The dedicated website for the event – RNCdebate.org – allowed activists to propose and vote on debate questions.  The site drew 60,000 votes on 925 different questions. 

The C-SPAN coverage of the 2009 debate can be viewed by clicking here.

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Daily Media Spotlight December 9, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Thursday, December 9th, 2010, 3:34 PM PERMALINK

ATR president Grover Norquist asks in Human Events: “Will Taxes Doom Obama In 2012?”  He concludes, “…the 'deal' is a truce, not a peace treaty.  Every part of the 'deal' lasts exactly two years.  All the moving parts of the “deal” will be front and center in the 2012 election.  Nothing has been solved.  Every conflict of vision, of policy, of ideology, has been deferred.  Two years… He put the Democrats weakest issue—taxes—front and center in 2012.  And he has made all the tax cuts temporary so as to minimize their help in bringing down unemployment… Evidently he is now getting strategic advice from the folks who thought up Harriet Miers.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman notes, “Tax Proposal Wins Norquist Seal of Approval… With so many Republicans signing Americans for Tax Reform’s ‘no new taxes’ pledge, the judgment of ATR President Grover Norquist matters for the fate of the tax deal cut between Republican congressional leaders and President Barack Obama… And the judgment is, the deal does not raise taxes… ‘We’ve been supportive of it,’ said Ryan Ellis, head of tax policy for Americans for Tax Reform.”

“Estate tax proposal draws fire from conservatives who want full repeal,” is the headline of Russell Berman’s piece in The Hill, “Americans for Tax Reform, the group run by conservative activist Grover Norquist, is supporting the overall Obama-GOP agreement and does not consider the estate-tax provision a tax hike… ‘It’s not a tax increase relative to 2011 in current law,’ Ellis said. He added that like most conservatives, Americans for Tax Reform supports ending the estate tax permanently. Of the broader tax package Republicans are signing onto, Ellis said Americans for Tax Reform is ‘very supportive of it.’… ‘It is not perfect, but it is pretty damn good, and we like it,’ Ellis said.”

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Daily Media Spotlight December 7, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 5:07 PM PERMALINK

Get to know Grover in The Harvard Crimson’s “15 Questions with Grover G. Norquist.”  Some highlights:  “Bush turned around and spent too much, and Obama turned around and said, ‘All those stupid things Bush is doing, we’re going to do 10 times that much.’ So he did stupid on steroids… I want to drop the government in half over the next 25 years, and then drop it in half again. The government’s about 33 percent of GDP, 33 percent of the economy. We want to take it down to 16 and a half percent, then take it down to eight percent, all of which would take us to where we were at the turn of the century.”  

ATR’s own Mattie Corrao is in The Daily Caller proposing a mandated wait period before voting on legislation: “One proposal that is listed in the pledge is a waiting period for legislation, one of the fourteen ways Americans for Tax Reform has suggested the government reduce spending… Putting pending legislation online serves as a warning to policymakers that taxpayers are watching…and reading to see what Congress thinks they can get past the American public.”

In The Wall Street Journal Grover Norquist points out the highs and lows of President Obama’s new tax proposal: “‘The good news is that taxes won’t be increasing on January 1. The bad news is that the uncertainty is simply moved forward two years,’ Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, said in an email to Washington Wire. His group’s website features a ‘Countdown to the Biggest Tax Increase in American History.’ ‘Okay, businessmen and women of America: make long term plans with this uncertainty,’ Mr. Norquist wrote.”

Is putting off the tax debate until 2012 really that smart for Democrats?  The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin asks ATR’s tax policy director Ryan Ellis: “To say that Republicans are triumphant would be an understatement. They won the philosophical point (tax hikes impede economic growth) and, candidly, are more than delighted to have a repeat of this debate for the presidential campaign in 2012. Ryan Ellis of Americans for Tax Reform, which strenuously pushed for extension of the Bush tax cuts, tells me, ‘If 2012 is a referendum on Obamacare and tax hikes, we win.’ Well, there will be lots of other issues, and 2012 in political terms is a long way off. Still, I see his point.”

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Daily Media Spotlight December 6, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Monday, December 6th, 2010, 4:56 PM PERMALINK

Grover Norquist and Rep. Joe Barton argue for controlling spending to reign in and balance the budget in Roll Call.  “Memo to the 112th Congress: Want to fix what’s wrong? It’s really simple and really difficult: Spend less, balance the budget, grow more… The true cost of government to the American people is the total amount of spending. And the only way to reduce total government spending is to do less of it, starting soon… Want to put things right in America again? Get control of government spending, balance the federal budget and restart the economic growth.”

Billy Gribbin, a federal affairs associate at Americans for Tax Reform is in The Daily Caller, “GIPSA chief is finger lickin’ bad…A trial lawyer, Mr. [J. Dudley] Butler is now serving as the Administrator of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), an agency of the USDA tasked with regulating the trade of poultry, livestock, and other agricultural products… Butler took the lead in… whittling down the evidence required to establish that “undue preference” has been shown by meat companies in buying from one small producer or another. This translates into an easier and more profitable job for the plaintiff’s attorneys … The cost of fighting and protecting against such suits will inevitably be passed down to the consumer. J. Dudley Butler operates under what is fast becoming the watchword of the Obama administration: if you can’t beat ’em, regulate ’em.”

ATR friend and ally Chris Freind appears in The Philly Post announcing that “Marcellus Shale Is Not An NBA Player… It's the key to Pennsylvania's future.” Freind continues, “If lame duck Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and his protégé, failed gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato, had their way, the Marcellus Shale industry would have died before ever getting off the ground. Those politicians wanted to impose a severance (extraction) tax on natural gas, as high as ten percent… Thankfully, Governor-elect Tom Corbett, with a No-New-Tax promise being the cornerstone of his campaign, trounced Onorato. In doing so, he slammed the door shut on the catastrophic failure that will forever be known as the Rendell Legacy, and opened a portal to opportunity not seen in Pennsylvania for generations.”

More government intrusion? ATR’s Patrick Gleason explains in The Daily Caller, “Fed up Americans recently united in telling the government not to touch their collective junk and the message appears to be getting through, at least somewhat, as the Transportation Security Administration is reportedly reevaluating the new enhanced pat-down procedure in response to public outcry. But the TSA’s taxpayer-funded grope-a-thon is not the only unpopular policy that received public rebuke last month… One of the most exemplary and least discussed manifestations of this sentiment on election night was voter backlash against soda taxes and the lawmakers who voted for them… A clear trend has emerged and soda taxes have become a prominent example of the public’s disdain for unnecessary government intrusion in their lives and livelihoods. After last month it should be clear to all incumbent and incoming lawmakers that soda taxes are bad policy, bad politics, and should be quickly dismissed.”

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Daily Media Spotlight November 30, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010, 5:01 PM PERMALINK

Grover Norquist appears in The American Spectator with ‘Tea Timing Republicans’: “The Tea Party movement is the fifth major wave of immigration into the modern Republican Party since World War II. The Tea Party movement became the party of opposition and then grafted itself to the backbone of the modern Republican Party as it approached the 2010 elections. The Tea Party movement has proved it strengthens the Center-Right… In contrast to the observation of the results of Stalin's purge trials where it was said there would now be fewer, but better, communists, the Tea Party activism in Republican primaries and the November 2 election will result in more and better Reagan Republicans.

The Providence Journal’s Edward Achorn highlights a recent study by ATR’s own Josh Culling, noting that, “Failing states have Americans voting with their feet… states likely to gain U.S. House seats this decade through growing population and congressional reapportionment — Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington — have significantly lower taxes, less government spending and greater employment freedom than those losing power at the federal level.”

From The Washington Times, a few observations on the evolving race for RNC Chairman: “Behold, a new set of virtues for the Grand Old Party: "Efficient, relevant, professional and credible." So says Ann Wagneron announcing her bid to chair the Republican National Committee… the second declared aspirant to replace current chairman Michael S. Steele. The other hopeful at this point is former Republican chairman from Michigan, Saul Anuzis…” The Washington Times goes on to note, for those remaining undeclared, “Everyone better hustle, though. The Americans for Tax Reformcandidate debate at the National Press Club is just 34 days away.”

In U.S. News and World Report, Peter Roff asks, ‘What Happens If the Bush Tax Cuts Expire?’  Well?  “The folks at Americans for Tax Reform, a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all tax increases, released… a helpful reminder of just what is at stake in the debate over extending the current tax rates, which are set to expire at year’s end… If Congress doesn’t act, everyone who pays taxes will see a tax hike in their first paycheck of the year,” ATRsays. ‘The tax hike will hit the small business sector especially-hard, since small businesses pay taxes at the individual tax rates. You can’t raise taxes on people without also raising taxes on small employers.’”

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Daily Media Spotlight November 18, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Thursday, November 18th, 2010, 3:54 PM PERMALINK

ATR friend and ally Charles Freind writes in The Philly Post, “Re-Elect Nutter? Philly Gets What It Deserves!  … For decades, Philadelphia’s mayors, including Nutter, have shown their terrible table manners by pigging out at the public trough… Finally, that slovenly feast is coming to an end. But if Philadelphia is to ever regain its former glory, if it is to become a lean-and-mean center for innovation and prosperity, then its citizens must first shed their defeatist attitude that an ingrained Business As Usual Mayor can lead them there… Anything less is just … stupidity.”

Jon E. Dougherty at Newsroom America highlights a study done by ATR’s own Josh Culling, “Study Finds Americans Leaving High-Tax, Union-Dominated States… [the] study by Americans for Tax Reform, said ‘the state and local tax burden is nearly a third lower in states with growing populations,’ and that, as a result, per capita government spending is also lower… ATR also noted in its study that ‘in eight of ten losers, workers can be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. In 7 of the 8 gainers, workers are given a choice whether to join or contribute financially to a union.’”

“Save the Date,” from The Washington Time’s ‘Inside the Beltway’: “What with all the handwringing over Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's future in the party, this drama could rival ‘The Secret Storm.’ Or maybe ‘Survivor.’ Those who aspire to replace Mr. Steele will strut their stuff in six weeks at the National Press Club, when Americans for Tax Reform will host a debate among candidates for the chairmanship on Jan. 3… [Grover Norquist] urges bloggers and activists to come up with pivotal questions for the hopefuls, who include former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, Republican National Committee Political Director Gentry Collins and maybe - or maybe not - Mr. Steele himself.”

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Daily Media Spotlight November 16, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010, 4:54 PM PERMALINK

ATR’s Grover Norquist is in Politico’s “The Arena” answering, “Should Obama quit after one term?”  Grover responds, “If Obama announced he would be a one-term president, he might well become ‘the type of leader he promised he would be during the '08 campaign, a uniter who'd transcend the red-state, blue-state divisions in America.’…But we already have two years of painful evidence that the campaign was the lie and the presidency was the man… If -- after two years of disappointing reality -- anyone still believes Obama's character can be found in his campaign speeches and not in his presidency, then we should alert Bernie Madoff that we have found new investors for his plans once he gets out of public housing.”

“Reduce out-of-control spending now” runs as a headline in Politico.  Grover Norquist and Rep. Fred Upton outline their ideas for slashing the spending largesse on Capitol Hill, “A first step for every committee must be to repeal the billions of dollars of unspent stimulus funds in their jurisdiction… We must also stop letting legislation move through the committee process with the opaque, anything goes “such sums as may be necessary” appropriations language… Committees must hold budget hearings for every agency within their jurisdiction, and then, as candidate Obama promised, go line-by-line through each budget to identify potential items to cut. A chainsaw would be the recommended tool of choice.”

Think the debt-commission report is all great and good?  Think again, from Aol News, “10 Political 'Nonstarters' From Federal Debt Panel.”  Coming in at number seven, a federal gas tax hike of 15 percent, “Republicans don't like taxes, so expect them to slam the brakes on this one. The conservative Americans for Tax Reform helpfully estimated the average weekly fill-up for a 15-gallon tank would go up $117 more per year. This one may stay in neutral.”

From The Hill, “The Big Question: Is the Republican ban on earmarks a good idea?”  Grover Norquist responds, “Yes. The Republican ban on earmarks is a very good idea… an earmark is given to a congressman or senator to bribe him or her to vote for a bill they would otherwise reject.  This is a corruption, bribery and a bad idea… The second kind of earmark is when the federal government is doing something that should be done at state or local level… Shut down the entire program at the federal level and require states and local governments to loot their own peasants to fund their own pyramids.”

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Daily Media Spotlight November 09, 2010

Posted by Will Upton on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010, 3:38 PM PERMALINK

Beware the Lame Duck… aka: The Zombie Congress.  According to The Hill, “A bipartisan pair of senators has urged President Obama’s debt commission to consider raising the gas tax to pay for infrastructure projects… Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) have written to the chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform advocating for a 25-cent per gallon tax increase.”  Wasn’t November 2, 2010 about restoring fiscal sanity?  I guess they didn’t get the memo. 

From Politico’s ‘The Arena’, “Keith Olbermann a hypocrite?”  ATR president Grover Norquist responds, “Yes. Keith Olbermann is a hypocrite for attacking NewsCorp, the parent company for Fox News, for financially supporting the Republican Governor’s Association while he himself was sending cash to favored Democrat candidates... Everyone knows that Keith Olbermann is a left-of-center advocate. He is not, and does not pretend to be, a journalist or evenhanded reporter of the news. He is a left wing advocate. And for his team as good as it gets… Better to fight about real things. Should taxes go up? Should the government run your health care? It is less interesting to play gotcha.”

Also from Politico’s ‘The Arena’, “Will taxes rise in 2011?” Grover Norquist responds, “The Democrats have had control of the House and Senate for four years now. Every single morning they woke up and decided not to extend the tax cuts for anyone. Not for the rich. Not for the poor. For no one… If someone had spent four years not doing something…..would you say to yourself….I wonder when they are going to do this? …The Democrats may follow Cleopatra in preferring the asp now to parading through the streets of Rome in January.”

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Why would The Denver Post have an intern do fact-checking?

Posted by Will Upton on Monday, November 1st, 2010, 5:59 PM PERMALINK

Evidently The Denver Post thinks it is a good idea to have an INTERN, Elizabeth Miller, conduct a fact check of a political ad.  The ad, modeled after the numerous attack ads targeting the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and the candidates who have singed it, claimed that Colorado Senate candidate Ken Buck pledged to “ship jobs overseas.” 

In an act by The Denver Post editors – which can only be described as utterly negligent and irresponsible – an article claiming to be a “Political Polygraph” was posted on October 31, just two days before the mid-term election, claiming that the attack ad was true. 

In the interns own words, “So, yes, essentially, Buck has pledged to vote the ATR line, he's reiterated that support since then, and that would mean he's protecting tax breaks for companies outsourcing jobs overseas.” 

There is only one problem with Ms. Miller’s conclusion, it is unequivocally wrong.  And we’re talking more wrong than when people thought the Earth was flat or that Barack Obama would actually lower our taxes. 

Americans for Tax Reform was never contacted by Ms. Miller or The Denver Post concerning their analysis of the attack ad. 

Additionally, it is undeniably obvious that Ms. Miller avoided even the most simple of Google searches on the other attack ads airing around the country… how can I prove this?  See the other media sources refuting the Democrats false smears below:


The Associated Press

Nevada Political Pundit Jon Ralston on ‘Face to Face’

Richmond Times-Dispatch and PolitiFact

King5 TV (Washington)

Arizona Daily Star

The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)


The Jackson Citizen Patriot (Michigan)

Blog: Washington State Impolite

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