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Virginia Lifts Ban On Ridesharing Companies Uber And Lyft

Posted by Peter Fricke on Friday, August 8th, 2014, 12:00 PM PERMALINK

Virginia announced Wednesday that it would grant temporary operating authority to ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft, allowing them to operate legally in the commonwealth.

In response to concerns about insurance coverage and passenger safety, Virginia sent cease-and-desist letters to Uber and Lyft on June 5, which both companies initially vowed to ignore. (RELATED: Uber, Lyft Defiant in Face of Los Angeles Ban)

The cease-and-desist orders were withdrawn as part of an agreement that “will help ensure the safety of passengers, bring the companies into compliance with Virginia law, provide transparency into their operations, and promote a level playing field for transportation providers,” according to a statement on Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s website. (RELATED: After Virginia’s Uber Ousting, Is DC More Free Than the Old Dominion)

“In order for Virginia to remain economically competitive,” McAuliffe said, “it is important that we welcome innovative companies like Uber and Lyft and provide them with the resources they need to safely and effectively operate in the Commonwealth.”

Attorney General Mark Herring portrayed the agreement as an equitable compromise, saying ridesharing companies “offer services that Virginians want, but it just wasn’t acceptable for them to operate without complying with regulations or other measures to help ensure the safety of passengers and motorists.”

Spokesmen for Uber and Lyft celebrated the agreement, saying it would ensure the safety of consumers while still embracing innovation. Dave Estrada, VP of Communication for Lyft, said the agreement “maintains the highest level of public safety while expanding consumer choice.”

Representatives for the transportation industry, however, do not believe the agreement adequately addresses their concerns. (RELATED: Houston Sting Catches Uber Drivers Accepting Street Hails)

The Taxicab, Limousine, and Paratransit Association (TLPA), an industry trade group, sponsors an initiative called “Who’s Driving You”, which claims on its website that ridesharing companies fail to perform sufficiently rigorous background checks on their drivers, and that the “surge pricing” they employ is equivalent to “price gouging”.

Dave Sutton, a spokesman for Who’s Driving You, released a statement saying, “it is well known that Uber and Lyft have unsafe insurance and background checks,” adding that, “despite these glaring safety risks, Virginia is allowing these companies to provide taxicab services to citizens. Buyer beware.”


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Summer Reading: Internet Access Taxes

Posted by Michi Iljazi on Friday, August 8th, 2014, 10:47 AM PERMALINK

When school ends for many children, their teachers assign summer reading to help them to be prepared for the next school year.  In that spirit, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) will be assigning crucial summer reading for Congress so that they are prepared when they return from their five-week summer recess. With not much time left between now and the November midterm elections (less so this year since Congress is only scheduled to be in session from September 8 to September 23), the clock is even more limited than usual. The first installment of our ‘Summer Reading’ series centers on internet access taxes.

Congress took a major step earlier this year in making sure that internet access taxes would end for good when they passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (view the House bill here) on a voice vote. TPA urged every member of the House of Representatives to vote YES on the legislation.  The passage of the legislation was a welcome development in what has been a very long battle. However, the work is only halfway done as now the Senate must take action and pass their version (view the Senate bill here).

Underscoring the need for Congressional action in both the House and the Senate, TPA joined with nearly 30 other groups in April signing a letter urging support for both the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3086) and the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (S. 1431). The letter, which was bipartisan, laid out the case for why internet access taxes must be stopped:

Internet taxation affects all Americans from all political views and all walks of life. From healthcare to education, small business entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, the Internet has dramatically transformed the way everyone lives, works, and learns. In 2010, the Internet accounted for an estimated $684 billion, or 4.7 percent of all U.S. economic activity. While the Internet was a nascent technology when the current moratorium was established in 1998, it has become the economic engine driving innovation and growth in our 21st century economy. Throttling that engine at a time when our economy is struggling hurts not only those trying to invest in America’s future, but also those who can least afford it and have the most to gain from the Internet’s potential.

TPA continues to support S. 1431, the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act. The legislation is being sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and like the House version, it would make the ban on internet access taxes permanent. Now that one chamber of Congress has acted, it is time for the other chamber to do their part.

Here are some reasons why the ban on internet access taxes must become permanent before it expires November 1, 2014:

1.  Internet Access Taxes Will Harm Middle Class Families

2.  Internet Access Will Harm Education, Innovation, & Commerce

3.  Preventing Internet Access Taxes Has Bipartisan Support in Congress

4. Fifteen Years Have Passed Since The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA)

5.  Congress Keeps Renewing the Moratorium, Time to Make it Permanent

6.  Internet Access Taxes Make a Complicated Tax Code Even More Complicated

If those reasons aren’t enough for the Senate, look what happened when TPA took to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. earlier this summer. In a video featured on, TPA spoke to everyday people from all across the country about the possibility that they may be hit with a tax just for going online, unless Congress moved quickly to stop it from happening.

TPA, and the Internet Tax Freedom Act Coalition (ITFA) have continued to work on behalf of millions to highlight the importance of keeping the internet tax free. Last month a major victory was achieved in the House with the passage of PITFA. Now, the focus and pressure must move to the Senate as they have legislation ready and waiting for action. November is approaching and the tax moratorium will expire, unless the Senate follows the House's lead, TPA urges them to enact bipartisan legislation that will prevent Internet access taxes from becoming a harmful reality for all Americans.


Michi Iljazi is the Communications and Policy Manager with the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on Taxpayer Protection Alliance and was republished here with permission.

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Obama Donor Mellody Hobson Concedes Corporate Tax Rate Is Too High

Posted by Jeffrey Meyer on Thursday, August 7th, 2014, 4:14 PM PERMALINK

Here’s something you don’t see every day, a donor for President Obama admitting that America’s corporate tax rate is too high.

Mellody Hobson appeared on CBS This Morning on Thursday, August 7 to discuss pharmacy chain Walgreens’ decision to keep its headquarters in the United States. The CBS News contributor opined that even though she agreed with the company’s decision she acknowledged that in America “it's still the highest tax rate of any developed nation.”


The segment began with co-host Charlie Rose promoting how “President Obama says lawmakers are working to keep American companies from shortchanging taxpayers” before playing a lengthy sound bite of the president criticizing companies who switch their citizenship to reduce their tax burden. 

Rose then turned to Hobson who cheered Walgreens’ decision to remain in the United States:

They're making a long term decision. I actually think in this situation they made the right decision. Because the other thing the U.S. Government has said, they may come back retroactively and tax some of these companies.

As the discussion continued, CBS’ Norah O’Donnell was the first person to lament how high America’s corporate tax rate is:

Since 2011 there’s been something like two dozen firms that have relocated. They save billions of dollars in tax money. I can remember when I was covering the White House two years ago this was a topic for the Obama Administration. Lowering corporate tax rates and still nothing has been done.

After being prompted by O’Donnell, the Obama donor concluded her remarks by admitting that the U.S. is hurt by having the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world: 

Now compare that to someone like Ireland, a country like Ireland which is 12 and a half percent. You have a lot of these companies, particularly those that derive a lot of revenues overseas saying maybe I get a better deal by being somewhere else but everyone looks at this and says this is an arms race. You could lower the rate and then there's still going to be another country with a lower rate and maybe someone still defects.   

See relevant transcript below. 



CBS This Morning 

August 7, 2014

NORAH O’DONNELL: Walgreens made a costly decision in more ways than one. America’s largest company is keeping its headquarters in the U.S. The store’s parent company called simply Walgreen considered a move overseas where it could pay a much lower corporate tax rate.  

CHARLIE ROSE: Investors didn't like the choice. Walgreens’ stock dropped more than 14 percent in the past 2 days. President Obama says lawmakers are working to keep American companies from shortchanging taxpayers. 

BARACK OBAMA: These accountants are saying, you know what? We found great loophole. If you just flip your citizenship to another country, even though it's just a paper transaction, we think we can get you out of paying a whole bunch of taxes. Well, it’s not fair. It's not right. There is legislation working its way through Congress that would eliminate some of these tax loopholes entirely. 

ROSE: CBS News contributor and analyst Mellody Hobson is in Chicago. Walgreen is based in Illinois. Melody good morning. 

MELLODY HOBSON: Good morning.

ROSE: So why did they decide not to relocate?

HOBSON: I think they looked at the tax savings, which is huge, $4 billion they could save. They compared that to the backlash growing, the concern. People feeling that these people who use this technique called an inversion, inverters are deserters we’re now hearing people say. They looked at that. And then they also looked at the revenues that they derive from the U.S. government specifically Medicare and Medicaid which represents $17 billion of their revenues and they said maybe we shouldn’t put that in jeopardy. 

O’DONNELLL: And what about the stock getting hammered? 

HOBSON: Well the stock got hammered because a lot of the investors say we don’t get this added profitability from this tax savings. And so they thought over the short term this doesn't look great for them. I think they're making a long term decision. I actually think in this situation they made the right decision. Because the other thing the U.S. Government has said, they may come back retroactively and tax some of these companies. 

O’DONNELL: Melody, I mean since 2011 there’s been something like two dozen firms that have relocated. They save billions of dollars in tax money. I can remember when I was covering the White House two years ago this was a topic for the Obama Administration. Lowering corporate tax rates and still nothing has been done. Why and what does it mean for U.S. companies? 

HOBSON: Right, so the U.S. tax rate has come down over the last couple decades. It was high as 46 percent at one point on the corporate side. It's now 35 percent. But it's still the highest tax rate of any developed nation. Now compare that to someone like Ireland, a country like Ireland which is 12 and a half percent. You have a lot of these companies, particularly those that derive a lot of revenues overseas saying maybe I get a better deal by being somewhere else but everyone looks at this and says this is an arms race. You could lower the rate and then there's still going to be another country with a lower rate and maybe someone still defects. So it's not just a question of tax policy. 

O’DONNELL: Alright, Mellody Hobson good to see you. Thank you so much.


Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on NewsBusters and was republished here with permission.

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Coming to a Friday News Dump Near You: The Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax Form

Posted by John Kartch, Ryan Ellis on Thursday, August 7th, 2014, 12:14 PM PERMALINK

The IRS recently released a batch of Obamacare-related draft tax forms for the 2014 tax year. Conspicuously absent from this collection is a form to calculate one’s penalty for noncompliance with Obamacare’s individual mandate.

ATR fully expects this draft tax form to be released in a Friday news dump during the dog days of the August recess.

It is clear from the new draft 1040 form already released that every American filing an income tax return will have to attest to their compliance with Obamacare’s individual mandate.

In the “Other Taxes” section of the draft 1040 form, line 61 reads: Health care: individual responsibility (see instructions) 

Line 61 is underlined in the graphic below:

The expected Friday-news-dump individual mandate compliance tax form will, at a minimum, contain:

  • The name and health insurance identification number of the taxpayer.
  • The name and tax identification number of the health insurance company providing the “qualifying” coverage as determined by the federal government.
  • The number of months the taxpayer was covered by this insurance plan.
  • Whether or not the plan was purchased in one of Obamacare’s “exchanges.


When the draft tax form is finally released, it will be posted here. 


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None of Obamas darn business! I don't want the government in my healthcare. I pay for my own healthcare, I don't want their "exchange" version. I was perfectly happy with my coverage pre-Obamacare, Now I pay significantly more for less. I want the government out of my life.

Philly Mayor Wants Schools Dependent on Smokers Not Quitting

Posted by Alexander Bobroske on Thursday, August 7th, 2014, 9:52 AM PERMALINK

Faced with an $81 million school budget deficit, Philadelphia is hoping for $45 million in revenue from a $2 per-pack cigarette tax increase. This seemingly quick fix is misguided for a number of reasons.

The Pennsylvania legislature must authorize a local tobacco tax increase in Philly, and this week Pennsylvania House leadership decided not to call a vote due to a lack of consensus. While Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is in panic mode over the legislature’s delay, it’s good that lawmakers are taking a step back.

First, Philadelphia should not be making education funding increasingly reliant on more people smoking. Second, such a tax hike would be borne by those who can least afford it, as the average income of smokers is well below the overall workforce average. Third, tobacco taxes are a declining and volatile source of revenue. Tobacco taxes often miss their revenue projection due to the ease of tax evasion and they incentive black markets. Even if Mayor Nutter gets his tobacco tax hike, it will likely only serve as a placeholder for future tax hikes on the general populace.

Additionally, Philadelphia’s school budget problems are on the spending, not the revenue side of the ledger. The Commonwealth Foundation recently published findings on Philadelphia school district spending over the last decade. Since the 2002-2003 school year, revenue for the school district has increased by over $1 billion to $2.97 billion. Meanwhile, there has been no improvement in testing scores since 2009, and a staggering 80 percent of students are not proficient in both math and reading.

Mayor Nutter stated there will be 1,300 face layoffs as well as a delayed start to school if the money isn’t given to them. The numbers tell another story.

Over the last decade there already have been layoffs in the schools despite a $1 billion revenue increase. Philadelphia has witnessed a 6.71 percent decrease in teachers per classroom as well as a much more staggering drop of 25.32 percent in enrollment. That has brought the student teacher ratio down to 15.63, far lower than the predicted 40 students in a classroom Nutter is predicting.

philly schools spending per adm

Why the drop in students? Because families are fleeing the district. Currently 44,000 students are on waiting lists for better performing charter schools. The problem lies not in lack of tax revenue, but with the education system itself. Higher taxes will not rectify the achievement gap of Philadelphia students compared to those across the country and globe.

After being hit with over 20 federal tax increases over the last five years, the last thing Philadelphia needs is higher taxes at the local level. Only reform, not more revenue, will cure what ails Philadelphia schools.


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ATR Releases List of 2014 State Pledge Signers Ahead of Elections in Tennessee

Posted by Jorge Marin, Will Upton on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014, 4:11 PM PERMALINK

As the Tennessee primary approaches, Americans for Tax Reform has released a new list of state legislative and state-wide candidates seeking office who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. These candidates have shown a strong commitment to their state’s taxpayers by putting their convictions against new and/or higher taxes in writing. Please show your support at the ballot boxes on Thursday, August 7th.

The list for Tennessee is as follows:




  • Mae Beavers (S-17)
  • Jack Johnson (S-23
  • Bill Ketron (S-13)
  • Randy McNally (S-5)
  • Steve Southerland (S-1)
  • Harry Brooks (H-19)
  • Kevin Brooks (H-24)
  • Glen Casada (H-63)
  • Bill Dunn (H-16)
  • Jeremy Faison (H-11)
  • Steve Hall (H-18)
  • Beth Harwell (H-56)
  • Ryan Haynes (H-14)
  • Matthew Hill (H-7)
  • Curtis Johnson (H-68)
  • Kelly Keisling (H-38)
  • Jon Lundberg (H-1)
  • Steve McDaniel (H-72)
  • Steve McManus (H-96)
  • Dennis Powers (H-36)
  • Courtney Rogers (H-45)
  • Charles Sargent (H-61)
  • Tony Shipley (H-2)
  • Mike Sparks (H-49)
  • Terry Weaver (H-40)
  • Rick Womick (H-34)




  • James R. “Jim” Finney (S-29)
  • Matt Swallows (S-15)
  • Dan Howell (H-22)
  • Tonya Miller (H-53)


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Liberal Billionaire To Flood Washington, Florida With Green Campaign Cash

Posted by Michael Bastasch on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014, 2:58 PM PERMALINK

Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer is already targeting states for his $100 million spending spree to make global warming a top issue in the November elections. Democrats in Florida and Washington are likely to see a huge funding boost from Steyer and his climate activist groups.

Florida Is Drowning In Campaign Cash

Steyer, a former hedge fund manager turned eco-activist, is gearing up to take on Florida’s multi-millionaire Republican Gov. Rick Scott in his bid for reelection this fall.

Expecting a costly race in the Sunshine State, Steyer has set up a Florida headquarters for his activist group NextGen Climate Action and given it $750,000 in seed funding to lay the groundwork for his anti-Scott campaign this fall. The Miami Herald reports that Democrats are “buzzing” that Steyer could dump $10 million into Florida this fall.

Steyer plans to make sea level rises a key component of his plan to defeat Gov. Scott on the issue of global warming. Environmentalists and scientists argue that as the Earth warms, sea levels will rise, submerging many coastal regions.

“It’s hard to look at the map of the United States and not understand that not only is Florida ground zero for climate [change], it’s the third most-populous state,” Steyer told the Miami Herald.

“When you think about why this is an important state to be in, it’s because it’s actually a linchpin,” said Steyer.

But Rick Scott has his own strategy for fighting off Steyer’s attacks: spend $1 billion on environmental conservation. His plan would fund things like land and water conservation and protecting the Everglades. Scott would also spend $50 million a year on “alternative water-supply projects and another $50 million a year for natural springs restoration” as well as increasing fines for polluters, reports the Daily Commercial.

Scott’s plan has won the approval of some local environmental groups who want to see the state’s water resources receive more funding. Democrats have called the effort a phony attempt to please environmentally conscious voters.

“We agree with Governor Scott that we need to invest in protecting Florida’s water quality, the Everglades, and our treasured natural areas,” Will Abberger, campaign manager for the Florida Water and Land Legacy — a group backed by major environmental organizations.

But environmentalists say that while they agree with Scott’s efforts, they believe a pending state constitutional amendment would go farther in protecting Florida’s water resources.

Steyer’s group NextGen Climate has already conducted polling and plans big ad buys across a wide variety of mediums to defeat Scott. NexGen will also funnel lots of money to field groups that can motivate voters to get to the polls.

The Miami Herald, however, notes that Florida is the most expensive state to campaign in given its status as a swing state. In fact, in the 2010 election cycle Scott spent $75.1 million of his own money to get elected. This election cycle, he has already spent more than $20 million on TV ads, while his opponent Charlie Crist and his fellow Democrats have only spent $5 million.

Inslee, Steyer Bet On Oysters For Victory This Year

Across the country, Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is using the plight of oyster farmers as his rallying cry for action on global warming. Inslee is betting that oyster farmers and millions of dollars from Steyer will be his ticket to becoming the most climate-conscious U.S. governor.

Inslee hopes to use Steyer’s millions to defeat sitting Republican lawmakers opposing his plans for a cap-and-trade in Washington state. Past efforts to pass cap-and-trade through the state legislature have failed, forcing Inslee to take a cue from President Obama and use executive orders to impose climate policies.

In April, Inslee issued an executive order to create a state cap-and-trade program after signing an executive agreement with other Democratic West Coast governors to unilaterally impose global warming policies.

Inslee’s plan would create a state cap-and-trade regime, phase out coal power and increase funding to green energy projects. The move was highly controversial, but Inslee swore it was needed for the state to meet its 2020 environmental goals.

Now the Democratic governor hopes to fund the campaigns of sympathetic lawmakers to get legislative backing behind his global warming agenda.

“Having a change in the State Senate would be a quantum shift in our ability to move forward,” Inslee said.

Steyer has yet to name which state Senate candidates his activists will target, but The New York Times reports his strategists are “eyeing about half a dozen key seats that could tip the majority of the State Senate in favor of Mr. Inslee’s agenda.”

Currently, the Washington state Senate has 24 Republicans and 25 Democrats, two of whom actually caucus with Republicans. This has put a damper on Inslee’s global warming efforts. Steyer’s money could help tip the balance of power back to the Democrats.

“Mr. Steyer has not said what he will spend in the districts, but his previous pattern indicates it will be hundreds of thousands of dollars for each candidate — a huge amount for a Washington State race,” The NY Times reports.

Republicans, however, have been quick to point to the fact that Democratic efforts are being pushed by a wealthy out-of-state donor, something which rubs many Washingtonians the wrong way.

“It’s ridiculous that money coming from outside the state is trying to influence our votes,” Rick Tjoelker, a mechanic in Lynden, Washington, told the Times.

But Inslee hopes that his support from Washington oyster farmers will give credence to his cause. Oyster farmers are being told by scientists and eco-activists that global warming will increase ocean acidity and harm their oyster crops.

“We can attribute the problems in the oyster hatcheries to the increased carbon in the ocean,” Terrie Klinger, a professor of marine affairs at the University of Washington, told the Times.

“We have a nursery where we’ve set oysters continuously, but now they can’t develop a healthy shell,” Paul Taylor, a five generation oyster farmer, told the Times. “Right now, it’s just hurting the babies, and in a controlled environment, we can manipulate the chemicals to get those through. But I don’t know at what levels of acidification the adults won’t grow. That unknown is very scary.”

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Today: Houston City Council Amendments Will Decide Fate of Uber, Lyft

Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014, 9:07 AM PERMALINK

Today, the Houston city council will meet to consider a series of changes to Chapter 46 of the city code that would finally allow ridesharing services to legally operate. Though long overdue, the vote is a significant step forward for a city that earlier this year issued citations to Uber and Lyft drivers as part of a police sting operation. 

But threats loom. Some council members bent on shielding the city's entrenched taxi industry have loaded up the meeting agenda with regulation-laden amendments. 

As is, the reform package would promote much-needed competition in the Houston transportation marketplace. But the amendments, if passed, would severely kneecap new entrants and only serve to protect existing taxi companies fighting tooth and nail to preserve the status quo.

Click here to continue...

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Minnesota Republican Jeff Johnson’s ‘Read My Lips’ Problem on Taxes

Posted by Paul Blair, Jorge Marin on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014, 3:29 PM PERMALINK

Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson seems to think that run-of-the-mill politician promises are enough to prove his bona fides for November’s election. In his bid to secure the Republican nomination he has refused to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to Minnesota voters. The Hennepin County Commissioner stated, “I’ve never voted for a tax increase… As governor, my philosophy will not change.”

Here lies the “Read My Lips” problem. He isn’t the first person claiming to reject higher taxes while refusing to put it in writing for voters. Take Virginia’s disgraced ex-governor Bob McDonnell. When he ran for governor in 2009, he said, “I’ve been a firm believer that I’m gonna tell you exactly what I think… that I’m going to stick to my word.” He went on to say, “I have no plans to raise taxes” after refusing to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The Washington Times questioned this approach. He went on to make a tax deal with Democrats and ended up being taken to the cleaners. He signed the largest tax increase in Virginia history into law during his final year in office.

Should voters really be concerned about Mr. Johnson though? In a recent interview with the Minnesota Post Johnson claimed that “[He] do[es] believe that we need to broaden the sales tax base and lower the sales tax rate.” Will it be revenue neutral? Or will taxpayers get sacked? Taking Jeff Johnson at his word isn’t something voters are likely going to do in this political environment. He should be careful that this does not become his “Read my lips moment.” It would be easier to believe that his reforms would be revenue neutral if he allowed taxpayers to have it in writing.

Sadly, it seems Mr. Johnson is unacquainted with the political realities of tax hikes.

And the father of all politicians who thought they could play fast and loose with their campaign promises, George Bush Sr. Not even a president is exempt from keeping his word. Though he was Reagan’s chosen successor, as well as the president who oversaw the downfall of the Soviet Union and the president during a popular war, it was his tax policy which doomed him. After foolishly signing on to a deal granting congressional Democrats their tax hikes in exchange for spending cuts which never materialized, Bush lost reelection to the charismatic Bill Clinton.

There is a pattern of failure for politicians who fail to act as responsible stewards of the taxpayers. Mr. Johnson should veer away from this tax tendency and pledge his support for Minnesota’s taxpayers. This will allow him to demonstrate his willingness to be held accountable for his actions.

Call Jeff Johnson at 763-703-5154 and tell him to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today.

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Total load of crap. Jeff Johnson has the best taxpayer record of any candidate running. He's got a decades long record of having never raised taxes. To suggest that, because he won't sign a pledge to your organization he will raise taxes, is both ridiculous and dishonest. This hatchet job is the lowest form of politics. Shame on you, Grover Norquist, for your dishonesty.

Tom Steyer's Big Attack Ad on Joni Ernst Ruled FALSE. Again.

Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014, 2:43 PM PERMALINK

Left wing billionaire Tom Steyer’s attack ad on Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst has been ruled “FALSE” by Politifact:

It’s back! A claim out of the Democratic Party that numerous fact-checkers debunked in 2010 has made its way to the 2014 Iowa Senate race.

A new ad attacks Republican candidate Joni Ernst, painting her as beholden to special interest groups because she signed a pledge. The ad comes from NextGen Climate Action Committee, a liberal political action committee.

The ad shows a dimly lit room, with two men looking at a picture of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on a screen, while laughing in a slow, almost crazed manner. The screen switches to a picture of Ernst.

"We got her to pledge? Joni signed on the line," the ad says. "The tax breaks that thing protects are gold. Green light more outsourcing! China, Mexico. All the way."

Text on the screen says, "Ernst’s Pledge: Protects Tax Breaks for Companies that Ship Jobs Overseas."

Even though the ad is new, this claim -- that a person who signs the Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge is in favor of tax breaks that encourage outsourcing -- is not.


We rate this claim False.

The “ship jobs overseas” claim has been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked (Associated Press: ADWATCH: With campaign ads, don't trust, verify; A False Tax Attack) since it first surfaced in 2010.

Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action Committee spent $2.6 million on the ad.

“Billionaire Tom Steyer has been cheated by his political consultants. He should sue them and kick himself in the pants for being a naive rich dilettante taken advantage of by hustlers,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “His consultants claimed to write an ad attacking Iowa Republican Joni Ernst, but they simply plagiarized TV ads from four years ago that were found to be dishonest then. In school, when you turn in the same poorly researched and plagiarized paper twice, you get an F, Again. ” 

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lying is a signature hallmark of liberalism \