Ads in five states for 2003 elections makes taxpayer group a force in national and state elections.

WASHINGTON – Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has launched a multi-state advertising campaign for the 2003 elections to promote its "No New Taxes" Pledge, and candidates for local and state office who support that Pledge.

Ads promoting the Taxpayer Protection Pledge – a promise by candidates and elected officials to oppose tax hikes – will air on radio in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia for their November 4th elections and in Louisiana for elections on November 15th. Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana all have candidates for governor who have signed the Pledge.

"For perhaps the first time in American history, taxpayers are organized in all states with elections, and that organization looks like a ghost party outside of the traditional Democrat and Republican organizations," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads ATR in Washington. "Taxpayers will win big in all of these states, as opposition to tax hikes is gaining hold not only at the federal level but at the state and local levels, as well," he continued.

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge states that candidates and officials who sign will "oppose and vote against/veto any and all efforts to increase taxes." Currently, President George W. Bush, 249 members of Congress, eight governors and over 1,200 state legislators have signed the Pledge.

"No tax hike has passed Congress since Bill Clinton and the Democrats controlled Washington in 1993," said Norquist, "and taxpayers want to bring that mentality to the state and local levels, too."

In the governors races, Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour and Ernie Fletcher of Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky, respectively, have all signed the Pledge, as have numerous candidates for state and local office.