Taking its cues from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the Mike Ross campaign recently began using a debunked line of attack against Beth Anne Rankin for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which commits a signer to “oppose and vote against” income tax hikes.
The Pledge, aka the “No New Taxes” Pledge, was created over twenty years ago to help promote President Reagan’s 1986 Tax Reform Act. It was specifically designed to prevent tax hikes and to promote revenue-neutral tax reform. Similar attacks to the ones used by the Ross Campaign have been discredited by a number of nonpartisan organizations including FactCheck.org, the Associated Press, and Politifact. FactCheck.org Director Brooks Jackson has gone as far as to characterize these attacks as “blatantly false.” Additionally, Jon Ralston of the TV program Face to Face in Nevada characterized a similar attack in the NV-03 race as “totally misleading.”
It’s clear the Ross campaign hopes to distract voters from his abysmal economic record by distorting the meaning of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
To see ATR’s official statement on the Ross campaign’s attacks, click “read more.”
Mike Ross Campaign Caught Telling Lies about the “No New Taxes” Pledge
Ross campaign desperate to distort Rankin’s “no new taxes” promise
WASHINGTON, DC—The Mike Ross Campaign recently launched a new line of attack on Beth Anne Rankin by attempting to mislead voters about the actual meaning of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The goal of the Pledge is to protect taxpayers and businesses from tax increases. The Ross campaign’s charges follow the patently false claims made by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) earlier in the year – claims that the non-partisan FactCheck.org agrees are “blatantly false.”
The “No New Taxes” Pledge commits a signer to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.” By making this promise, Rankin has taken tax hikes off the table for all taxpayers in Arkansas- something Mike Ross has not done.
This is not the first time Democrats have tried to misrepresent the meaning of the Pledge. During the special election in HI-01, the DCCC ran misleading attack ads against the Pledge. FactCheck.org, a non-partisan "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics, responded by condemningthe DCCC and agreeing that the ads were “blatantly false.”
Similar claims about the Pledge were made recently in Michigan, Nevada, and Washington. In Michigan, the Jackson Citizen-Patriot, a Jackson, Michigan newspaper, deemed Rep. Mark Schauer’s claims about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and Tim Walberg to be “not true.” In Nevada, Jon Ralston of Face to Face “reality checked” the Dina Titus campaign ad and found the claims made against the “no new taxes” Pledge to be “totally misleading.”King 5 TV in Washington called the accusations against the Pledge and senate candidate Dino Rossi a “stretch.”
“Why is Mike Ross going out of his way to shamelessly distort Beth Anne Rankin’s position on taxes? The Pledge signed by Rankin is a promise to constituents and businesses to never raise taxes. Ross has yet to make the same promise and should explain to voters how tax hikes revive a struggling economy and promote job growth in Arkansas,” said ATR President Grover Norquist.
“Beth Anne Rankin has committed to never raising taxes on her constituents while her Democrat opponent has left the door for tax hikes wide open,” continued Norquist.
Click here for a printable pdf of the release.