Amir Iljazi

The Race for Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District Gets Two More Pledge Signers!

Posted by Amir Iljazi on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009, 11:28 AM PERMALINK

In the contest to fill the seat being vacated by Republican Gubernatorial candidate Zach Wamp, Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District has just landed a pair of pledge signers bringing the total to 3 so far who have put their names on the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The two newest signers in the TN-3 race are Attorney Art Rhodes and Entrepreneur Mark DeVol.

Cook Political Report ranks TN-03 as R+13 on the Partisan Voter Index (PVI). Barring any unforeseen events, the winner of the Republican primary appears to be the likely winner in the general election.
As pledge signers, Mr. DeVol and Mr. Rhodes have made a commitment to the taxpayers in Tennessee that they will fight to ensure that their taxes are not increased. Outgoing Congressman Wamp is a current pledge-signer and we here at ATR encourage all candidates in TN-3, as well as all candidates for Federal office to follow suit and pledge to the taxpayers that they will do their part in fighting on behalf of the interests of those who elect them.
To see ATR’s official release on Art Rhodes, click here
To see ATR’s official release on Mark DeVol, click here

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Carroll Campbell Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge in SC-01 Contest

Posted by Amir Iljazi on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009, 2:16 PM PERMALINK

Republican Carroll Campbell just made himself a signatory on the ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge. He is running to represent South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, currently held by retiring Congressman and Pledge Signer Henry Brown.

Cook Political Report classifies the seat as a R+10 on the PVI index, so the winner of the June GOP Primary could be on track to replacing Congressman Brown when the next Congress is sworn in.
As a pledge signer, Mr. Campbell has made a commitment to the taxpayers in South Carolina that he will always be on the side of preventing tax increases. We here at ATR encourage all candidates in South Carolina, and all across the country to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
To see the PDF version of ATR’s official release on Carroll Campbell, click here


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Michigan 'Mikes' become First Pledge Signers in 2010 Gubernatorial Race!

Posted by Amir Iljazi on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009, 9:49 AM PERMALINK

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and Oakland County Sherriff Mike Bouchard have become the first candidates in Michigan’s 2010 Governor’s race to sign the ATR Gubernatorial Pledge.
Cook Political Report and CQ Politics, two of the leading experts in rating various political races, have classified the Michigan gubernatorial race as a “toss up,” rating it completely up for grabs in the next statewide election.  Michigan has seen some tough times in recent years with record unemployment; a migration problem that has seen residents and jobs leave Michigan en-masse; not to mention the flailing state of the auto industry that had literally been in the driver’s seat for the Great Lake State’s once booming economy. What Michigan needs now is a responsible leader who can look the voters in the eye and let them know that they will fight on their behalf to restore Michigan’s economy in way that will benefit every resident of the state.
Sherriff Bouchard signed the State Taxpayer Pledge earlier this month, while Mike Cox recently renewed the State Pledge he took as Michigan’s current Attorney General. Both candidates have each taken the first major step in showing the voters that they can be seen as responsible leaders capable of bringing Michigan back from the plethora of economic woe that it has suffered over these last few years. As always, ATR encourages all candidates in the Michigan Gubernatorial race, and every candidate for federal and state office to make the kind of pledge that the “Michigan Mikes”, and many others across America already have.
Click here to see ATR's press release on Mike Bouchard's Pledge.
Click here to see ATR's press release on Mike Cox's Pledge.

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Dave Evans becomes First Pledge Signer in TN-06 2010 Race

Posted by Amir Iljazi on Sunday, June 28th, 2009, 12:00 PM PERMALINK

GOP activist Dave Evans recently became the first candidate in the 2010 midterm election for Tennessee’s 6th Congressional district to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Evans is a GOP Primary candidate looking to take on incumbent, Bart Gordon, who has served since 1985 after Al Gore was elected to the US Senate. The seat is rated by Cook Political Report as R+13 on the PVI index. The ATR Lifetime Rating for Gordon is an abysmal 32%, no friend of the taxpayer by any measure.
By signing the pledge Mr. Evans has made a commitment to the taxpayers in the 6th Congressional District in Tennessee that he will fight to ensure that their taxes will not be raised. Rep. Bart Gordon is not a pledge-signer, but we here at ATR encourage him and all candidates for Federal office to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and let the taxpayers in this country know that they stand with them; against higher taxes, higher spending and higher deficits.
To see ATR’s official statement on Dave Evans, click here

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Texas 17th Gets Its First Pledge Signer!

Posted by Amir Iljazi on Friday, June 26th, 2009, 5:14 PM PERMALINK

Darren Yancy recently became the first candidate in Texas’ 17th Congressional District to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. This Texas district is one of the more Republican districts in the country that is currently represented by a Democrat.

Cook Political Report ranks TX-17 as R+20 on the Partisan Voter Index (PVI). In the last two Presidential elections the GOP candidate has received 70% in 2004 and 67% in 2008. Though Congressman Edwards has been twice re-elected to his seat in TX-17; his percentage of the vote saw a decrease of 5 points from 2006-2008.
As a pledge signer, Mr. Yancy has made a commitment to the voters in Texas that he will fight to ensure that their taxes are not increased. Although Congressman Edwards is not a signer; we here at ATR encourage him to do so as we encourage all candidates and elected officials who have not yet done so.

To see ATR’s official release on Darren Yancy signing the Pledge, read below.

Darren Yancy (R-Texas) signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge
Congressional candidate promises to protect taxpayers’ wallets
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Darren Yancy, a Republican running in 17th Congressional District in Texas, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The Pledge commits signers 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.”
ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, 35 U.S. senators and 172 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, seven Governors and over 1,100 state legislators have signed the Pledge.
“After the passage of the so-called “Stimulus Package,” better known as the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Spending Give-Away, Americans are desperately searching for candidates and politicians that will protect their livelihoods and put their wallets ahead of the federal government’s coffers,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.
“By signing the Pledge, Darren Yancy demonstrates that he understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers of Texas’ 17th district.”
“I challenge all candidates for federal office to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” Norquist continued.

Copies of the Pledge are available at or by calling (122) 785-0266

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2010 Spotlight: California CD-47; Loretta Sanchez vs. Van Tran

Posted by Amir Iljazi on Thursday, June 18th, 2009, 10:22 AM PERMALINK

ATR’s first “2010 Spotlight” focused on New Hampshire, well this time the spotlight takes us all the way to the West coast in what is sure to be an interesting contest that highlights yet another  apparent recruiting coup for the NRCC, going up against a solidly popular Democratic incumbent.

California’s 47th district is a seat that has been held by Rep. Loretta Sanchez and in the last five election cycles she has garnered more than 60% of the vote in the district, winning 70% in 2008. Looking at that fact alone, one would assume she’s about as safe as anyone. That thought seems to be lost on many GOP leaders in DC, as they see Sanchez being one of the “best chances for gaining a seat” in 2010.

The man challenging Sanchez in the district is Assemblyman Van Tran. Tran was the first Vietnamese-American to be elected in any state legislature and he has long been seen as a potentially great recruit not only for the 47th district, but for the GOP in general as they attempt to expand the voting base after back-to-back National election defeats. A recent Politico article quoted NRCC recruiter and fellow Golden State Politician Rep. Kevin McCarthy speaking about Assemblyman Tran saying he “transcends Republican politics, and he will be able to reach out to independents and moderate Democrats.
Rep. Sanchez welcomes the debate that is on the horizon on many of the issues concerning the voters of 47th district, and it is an area where there is a large Latino population that outnumbers the Vietnamese population… with one important caveat: The turnout numbers for Vietnamese voters are larger than that of Latino voters.
Sanchez will hope to rely on her record serving the district, spanning over a decade; whereas Tran will look to appeal to the voters as a candidate who is in touch with the voter’s frustration over bailouts and such “it’s (Bank Bailout) a blank check the government has written on the backs of taxpayers.”
While the focus on winning the district may be noted by different tracks taken between the two candidates, the focus that will be put on this contest is not lost on either of them: “Both sides will be pouring resources into this,” said Tran about the race.
Assemblyman Tran has signed the ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge, promising the voters of the district that if elected, he will oppose income tax increases. While Rep. Sanchez has not signed the Pledge, we here at ATR encourage her to do so, in the hopes that all of our elected officials understand the importance of making a commitment to the constituents that he/she will fight to keep their hard earned money in their pockets… something we can all agree on.

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Obama NOT living up to his promise on taxes... according to most Americans

Posted by Amir Iljazi on Monday, June 15th, 2009, 10:06 AM PERMALINK

In a new Rasmussen poll released last week, only 26% of adults believe President Obama has delivered on his promise to cut taxes for 95% of Americans.

The bad news for President Obama doesn’t end there. While campaigning for the Presidency last year, candidate Obama made it very clear that he did not favor “tax cuts for everyone”… unfortunately for him, according to the same Rasmussen poll, a majority of Americans DISAGREE with that policy. More than half the people polled believe that an “across-the-board tax cut for all Americans” is needed to stimulate the U.S. economy.
Here are more key points in recent polling dealing with Economic issues as it relates to the public and their attitudes toward the the Economy, and some of the recent policies that have been enacted by the President:

What does all of this mean? Well, let’s take into consideration what was said, promised, done, and ultimately where we stand now:

The recent polling done by Rasmussen seems to suggest that there is a strong possibility that the President and his allies in the Congress appear to be out-of-touch with the average American and their own personal needs when it comes to the Economic crisis, and how best to go about fixing it.

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2010 Spotlight: New Hampshire CD-1, Shea-Porter vs. Guinta

Posted by Amir Iljazi on Tuesday, May 19th, 2009, 4:48 PM PERMALINK

The 2010 election season is beginning to take shape as various individuals position themselves for primaries, special elections, and general election contests all throughout the nation. We here at ATR are always interested in learning more about those who seek to do the people’s work here in D.C.
Today’s focus is on the first congressional district in the state of New Hampshire, where Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter will be going up against Republican Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta.
The race is an interesting one in that Shea-Porter narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Jeb Bradley by a thin margin in the 2006 election, and edged him out once again in 2008. Bradley now serves in the State Senate, so the GOP was looking to recruit a viable candidate to take on the popular Shea-Porter.
Mayor Guinta seems to be the man that the GOP wanted, and he brings a somewhat “home-field advantage” with him in that the city of Manchester constitutes a large portion of the vote for the district. Although Manchester leans Democratic, Mayor Guinta won re-election by more than 5%; so there is some bi-partisan appeal that may play well for Guinta come November 2010.
Shea-Porter as a legislator has - 
  • Voted YES on a $3 Trillion Budget
  • Voted YES on an Omnibus Bill that included over 8,000 earmarks
  • Voted YES on the $800 Billion “Stimulus” Package
  • Voted NO on a resolution calling for an “ethics investigation” regarding earmark practices by multiple members of the US House.
  • Yet to sign the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge”
Guinta as Manchester Mayor has – 
The election is more than a year away, but this contest will certainly be one to keep an eye on. If the results of the last two elections in that district are any kind of indicator, NH-1 will be a close one.
Keep visiting ATR for more “2010 Spotlight” stories about the most interesting races headed our way.

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NY Democrat Arcuri to voters: "We won't pay this debt"

Posted by Amir Iljazi on Thursday, April 30th, 2009, 9:02 AM PERMALINK

New York- As we hit the 100 day-mark of the Obama Presidency, it seems that some members of the President’s party are already questioning the extreme measures that were taken by the Obama Administration in collusion with top Congressional Dems including Speaker Pelosi and Rep. David Obey all under the guise of "fixing the economy."

One such example is that of New York Congressman Michael Arcuri, representing NY-24. The Democrat, who is currently serving his second term, used a town-hall meeting to let his constituents know that a bill with over 1,000 pages that had not been read by a single member voting on it, might not have been the best solution to the country’s economic woes.

In an attempt to explain his vote to constituents, the New York Democrat even went as far as to say that “We won't pay this debt. It will be up to our children and grandchildren to work toward a balanced budget.”
National Journal also picked up a report from the Ithaca Journal which states “Arcuri told constituents that perhaps he should not have voted for the stimulus package.”
Well, it’s nice to know that Congressman Arcuri realizes the amount of debt the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Agenda will severely burden future generations of America with massive levels of debt. It is also nice to know that Mr. Arcuri realizes that maybe it wasn’t the best idea to vote for a 1,000 page spending bill that nobody bothered to read. As more and more facts are discovered about the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Stimulus, the more we see how easy it was for Congress and the President to load this up with bonus provisions, mandates on accepting federal dollars that force unions on companies, and even the very real possibility that ACORN could receive tax-payer dollars appropriated in the bill.
I would commend Rep. Arcuri for his candor and his comments about the real costs of the bill to America’s future… but then again, he voted for it.

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The Fight to STOP "Card Check" Goes On

Posted by Amir Iljazi on Thursday, April 9th, 2009, 1:48 PM PERMALINK

Although Senators from both sides of the aisle including Michael Bennet (D-CO) have decided not to support EFCA (as it is written now), the fight against Card Check is by no means OVER. Today, a pro-labor group released yet another ad that is attempting to convince the Congress to pass this “power grab” for the unions blanketed under the idea of “choice” for the American worker. What is their angle this time? Demonize Wall Street as the cause for all the problems, and somehow make the connection that investors are responsible for taking away the rights of workers. 

Let’s set the record straight:
  • Card Check will make it tougher for any employee to make their own decisions
  • Card Check has NOTHING to do with alleged Wall Street exploitation
  • Card Check has EVERYTHING to do with an attempt at expanding union power
  • Card Check is full of harmful measures that will affect workers nationwide
  • Card Check is being driven by powerful union lobbies that own the Democratic Party
The argument against Card Check is an ongoing fight and in the past few weeks those fighting for the right of workers to make their own decisions won. Yes the attempt of the union lobby to take away the “secret ballot” has appeared to fail. However, there are numerous things wrong with Card Check that workers and legislatures MUST be reminded of everyday:
  • Requirement of mandatory government arbitration
  • Employers being frozen out of the ability to make staff changes
  • New businesses being discouraged from opening operations
With the legislative session on break for the holidays, The Hill reports that both sides of this fight are gearing up for what will be an extensive and extremely important debate dealing with one of the most significant, yet underreported issues in America today. The ramifications economically nationwide could be crippling if unions are allowed to coerce workers, take away employer rights, and hinder those looking to start their own businesses. Visit AWF and find out as much as you can about Card Check, and the damage it could do if signed into law.

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