In his February column for The American Spectator, Grover Norquist comments on the rise of government spending as a vote moving issue; and warns conservatives of the danger of walking into bipartisan tax-hikes-for-spending-cuts negotiations:  “…the most significant change in American politics in 2010 was the introduction of government spending as a vote-moving issue in elections… Prior to the 2009 and 2010 elections, government spending was like the weather — everyone talked about it, but no one did anything about it… The Tea Party movement changed all that in 2010. Now there was a visible, palpable single-issue voting bloc motivated by the size of government… Tax hikes are not part of a deficit reduction solution. Spending cuts and pro-growth tax cuts reduce the deficit. Tax hikes are what politicians do in place of spending reduction. Tax hikes only enable more spending… The Sirens of bipartisan agreements to reduce the deficit (rather than spending) remain. So do the rocks.”

The Sacramento Bee highlights Republican legislators who have not signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.  “The group of non-signatories also includes Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, and Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, R-Ceres, the only GOP legislators who have not signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to oppose tax hikes.”

“Prison costs spur unlikely alliance in US” by Michael Stothard at Financial Times (   “Grover Norquist, president of the small-government group Americans for Tax Reform, says his fellow conservatives went too far with their ‘tough on crime’ policies in recent decades. Today, the man famous for saying government should be shrunk to the size where he could ‘drown it in the bathtub’ is endorsing community service and rehabilitation as alternatives to incarceration. The corrections system should emphasize ‘public safety, personal responsibility, work, restitution, community service, and treatment’, says a statement of principles signed by Mr. Norquist and Edwin Meese, an attorney-general under Ronald Reagan.”