Lisa De Pasquale interviews Grover Norquist for Human Events: “What’s the coolest thing you’ve been able to do because of your role in the political arena? NORQUIST: ‘Co-hosted with Dem Sen. [Russ] Feingold the welcoming party for the satirical newspaper The Onion's arrival in D.C., performing standup comedy at the DC Improv as part of ‘D.C.'s Funniest Celebrity’ contest.’ What one thing would you do as President ‘just because you could’? NORQUIST:  ‘Leave everyone alone.  Make long lists every day of taxes I wouldn't impose, laws I wouldn't pass, regulations I wouldn't promulgate and countries I wouldn't occupy.’ Tell me about the moment you decided to enter the political arena. NORQUIST:  ‘Not certain, but head hurt, everything quite sticky, and older voice said, ‘It’s a boy.’”

Lori Montgomery writes for The Washington Post: “The anti-tax pledge signed by 95 percent of congressional Republicans faces a key test Tuesday, when the Senate is scheduled to vote on a plan to repeal billions of dollars in annual tax credits for ethanol blenders — a move the pledge defines as a tax increase. Grover G. Norquist, author of the anti-tax pledge and founder of Americans for Tax Reform, said his group is working to defuse the fight by adding a provision to cut taxes in an amount equal to the revenue that would be generated by killing the ethanol subsidy — about $6 billion a year. That way, Norquist said, Republicans who want to vote against ethanol would not be forced to join Coburn’s campaign for higher revenue. ‘They’re trying to get people acclimated to raising taxes when the bill is called something else,’ Norquist said of Coburn. ‘We’ll say, ‘It’s the tax increase bill.’ They’ll say, ‘Oh, no, it’s the ethanol bill.’ The next one will be called the deficit-reduction bill. And it won’t work because people are paying attention.’”

From The Hill, Bernie Becker writes: The back-and-forth between Sen. Tom Coburn and Grover Norquist over tax subsidies for ethanol – and, more broadly, the need for new tax revenue – is heating up once more. Late this week, Coburn successfully pushed for a Tuesday vote on a measure to cut subsidies for ethanol, a proposal that the Oklahoma Republican and Norquist, the anti-tax crusader, feuded over earlier this year. Norquist has expressed concern that the Oklahoma senator’s measure – which does not offset the revenues from the ethanol subsidy – is a stalking horse for a broader push to find new tax revenue, something Coburn is calling for more and more to help close yawning budget gaps. ‘His goal is to try and say: ‘Ha, ha, see in some cases it’s OK to eliminate credits and deductions and not offset it,’’ the Americans for Tax Reform president told The Hill on Friday. ‘And then he’ll come back with $2 trillion in tax increases and try to say that’s somehow not a tax increase. It’s wrong on so many levels.’”

Steven T. Dennis highlighted the Norquist-Coburn debate in Roll Call: “Norquist said Coburn is on a mission to legitimize tax increases. ‘[Coburn] may win some votes on this ethanol thing … [but] I think when he tries to turn that into a trillion-dollar tax increase, he’ll find he doesn’t have as many friends as he thought,’ [Norquist] added. Norquist also favors eliminating the ethanol credit, but only if it is offset with a tax cut somewhere else.”

From ATR’s Director of Tax Policy Ryan Ellis in an op-ed for The National Review Online: “Trading immediate tax hikes for promised spending cuts is a sucker’s bargain. There is a clear lesson from [past] budget deals: Tax increases are real — they become law immediately — but promised spending cuts are illusory. After a while, the spending-cut promises are forgotten, and all that remains is higher taxes on the American people. Official Washington is shocked that the old playbook isn’t working this time. For all but a few Republican senators, the reason is obvious: ‘I promised my constituents that I would not raise their taxes, and I’m honoring that promise.’ Lucy has pulled the football away from Charlie Brown twice already, but congressional Republicans have finally gotten the message that tax hikes are a sucker’s bet.”

From Will Upton, State Affairs Manager at ATR, in The Gazette: “The Linn County Board of Supervisors wants to use millions in taxpayer dollars to enact regulations that will cost jobs and possibly embroil the county in a costly lawsuit. Armed with a $2 million federal stimulus grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, the board is taking aim at smokeless tobacco products. First, taxpayer dollars awarded through stimulus programs, such as Communities Putting Prevention to Work, line the pockets of lobbyists, raises taxes and reduces retail jobs. Secondly, remember the ‘stimulus’ bill? The $2 million grant comes out of that pot, which was created to promote economic growth and ‘create’ jobs. Raising taxes and reducing retail jobs does neither. Finally, the proposed ordinances may violate Iowa law and costly litigation could ensue. County Supervisor Brent Oleson noted in The Gazette: ‘It is becoming quite clear that Iowa law does in fact pre-empt what these laws are trying to do. We need to take a step back …’ Exactly, step back and realize this is egregious regulatory overreach and a bad economic policy.”

Jared Edgerton writes for Politics PA: “Yesterday, in his first campaign stop in New Hampshire as an official candidate for President, Senator Rick Santorum joined Grover Norquist to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Candidates signing onto the Pledge, written by the Americans for Tax Reform, promise to ‘oppose and veto any effort to raise taxes.’ Santorum is the third GOP presidential hopeful to sign the Pledge this election cycle, joining former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza Herman Cain and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.”

Nevada News & Views reports: “Citizen Outreach Foundation (COF) officially announced today that Grover Norquist is again serving as co-host of the 4th Annual Conservative Leadership Conference in Las Vegas on July 9-10 and will be a featured speaker. The 2011 Conservative Leadership Conference (CLC) will be held at the M Resort in Las Vegas.  This fourth annual event will be co-hosted by Citizen Outreach Foundation and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For additional details and online registration, please visit the official conference website at”