Candidate for U.S. Senate rejects taking "No New Taxes" pledge
for the 10th time.

WASHINGTON – Truth by default: Erskine Bowles, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, will not oppose new taxes. Or at least that\’s what Tar Heel taxpayers are concluding, after Bowles\’ tenth refusal to take the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) "No New Taxes" pledge.

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which is a written promise from candidates and elected officials 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 further reducing tax rates," has been signed by President Bush, eight governors, 249 members of Congress and over 1,250 state legislators across the country.

Elizabeth Dole, the Republican candidate facing Bowles in the November 5th election, signed the Pledge while campaigning in January of 2001.

"By refusing to take the Pledge, Erskine Bowles is by default taking a pro-tax position in his campaign," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads ATR in Washington. "Dole and Bowles have staked out their positions on this issue, and Bowles has slapped North Carolina taxpayers in the face."

The Pledge is disseminated to all candidates for state and federal office each year, and has become a cornerstone of American politics since President Ronald Reagan first signed it in 1985. Had a majority of members of Congress signed, and abided by, the Pledge in 1990 and 1993, the last two major federal tax hikes would not have passed.

"Taking sides on the tax issue is easy: either you\’re with the taxpayers, or you\’re against them," continued Norquist. "Candidates side with taxpayers by pledging not to raise their taxes, and Bowles is looking less and less like a taxpayer ally, while Dole is looking more and more like the taxpayer hero of the Tar Heel State."