State Sen. Jackie Winters (R), who voted to raise taxes last summer, loses her primary bid against Jim Zupancic, who pledged No New Taxes. In Oregon \’s 1 st District, pledgesigner Goli Ameri wins her primary.
WASHINGTON – The trend against Republicans who hike taxes continues – this time, in Oregon \’s 5 th congressional district, where State Sen. Jackie Winters lost her Republican primary bid to Jim Zupancic.
Winters was one of a sixteen Republican legislators who voted with Democrat Gov. Ted Kulongoski to raise taxes by $800 million. A previous ballot initiative to raise taxes failed in 2003, and again in February of 2004, when voters repealed the legislature\’s tax hike.
Winters\’ loss comes on the heels of a Republican primary in Nebraska\’s 1 st congressional district, where the speaker of the state legislature, Curt Bromm, refused to pledge against tax hikes and lost his primary there – despite being heavily favored to win and the recipient of outgoing Rep. Doug Bereuter\’s (R) endorsement.
"Republicans who vote to raise taxes have pointed a 12 gauge shotgun at the heads of their careers and pulled the trigger," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington . "Republicans even thinking about raising taxes should look at how Sen. Jackie Winters and Speaker Bromm in Nebraska have destroyed their political futures," he continued.
Numerous states faced what legislatures liked to call "budget shortfalls" in 2001-2003, adding pressure on legislative bodies, and especially Republicans, to raise taxes. But in cases where Republican governors passed tax increases – most notably Nevada by Gov. Kenny Guinn and Alabama under Gov. Bob Riley – the perpetrators of higher taxes are not expected to run for higher office.
On the other hand, states facing shortfalls that did not raise taxes are often led by Republican governors widely speculated to be in the running for president in 2008. Govs. Bill Owens ( Colorado ), Jeb Bush ( Florida ), Mitt Romney ( Massachusetts ), Rick Perry ( Texas ), Tim Pawlenty ( Minnesota ), and Craig Benson ( New Hampshire ) are all speculated to have ambitions for higher office.
"The fastest way to end a Republican\’s career is to vote for a tax hike," continued Norquist. "And redemption in this business doesn\’t come easy."