Candidate avoids signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge for a reason

  WASHINGTON-Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the nation\’s leading taxpayer advocacy group, has announced that Stephanie Herseth, special election candidate for South Dakota\’s at-large Congressional district, has refused to sign its Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The Pledge is a written confirmation to voters in the candidate\’s district that he or she will not raise taxes once elected.

"There is only one reason that a candidate refuses to sign the Pledge," said Grover Norquist, president of ATR and a Washington, D.C. coalition leader. "The candidate wants to raise taxes. The way Herseth has been talking about South Dakotans\’ taxes, it really comes as no surprise. She\’s picking and choosing which of their money she\’s going to let them keep. South Dakotans are still taxed too much. They don\’t need Stephanie Herseth to help them spend their money."

Candidates who refuse to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge have a history of trying to raise taxes once in office. In some cases, there is no surprise as candidates have openly advocated tax increases during the campaign. In other campaigns, candidates often obfuscate around the question of tax increases versus tax cuts.

"More and more we see that politicians are afraid to openly endorse the tax hikes they rely on to broker power in Washington. Instead, candidates talk about \’repealing tax cuts\’ or \’delaying tax cuts.\’ Even \’tax reform\’ is now sometimes a euphemism for a money-grab. But it\’s easy to know if something\’s a tax increase-just ask yourself whether you will be paying more in taxes. It\’s pretty simple. It\’s also easy to tell if a tax increase isn\’t on the horizon-the candidate signs the Pledge. Stephanie Herseth has not signed the Pledge," added Norquist.

ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, the President, 42 U.S. senators, and 217 members of the U.S. House are signatories, as well as eight Governors and more than 1,200 state legislators. In the race for South Dakota\’s congressional seat, Larry Diedrich (R) is the only major candidate who has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.