All four candidates for governor in New Jersey and Virginia oppose new taxes; Taxpayers win landslide victory in Washington State ballot measure; Pro-Taxpayer mayoral candidates triumph in NYC and Houston.
WASHINGTON – Taxpayers in Washington State are jumping up and down, while voters in New Jersey, Virginia, Houston and New York City breathed a temporary sigh of relief this morning. Why? Because the crusade against tax increases and big government has become a centerpiece of both major political parties.
Voters in Washington State overwhelmingly supported a "cut and cap" property tax relief measure, despite strong opposition from the spending lobbies in Olympia. Initiative 747, which requires a referendum to raise state property taxes by 1% or more, won in every county except King County, and passed statewide by an impressive 59-40% margin.
In Virginia, voters chose Democrat candidate Mark Warner to be their next governor, over Republican Attorney General Mark Earley, in an election decided by a 52-47% margin. Warner promised on September 26th of this year that he would not raise taxes if elected. As reported in The Washington Post on the 27th of September, Warner said, "I will not raise taxes." Warner ran as a self-proclaimed "fiscal conservative," and made a similar "no new taxes" promise in multiple television ads aired by his campaign.
In New Jersey, both the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates reassured Garden State taxpayers that their already high tax burden would not grow. Republican Bret Schundler signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to not raise taxes, while Democrat McGreevey made his position clear during the last televised debate, when he said: "I am committed to not raising taxes." McGreevey won the election by a 56-42% margin.
In mayoral races, New York City\’s Michael Bloomberg told Big Apple voters that he wouldn\’t raise taxes (Washington Post, November 7th), while Orlando Sanchez of Houston forced a runoff against the city\’s tax-and-spend mayor. Sanchez signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in August, committing himself to "oppose and veto" any new tax increases in Houston.
Taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform, said "Election night 2001 was an encouraging sign for taxpayers everywhere. Candidates from both parties, and in every major race, understood that raising taxes is the true third-rail of American politics. America\’s prosperity is founded upon low taxes and limited government. And for the first time, politicians everywhere see that as an indisputable truth."