Americans for Tax Reform confident Thune would fight for taxpayers in the Senate

WASHINGTON – Senate nominee John Thune, former Congressman, was applauded by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) , the nation’s leading taxpayer group, for his outstanding Congressional record and commitment to the taxpayers of South Dakota. Thune is running against incumbent Tom Daschle (D) for the U.S. Senate.

Thune has received ATR’s seal of approval in the past as a “Hero of the Taxpayer” while he was U.S. Representative from 1996 to 2000. He has also signed the group’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge," a written commitment to the taxpayers in a candidate\’s state to oppose any and all tax increases, joining President George W. Bush, 42 U.S. senators, and 217 members of the U.S. House of Representatives in signing the pledge. Daschle, like Presidential candidate John Kerry, refuses to take the Pledge.

“A comparison between Thune and Daschle comes down to one important fact,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR, “Thune signed the pledge. Daschle remains a threat when it comes to the earnings of South Dakota’s hard working families.”

In fact, the group calls Daschle’s record in the Senate largely anti-taxpayer. In 1993 he voted for President Clinton’s federal gas tax and has voted for raising or against lowering gas taxes nine separate times . As the Senate minority leader, Daschle has worked against providing tax relief, even when such issues are supported by his own party. He has lead filibusters that have blocked votes on issues that include the death tax repeal, the marriage penalty repeal and a permanent 10 percent tax bracket.

Daschle’s voting record in the Senate looks even more dismal when compared to Thune’s largely pro-taxpayer record. In 2000, Daschle voted against eliminating the marriage penalty, repealing the death tax and against tax cuts in the budget resolution. Meanwhile, in the House, Thune voted for the taxpayer on all of these issues.

“Daschle, like John Kerry, wants you to believe he’s busy in the Senate protecting American workers,” said Norquist, “but Daschle, in action, threatens to stomp all over taxpayers and our growing economy.”