With next Tuesday’s special election for the 15th district Senate seat just around the corner, Americans for Tax Reform continues to call on all candidates in the race to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Currently, Mark Hinkle is the only candidate in the race to have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and in doing so, is the only candidate to commit to opposing further tax increases on Golden State residents.

Most noticeably absent from the list of Taxpayer Protection Pledge signers is Sam Blakeslee. Currently, all Republicans in the state Senate have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Sam Blakeslee has been a Pledge signer during his tenure in the Assembly; however he has yet to commit to continuing the fight against higher taxes if elected to the Senate next Tuesday.

“It is quite odd that Sam Blakeslee refuses to take tax increases off the table in his bid to move to the state’s upper chamber. It’s one thing if you’re from a low-tax state like Texas or Wyoming, but if you can’t rule out higher taxes in a place like California – with a tax burden so high and tax climate so hostile that employers and families are fleeing the state in droves – where can you?” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.“You’re only as strong as your weakest link. Senate Republicans are currently standing strong in lockstep opposition to attempts to impose more job-killing tax increases on the California economy and are the only thing standing in the way of that happening. Having Blakeslee, who remains open to tax increases, join the caucus would add a dangerously weak link to the chain.

In addition to Meg Whitman and every Republican in the California Senate, nine sitting governors and nearly 1,100 state legislators across the country have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Additionally, 34 U.S. Senators and 174 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge.

“It’s no secret that Democrats in the California legislature want to continue to drive more businesses and taxpayers out of the state with further tax increases. The budget plan unveiled last week by Speaker John Perez and Senate President Darrell Steinberg entails billions of dollars in new taxes. In light of this, and the fact that Californians got hit with the largest state tax increase in U.S. history just last year, it’s troubling that only one candidate in the 15th district Senate race has committed to standing up for Golden State taxpayers and putting an end to business as usual in Sacramento,” added Norquist.“I applaud Mark Hinkle for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and urge all other candidates to join him in his commitment to restore fiscal sanity to California.”