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Memo to McDonnell: Republicans Putting Norquist on the "Naughty" List this Christmas

While McDonnell sends his staff on a pilgrimage to the DC lobbyist, 50 Republicans and counting have disavowed Norquist pledge

As Governor McDonnell's staff heads to Washington today to beg indulgence from D.C. lobbyist Grover Norquist to do something about Virginia's crumbling infrastructure, his fellow Republicans are racing to distance themselves from Norquist's anti-tax pledge. Even McDonnell's fellow Virginians, Congressmen Eric Cantor and Scott Rigell, have walked back their commitment to Norquist's pledge while Congressmen Rob Wittman and Frank Wolf have refused to sign. All told, at least 50 Republicans have distanced themselves from the pledge. 

McDonnell might to well to follow his colleagues' lead. Recent public polling showed voters who know Norquist view him unfavorably by a 10-point margin. Indeed, current polls of Virginians demonstrate broad support for raising revenue and almost universallydemand solutions to the Commonwealth's transportation problems. 

ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl released the following statement: "Virginia families should be more important to Governor McDonnell than some tax lobbyist in Washington, D.C.. Republicans across the country are rejecting this extremist pledge that puts radical ideology before the needs of their constituents. Virginians are begging for home-front investments to fix our crumbling infrastructure and support community schools suffering from billion dollar budget cuts. We hope the Governor delivers."

BACKGROUND:

  • Norquist recently contacted Virginia legislators to express his opinion that indexing Virginia's gas tax to inflation would violate his anti-tax pledge. [Washington Post, 12/10/12]

  • In response to Norquist's letter, the Virginian Pilot reports McDonnell staffers will travel to DC to meet with the prominent lobbyist. [Virginian Pilot, 12/10/12]
  • More than 50 Congressional Republicans have distanced themselves from Norquist's pledge. [Think Progress, 11/30/12]
  • Regarding the Norquist pledge, Congressman Eric Cantor stated, "When I go to the constituents, it's not about that pledge. It's about trying to solve problems." [Defense News, 11/26/12]
  • Regarding the Norquist pledge, Congressman Scott Rigell stated, "Averting bankruptcy requires us to grasp the severity of our fiscal condition and summon the courage to speak boldly about the difficult steps needed to increase revenues and sharply decrease spending." [Washington Post, 5/25/2012]
  • Rigell believes "the 'Bush tax cuts' coupled with Grover Norquist's 'no new tax pledge' signed by the vast majority of Republicans in Congress have locked federal revenue in at a rate that is unsustainable. 'We have a structural deficit that should scare every American across this country,' Rigell said. 'I think our house is on fire.'" [Think Progress, 8/28/12