Grover Norquist asks Pullen to denounce Brewer’s tax hike

Chairman Randy Pullen

Arizona Republican Party

3501 N. 24th Street

Phoenix, AZ 85016

Dear Chairman Pullen,

I write today to express grave concern regarding plans to politically target lawmakers who are standing strong in defense of Arizona taxpayers. As you know, it has recently been announced that the firm High Ground Inc., a group that advises Governor Jan Brewer, will launch a $225,000 media campaign against legislators who oppose Gov. Brewer’s calls for a multi-billion dollar tax increase in the middle of a recession.

The Governor has made clear that this campaign, which targets fiscally conservative legislators from your own party, has her full-throated support. Several months ago Americans for Tax Reform asked your staff if rumors of a campaign to target Republican legislators were true and if such an effort would be supported by the Arizona State Republican Party. That inquiry, disturbingly, was met with silence by you and your staff.

It is no secret that you have close ties to those behind the aforementioned campaign. This is troubling given your duties as chairman of the state Republican Party and RNC treasurer.

One of the few things economists of all political stripes can agree on is that the last thing you want to do in a recession is raise taxes. Additionally, opposition to higher taxes is a long-held and central tenet of the Republican Party. In fact, your counterparts at the Maine and Washington State Republican Parties have gone so far as to incorporate the Taxpayer Protection Pledge into their party platforms.

According to the Center for Fiscal Accountability, Arizona taxpayers already spend 194 days – more than half the year – working just to pay for the cost of government. Yet Gov. Brewer doesn’t think this is enough.

As we approach an important election year, it is shocking that Gov. Brewer is supporting a campaign that will attack members of her own party because they are standing up for Arizona taxpayers. It would be unconscionable for the state Republican Party to not condemn this effort.

I therefore ask you, as chairman of the state Republican Party, to unequivocally and publicly announce your opposition to and repudiation of this campaign to be waged by Gov. Brewer and High Ground.

Feel free to call on me or ATR’s state affairs manager, Patrick Gleason (pgleason@atr.org) with any questions or concerns.

Onward,

Grover G. Norquist

CC: RNC Chairman Michael Steele, all RNC Committeemen & Women, Arizona Press


Comments

  1. For the allegedly conservative Governor Brewer to actively campaign against taxpayer advocates is an utter disgrace. All this will do is hammer in the final nail in her primary coffin.

    Randy Pullen must heed Grover’s call and unequivocally condemn this politically and ethically despicable act. If he refuses to do so, he must either resign or be removed from office.

  2. GN,
    A simple thought-

    Thank you, thank you, thank you–all of your team too.

  3. Wow and Wow.

  4. Pricinct Committeeman says

    Good statement.

    And, Randy Pullen should also get rid of Brett Mecum for the trashy way he has conducted himself in public with behavior not only improper, but illegal.

    It’s past time for Mecum to be gone.

  5. It’s past time for Pullen to be GONE.
    Ugh..its just so embarrassing. Do they really not know how much they are hated in their own party. It’s really quite sad.

  6. nightcrawler says

    Wasn’t Norquist a featured speaker at a AZ GOP fundraiser last year ? In my opinion he should continue to peddle his books and keep his nose out of AZ business. Clearly, he seeks more publicity for himself at the expense of Pullen.

  7. Recall RandyPullen says

    We can not call ourselves Republicans if we are the ones pushing to raise taxes. Reagan must be rolling over in his grave right now. We have Brett Mecum driving 109, committing financial fraud on a local networking group, and then taking a photo receiving oral sex in a Captain America outfit. Both of his roommates are unemployed for some reason all of these people are socially awkward and creepy. We wonder why we are losing status of a party with principles. In 1994 we balanced the budget and kept our promise with America. The Goldwater Institute has pointed out 60 different ways we can cut spending to avoid a tax hike. If we raise taxes via Jan Brewer with the support of Randy Pullen we will become a blue state. We need a grass roots effort to stop these people from ruining out beloved GOP.

  8. Hmmmm….. Never thought I would be on this side of the Pullen dialogue but…

    Perhaps he actually sees the writing on the wall, or in this case the graph charts, and understands that the 60 cuts will only move the bleeding to a new open wound. All the while there is not enough money coming in for a transfusion.

    What happens next year when there are no more roll-overs, no more funds to sweep, and the cities and towns have had to levy taxe increases? None of the Washington 90 have claim it come re-election but every one of us will pay and there is no guarantee it will only be a 1% sales tax.

    It is very easy to speak out against taxes, that is a no-brainer. However, it does take some thought to come up with a plan that actually works and is viable beyond paper. I love GI…but their job is to promote ideas. They are not in the implementation business so they really have no skin in the game beyond their own rep. Ditto Norquist.

    On this one, Pullen is right and I applaud his ability to recognize support for Brewer is the right thing, even if not the politically expedient thing. Former Speaker Weiers was very reluctant to approve this budget and only voted Yes with the promise it would not be transmitted for her signature but negotiated further, he is not alone.

  9. Spending has been out of control over the last decade. No tax hike is needed. There is much waste and fat to be cut.

    Pullen can support Brewer’s tax hike for all I care but he needs to step down as party chair if he is going to do so.

  10. Get real, Ann. If we adopt the budget just passed by the GOP, state spending is up 55% since 2003, while the state’s population increased less than 20% during the same period.

    In the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, public school special ed, science and math teachers are off the table completely and any public school history, P.E., social studies or art teacher past their third year with the district is also off the table completely, with most of the third years being rehuired this summer. Overall proposed education cuts amount to 1% over last year and last year represented the peak of a long spending spree. Brewer actually proposes that we continue a historically unprecedented school construction boom. AHCCCS is now subject to almost ludicrous levels of fraud, as every audit ever done has established, in part because many middle class families use it as their primary care provider and falsify their actual financial circumstances (there is an entire thriving legal niche based on helping people do this).

    If Pullen and Brewer insist on tax increases and she publicly attacks other elected officials for failing to go along, they are not conservatives, they are not Republicans and they need to be thrown out.

    And before you ask, I didn’t vote for Lisa James, don’t really care who the party chairman is as long as they espouse Reagan Republican principles and have been a conservative Republican since I started voting 25 years ago.

  11. It certainly seems as if the worm has turned on this board.

    Speaking of worms, where is Pullen, anyway?

  12. Conservative does not mean Republican says

    Ann,

    Take a look at the post from GI a couple of days ago here on SA. As Dr. Schlomach shows in the graph of the General Fund, we are spending head and shoulders above what we spent just a few years ago. We all got accustomed to the higher state spending level, and now it seems impossible to go back. But I assure you, if we could survive on that amount of spending 5 years ago, we can manage to survive on that level of spending now.

  13. When politicians make this no new tax oath to Grover Norquist, does he have them sign in blood? Inquiring minds want to know.

  14. Actually, Todd, the Pledge is not to Grover or ATR. The Pledge is to the signer’s constituents.

    Need proof? Here you go: http://www.atr.org/userfiles/Brewer_Pledge(2).pdf

  15. That’s interesting, Patrick, considering old Grover holds himself up as final arbiter of what cosntitutes a tax increase and whether previous cuts can or can’t offset a new one. It is quite obvious who is pulling the strings here, claiming it is the constituents is just a dodge.

  16. Conservative does not mean Republican says

    Todd,

    It seems to me that economically you can’t make an argument for raising taxes in the middle of a recession, so instead, you resort to attacking Grover Norquist and his “blood oaths.” In reality you are the one that is dodging the real issue of why in the world would we want to raise taxes, especially now? If you want to voluntarily pay a self-imposed tax, then go ahead, be my guest. However, if you want the rest of us to go along with your suicidal idea, at least give some statistical proof instead of resorting to ad hominem attacks.

  17. Conservative does not mean Republican,
    The argument is not about whether to raise or lower taxes, the issue is the inordinate power this man and his groups seems to hold over elected officials.

  18. todd,

    I prefer the inordinate power that Norquist and ATR have over the legislature, as opposed to the inordinate power that Coughlin has over Gov. Brewer.

    Grover & Co. are using their influence to protect the pocket books of AZ taxpayers. Coughlin is trying to do the opposite.

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