Given the way that Grover Norquist has been engaging in attacks on conservatives in recent weeks and months, I'm glad to see the candidate tell him to take his pledge and shove it.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will not sign the famed Americans for Tax Reform pledge against raising taxes, his campaign told POLITICO – a surprise move for a gubernatorial candidate known for his down-the-line conservatism.
The presumptive Republican nominee for governor indicated in a private meeting with business leaders in Tuesday that he is not inclined to take the no-tax oath, sources said.
Cuccinelli’s campaign confirmed he will not sign the ATR pledge and explained Cuccinelli has settled on a blanket no-pledge policy for the campaign: he will not sign make any similar commitments to other special interest groups.
A Cuccinelli spokesman said the decision not to adopt the ATR pledge – which is closely associated with the group’s president, Grover Norquist – shouldn’t be taken as a sign he plans to raise taxes.
“Ken Cuccinelli agrees with the principles of Americans for Tax Reform and keeping taxes low. However, it’s our policy to not sign campaign pledges,” said Jahan Wilcox, communications director for the Cuccinelli campaign.
I like the "no pledges" stand taken by Cuccinelli -- and given that Norquist has turned his group's pledge into a perpetual blood oath, it is absurd to sign that one in particular. And as noted elsewhere in the article, the presumptive Virginia GOP gubernatorial nominee is planning on taking on tax reform if elected, which means that some taxes may be raised even as some are lowered -- and perhaps as new ones are created. Who knows how Norquist and his supporters might twist the pledge in such a case -- or how Cuccinelli's opponents might do so in the future.