Bob Turner on Tax Reform
Long asked Turner to defend his stance that raising taxes should be on the table in negotiations over reducing the country's budget deficit and debt. "I just think that we can't ever put those on the table," Long said. "Your willingness to put them on the table sounds to me sort of like the policies of Barack Obama and Kirsten Gillibrand."
Turner, noting that the White House and the Senate were held by Democrats, struck a tone of practicality and said that for anything to get done, "we're going to have to talk it out. I'm not going into the negotiations--and I don't think any Republican should go into the negotiations--and say, 'This is how it's going to be,' " he said.
[The ATR, Americans for Tax Reform, run by conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist, ask legislators to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in each election cycle. Their self-description:]
In the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases. Since its rollout in 1986, the pledge has become de rigeur for Republicans seeking office, and is a necessity for Democrats running in Republican districts. Today the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is offered to every candidate for state office and to all incumbents. More than 1,100 state officeholders, from state representative to governor, have signed the Pledge.
The Taxpayer Protection Pledge: "I pledge to the taxpayers of my district and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."
Opponents' Opinion (from wikipedia.com):In Nov. 2011, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) claimed that Congressional Republicans "are being led like puppets by Grover Norquist. They're giving speeches that we should compromise on our deficit, but never do they compromise on Grover Norquist. He is their leader." Since Norquist's pledge binds signatories to opposing deficit reduction agreements that include any element of increased tax revenue, some Republican deficit hawks now retired from office have stated that Norquist has become an obstacle to deficit reduction. Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been particularly critical, describing Norquist's position as "no taxes, under any situation, even if your country goes to hell."
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Retiring as of Jan. 2013:
Senate elections Nov. 2012:
AZ:Flake(R) vs.Hackbarth(R) vs.Carmona(D) vs.Ruben(D) vs.
CA:Feinstein(D) vs.Emken(R) vs.Lightfoot(L) vs.
CT:Bysiewicz(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Shays(R) vs.McMahon(R)
FL:Nelson(D) vs.LeMieux(R) vs.Mack(R)
HI:Hirono(D) vs.Case(D) vs.Lingle(R)
ME:King(I) vs.Dill(D) vs.Summers(R) vs.
MI:Stabenow(D) vs.Hekman(R) vs.Konetchy(R) vs.Hoekstra(R) vs.Boman(L)
MN:Klobuchar(D) vs.Bills(R) vs.
MO:McCaskill(D) vs.Akin(R) vs.Steelman(R) vs.Brunner(R)
ND:Heitkamp(D) vs.Berg(R) vs.
NJ:Menendez(D) vs.Kyrillos(R) vs.Diakos(I) vs.
NM:Heinrich(D) vs.Wilson(R) vs.
NY:Gillibrand(D) vs.Noren(I) vs.Maragos(R) vs.Turner(R) vs.Clark(G)
OH:Brown(D) vs.Pryce(R) vs.Mandel(R)
PA:Casey(D) vs.Smith(R) vs.
UT:Hatch(R) vs.Howell(D) vs.Liljenquist(R)
VA:Kaine(D) vs.Allen(R) vs.
WI:Schiess(R) vs.Neumann(R) vs.Thompson(R) vs.Baldwin(D)
Senate Votes (analysis)