Embarrassing: Quite Possibly the Weakest Excuse For Negotiating Your Way Out of the No-Tax Pledge – Ever
Congressman Chris Gibson’s willingness to cave in on tax hikes to avert the fiscal cliff.Another Republican signals that he’s willing to consider tax increases in dealing with the fiscal cliff. This time, it’s Capital Region and Hudson Valley Congressman Chris Gibson. He signed the no tax hike pledge when he ran for Congress two years ago in the 20th District and won.
Representative Gibson now says he signed his pledge in 2010 when he was a candidate for Congress. But the pledge was made to the people of New York’s 20th congressional district. Since then, the new Census mandated a redrawing of the district lines which included changing the number of the district Gibson was in. So his office now claims: “Congressman Gibson doesn’t plan to re-sign it for the 19th Congressional District, which he now represents (the pledge is to your constituents of a numbered district).”
This comical maneuver should make Representative Gibson a laughing-stock. What if the New York legislature had kept his district number the same? Would he then be bound by it?
About half of his new constituents were also in his old 20th district. Doesn’t his pledge to them still hold?
The technical loophole that Gibson claims to have found doesn’t even hold up. The ATR pledge, which all but six House Republicans had signed in the run-up to this November’s election is addressed “to the taxpayers of the ____ district,” with candidates expected to fill in the blank.
But the next line says the pledge is also made “to the American people.” Grover Norquist of ATR says the pledge was worded in that way to account for the fact that district numbers would change.
Earlier in the week, Speaker of the House John Boehner slighted Wendy Long in her bid to upset Kirsten Gillibrand for Senate in New York’s 20th congressional district.
During a speech at a breakfast for New York delegates on Wednesday, Boehner spoke of the challenges that House GOP candidates faced in “orphan districts” in Illinois, California, and New York. Of those districts, which include Long’s, Boehner claimed there is “no significant Senate race underway.”
Boehner talked up the possibility of grabbing four more House seats, but said the GOP is going to have to fight hard in what are known as “orphan districts,” located in states such as New York and California where the party won’t undertake a serious campaign in the presidential election and “there’s no significant Senate race underway.”
Did John Boehner forget about the record-setting Republican victories which swept him in to power in 2010? Did he forget already that it was conservative enthusiasm that brought about that Republican tidal wave? Apparently, he has. Is there really no chance that with the proper funding and backing from the party, that something similar could happen again in New York?
Just ask Chris Gibson if upsets are possible in New York.
The shameful dismissal of Long’s chances prompted Conservative Chairman Mike Long to write a ‘Dear John’ letter to the Speaker.
Long wrote (full text at the end of this post):
“Our US Senate candidate, Wendy Long, with little money and shear faith in New Yorkers waged an almost impossible primary campaign challenge and won the right to be on the GOP line against all odds,” Long wrote in the letter. “Every place Wendy Long goes throughout New York State she wins over voters and impresses all who make the effort to be an educated voter.”
“Every Republican/Conservative Congressional candidate will benefit in November with Wendy Long’s name above his or hers on the ballot,” he wrote. “You, as Speaker of the House, would benefit with a strong Republican/Conservative voice in the Senate from New York State, instead of the current Senator who does nothing to pass the legislation the House sends to the Senate.”
Senator John Cornyn also helped quell the Speaker’s snub with his endorsement for Long, stating:
“Wendy Long would make an outstanding addition to the U.S. Senate, and I believe she is the perfect candidate to break the Democrat stranglehold on New York. I endorse her with enthusiasm and believe with her platform of Jobs, Freedom, and Accountability she can win this race.”
Unfortunately Senator, endorsements, while fantastic for moral support, do not win races alone. Long is vastly underfunded in the race against liberalism’s darling, Gillibrand. Through the end of June, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, of which Cornyn is Chair, has yet to contribute to the Long campaign.
It’s time to put your money where your mouth is Mr. Cornyn, otherwise your endorsement is about as helpful as John Boehner’s words have been thus far.
Here is the full text of Mike Long’s ‘Dear John’ letter:
Imagine for a moment how surprised I was to read that when you addressed the New York delegation breakfast in Clearwater at the RNC convention on Wednesday, August 29 that you considered New York’s US Senate race one of the places where there is “no significant Senate race underway. Imagine my disappointment, which unfortunately is very real and quite disconcerting when so much is at stake.
New York State, in 2010, delivered more new GOP Congressmen to you than any other state in our Nation. They helped you become the Majority Leader and this year will help keep the GOP Majority in the House, in fact may even be part of giving you a bigger majority.
Why would you say there is “no significant US Senate race underway when we both know that we are already fighting the enrollment numbers in this blue state? New York voters are concerned about the fiscal future of our nation and are looking for candidates who will go to Washington to make a difference.
Our US Senate candidate, Wendy Long, with little money and shear faith in New Yorkers waged an almost impossible primary campaign challenge and won the right to be on the GOP line against all odds. Every place Wendy Long goes throughout New York State she wins over voters and impresses all who make the effort to be an educated voter.
Every Republican/Conservative Congressional candidate will benefit in November with Wendy Long’s name above his or hers on the ballot. You, as Speaker of the House, would benefit with a strong Republican/Conservative voice in the Senate from New York State, instead of the current Senator who does nothing to pass the legislation the House sends to the Senate.
Instead of trying to strengthen a coalition of republican/conservative voices that will help the country you and I are proud to be active political participants in, you let a golden opportunity slip by and in fact inadvertently undermined what we both work so hard to accomplish: a strong fiscally sound nation.
Congressman Boehner, New York State has a very significant Senate race underway. Wendy Long, despite all the odds, is making this a very significant race and come November 6, 2012 you may realize just how significant it was, especially when more republican/conservatives congressional candidates benefit by having her name above theirs on the ballot.
“The President tonight outlined a laundry list of popular programs without regard to what they cost and his own record in office.
“He has failed to deliver on economic growth promises, has squandered $800 billion in stimulus funds, and vetoed jobs and affordable domestic energy bills passed by Congress. What is clear is that he is pursuing a partisan class-warfare agenda aimed at dividing the American people.
“The American people deserve an efficient, effective government that works for them. I am ready to work with the President to cut the regulations and red tape that make it harder for workers and businesses to succeed, to confront the irresponsible overspending by this President and preceding Administrations, and to keep America competitive in a global economy.”
“I firmly believe 2012 has the potential to be a year of growth and recovery for our country, if we make the right choices. Specifically, I think there are five areas with which we can find common ground. They include: comprehensive tax reform that creates a simpler and more fair tax code, regulatory relief, the expansion of domestic energy production, infrastructure investment, and bureaucratic consolidation and reform. These are all areas which will directly help our country’s hardworking families, small business owners, and farmers, while ensuring our nation returns to a path of fiscal responsibility. My constituents want Washington to achieve results and I’m confident that, working together in an era of divided government, we can do just that. Additionally, as a former soldier, I appreciated the President’s recognition of the fine work our men and women of the military have conducted as well as the parallel he drew between their missions around the world and what we need to accomplish here at home.”