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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hoekstra Nixes No Tax Pledge

    They warn you in this biz never to make assumptions, but sometimes you just can't help it.
    Take the bumping into Pete Hoekstra the other day.  The likely GOP candidate for governor, the assumption was, must be like every other republican in that he favors adding his name to the no tax pledge.
    You know the pledge that reads, "If elected, I will not raise taxes."
     Wrong assumption.
     Will you sign the no tax pledge?  "No. I don't think so," he says on camera for FOX2.
     "Signing pledges only gets you into trouble," as he breaks ranks with his friends in the GOP.
     Wow.  This is news and he wasn't done.
     "What may look good today" could tie a governor's hands down the road to the point that it could stand "in the way of getting something done," he reflects calling it a "bad pledge."
      Now don't be mistaken:  Hoekstra is not running on a "I'm going to raise your taxes" platform.  In fact he says if elected he will "reduce the tax burden" in Michigan, but he's smart enough to know that things change and there might come a time for this reason or that, that a tax might have to be hiked.
      Rest assured his potential opponents in a 2010 GOP primary for governor will save this blog and use it against Hoekstra.  He must be aware of that but was not chicken about sharing his views.
      On that he is in sync with the current governor who also refused to sign the pledge for the very same reasons.
      However, the West Michigan Congressman is worried that the governor will "blow" the federal stimulus money once it arrives in state coffers.
      He says the funds should be used to restructure government and based on the last six years, he's not so sure Gov. Jennifer Granholm will do that.


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