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.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
That No Tax Pledge
Even though the Mike Cox for governor camp took some hits on his debate performance recently, his camp declared, Mission Accomplished. Cox was over the top aggressive and hogged the microphone from the other four contenders on the stage, but when all was said and done, Cox got the story he wanted: He was the only one to sign the no tax pledge. True, that was the lead story out of the Mackinac Island event and in a GOP primary where lots of anti-taxers vote, Cox is more than happy to take some performance criticism as long as he got the story he wanted. Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, State Senator Tom George, and West Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra refused to sign the pledge, which took some political guts to do. Kalamazoo Se nator George correctly noted that since no one can predict the future, it would be irresponsible to take a promise that you might not be able to keep….think the first President Bush with his ill conceived "Read my lips. No new taxes" which he rescinded years later. Hoekstra who was the first in the GOP contest to reject the pledge earlier this year, refused to accuse Cox of pandering for votes, which of course Cox was doing. Hoekstra dismissed it as a disagreement over policy. The newest entrant in the crowed GOP field is Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard who advised on the stump that he would not raise taxes. Please note that is not the same as, "I promise not to raise taxes" and also note that technically a governor does not raise taxes, lawmakers do. Governors sign the increase. So Bouchard, in effect, gave himself some wiggle room on the tax hike question, although he gave the impression he would not raise them. Having it both ways is a neat trick.