"Pledgemeister" Norquist Lashes Out at Jackie Cilley

National anti-tax-pledge architect attacks Cilley over "pledge politics"

(Barrington) Attempting to flex political muscle and influence elections in New Hampshire, Grover Norquist’s ultra right-wing PAC, Americans for Tax Reform, came out swinging at Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Jackie Cilley.  In an article on the their website, the Norquist PAC took aim at Cilley for her refusal to take his special interest anti-tax pledge.

The article took particular exception to such statements by Cilley as “[Pledges] make decisions in advance of even being able to diagnose a problem fully,” and, “[Pledges] are not leadership, and they don’t allow for governing. I favor a government that has adequate resources to do the job right, not one dime more and not one dime less. We’re going to look at what the most logical, pragmatic way is to to face the challenges of the 21st century marketplace, to attract and foster the kinds of businesses that we want here." 

ATR president Norquist has been described by news analysts and politicos as the most powerful man in Washington, despite not being elected by a single voter.  A majority of the current legislature in Concord has signed his anti-tax pledge as well as several others.

“I welcome Norquist’s criticism,” Cilley said defiantly.  “The folks who have sworn allegiance to him have just about dismantled our state and put us in a very uncompetitive position to attract new businesses with good jobs for our citizens.”

Cilley went on to say, “My response to Grover Norquist’s attack is this: We’ve seen the results of your pledge politics in New Hampshire. Cutting to the bone is hurting our economy. So, thanks but no thanks. Here in New Hampshire we think for ourselves; we don't pledge allegiance to ideologues. It's time to break that mold, and I'm proud to do it.  My pledge is to the people of New Hampshire, to listen to them with an open mind and be the leader they deserve."

Cilley, alone among the major candidates for governor, has refused to sign either the right-wing pledge started in the 1970's by former GOP governor Meldrim Thomson and publisher William Loeb, or any similar anti-tax pledges, choosing instead to outline the investments necessary to build a 21st century economy with the promise to listen to all options for revenue.

Norquist's attack should not be a surprise to those closely following this race. Republican front-runner Ovide Lamontagne has already taken the pledge and earned praise from Norquist.

The Grover Norquist pledge is so extreme that it won't even allow for elimination of tax special interest tax loopholes.

ABOUT JACKIE: Jackie Cilley is proud to have earned the support of nearly 17,000 union households across New Hampshire for her campaign for governor. Jackie, who served in both New Hampshire's House and Senate representing Barrington, built a successful business and taught more than 2500 New Hampshire students over her 20 years as a highly respected business professor with UNH's Whittemore School for Business and Economics. A Berlin native, Sen. Cilley earned a BA in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from the Whittemore School.  Jackie and her husband Bruce have lived in Barrington for more than 20 years.  They have five sons, 12 grandchildren, and two dogs.