You are here

Tell Grover Norquist to Knock It Off

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You may not know who Grover Norquist is, but your representatives in Congress do. Nearly 300 members of the House and Senate have signed pledges kept by his organization that they will not support any measure increasing tax revenues, even taxes on billionaires, or even revenues generated by closing the most ridiculous loopholes. The only pledge our representatives in Washington should be upholding is the oath they take to the Constitution.

Since the launch of Constitutional Progressives, preeminent public officials have echoed our call for public servants to pledge to the Constitution, not to Grover or any other special interests. Senator John Kerry sent a letter to all of his Senate colleagues, endorsing Constitutional Progressives and urging his colleagues to join him in reaffirming their constitutional oath of office on Constitution Day. Likewise, the two co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Raúl Grijalva and Rep. Keith Ellison (along with eight other caucus members), declared themselves "Constitutional Progressives" and asserted that their "solemn oath to support the Constitution trumps the demands of any interest group," while Rep. Louise Slaughter said, "Instead of fulfilling their pledge to uphold the Constitution, the Republican majority has worked to fulfill campaign pledges to Grover Norquist."

Even President Obama echoed our challenge to legislators in a speech in the Rose Garden two weeks ago, saying, "the last time I checked, the only pledge that really matters is the pledge we take to uphold the Constitution."

But it's not just progressives who recognize that "Gridlock Grover" is a big part of the Washington problem. On Tuesday, in an extraordinary speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Representative Frank Wolf, a well-respected Virginia Republican, criticized Norquist's "no-tax pledge" and questioned whether "one person's demand for ideological purity is paralyzing Congress." Wolf also chronicled Norquist's strong-arm tactics in enforcing his pledge, laying out the pledge collector's effort to seek "retribution" for anyone who breaks his pledges and documenting Norquist's ties to "unsavory" individuals such as disgraced lobbyist and convicted felon Jack Abramoff. Earlier this year on Meet the Press, conservative firebrand, Senator Tom Coburn, said much the same thing: "[W]hich pledge is more important...? The pledge to uphold your oath to the Constitution of the United States or a pledge from a special interest group..."

Public officials in the United States need to pledge their allegiance to the Constitution, not to Grover Norquist or any other special interest.

Please act now and send a message to "Gridlock Grover." When we have 10,000 messages for Norquist, we will hand-deliver them to his office, so make sure you send yours today.