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Virginia State Senator Blasts the Pledge to Norquist

Monday, January 9, 2012

In a January 6 op-ed in the Washington Post, Virginia State Senator Dave Marsden criticized 29 of his colleagues in the Virginia General Assembly for signing a "no tax" pledge to Grover Norquist's special interest group, Americans for Tax Reform. In his op-ed, entitled "A pledge that compromises our oath," Senator Marsden asked his colleagues, "How can you take your oath of office in the General Assembly knowing that you have a prior allegiance to a special interest that dictates how you will perform your duties?" From the op-ed:

Because of the Americans for Tax Reform pledge, we cannot even effectively debate a tax issue; even if pledge-takers were convinced that a tax increase is necessary, they are unable to compromise. Their allegiance lies elsewhere than the needs of their constituents.

When voters send us to Richmond, one of their fundamental expectations is that we will compromise to meet the needs of the commonwealth. But this pledge has made compromise impossible.

Senator Marsden ended his piece with a call to action by his colleagues: "It is time for legislators to repudiate this pledge and all others like it and get back to representing the people of Virginia." His call echoes that of Constitutional Accountability Center and the many thousands of individuals across the country who wrote to "Gridlock Grover" Norquist late last year, insisting he affirm that our elected officials must put their oath to the Constitution ahead of any pledge to him or to any other special interest.

You can read Senator Marsden's s entire op-ed in the Washington Post, here, and watch a video of CAC delivering more than 13,000 messages to Norquist's D.C. office, below: