Senator Dean Heller November 28, 2011
Russell Courtyard 4
I am appalled and greatly disappointed in the Republican Party members who signed a pledge promising never to vote to raise taxes. The issue that is so disturbing is not taxes but rather the blatant insinuation by Mr. Grover Norquist that Republicans legislators either comply with his position on taxes or face not being reelected in their next election. As Steve Kroft reports, his biggest coup was getting more than 270 members of Congress, and nearly all of the 2012 Republican presidential primary candidates, to sign a pledge promising never to vote to raise taxes.
Mr. Grover Norquist is a lobbyist who has gotten virtually every Republican congressman and senator to sign an oath called “The Pledge.” It’s a promise that they will never, under any circumstances, vote to raise taxes on anyone. And so far Grover Norquist has held them to it, controlling 279 votes, including the speaker of the House, the Senate minority leader and all six Republican members of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction
It is my understanding that each elected official is responsible to their constituency and the United States of America and not some lobbyist who imposes his views on an entire political party. I do not understand how highly educated and successful legislators can bend to the will of one man unless the personal gain for them outweighs all other consideration. This bare-knuckle political strategy have some of the characteristics of a protection racket. Many Republican congressmen fear retaliation from Norquist if they even suggest that a tax increase for the wealthiest of Americans should be up for discussion in the current deficit negotiations.
Signing a written pledge to anyone or special interest group on political issues for which the public has entrusted you is wrong in so many ways. This pledge reeks of the perception that each Republican that has signed the pledge is being bought by Grover Norquist and sold to the American people as a person who represents their best interest. I am sure you can rationalize you support Mr. Norquist’s position but it should be the other way around where there is independent thought and form a position that is best for America and then and only then can Mr. Norquist support your position.
I fully understand the weight and responsibility of an oath by serving in the U.S. military for over 30 years. We both served this nation and there is a clear distinction between service and servitude, which the Republicans that signed Mr. Norquist’s pledge have forgotten. I value courage, honesty, service before self, and many other attributes in my leaders but anyone in office who signed this pledge falls very short of my expectation of leadership.
Every American deserves better of their elected officials than being led by Mr. Norquist so they can be reelected. It is a reasonable expectation that once one achieves a position of leadership that they LEAD and not follow those who have their own private agenda. This whole issue makes the words power and greed synonymous with politicians and lobbyist.
It is disheartening to know that the Gover Norquists of this world wield so much power and that those entrusted with this nation well being tend to place self before service. When and where does it stop? How many pledges will you sign when the rich lobbyist threatens your political future? Mr. Norquist and his fellow lobbyist are not the problem, the problem having so called leaders who do not possess the courage and fortitude to withstand the efforts of a few for the overall greater good.
I expected and deserve better from our politicians but this “pledge” shows just how far we are from being better. I sincerely hope that you have not succumbed to the lobbying pressure and can act in the best interest of Nevada and the entire country.
As a Nevada resident and voter, I want to know more about what/who drives my elected officials. I am requesting information regarding whether you signed the Norquist pledge and if you have committed yourself to other lobbying efforts either in writing or verbally. Since, this information was not shared during your election campaign and I know how important it is to have informed voters, your immediate reply is greatly appreciated.
Las Vegas, NV. 89145