Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the most visible anti-tax crusaders in the country, will be in Austin on Thursday to campaign for Gov. Rick Perry. The two will appear together at a private luncheon with a couple dozen conservative activists. Then, at a press event, Perry will sign a pledge not to support tax increases — something that Norquist, with considerable success, has encouraged politicians all over the country to do.
More on this later, but his appearance will come just after Perry said Tuesday that he wants a constitutional amendment to say it will take a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise state taxes.
Norquist (you could call him the Michael Quinn Sullivan of national politics) once said, “We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals - and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship.” He is also famous for saying he wanted to get government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”
Nonetheless, this is a Republican primary, and the Perry campaign believes there will be many more conservatives voting than moderates. So despite Norquist’s controversial statements over the year, his blessing could sway voters who see little difference between Hutchison’s and Perry’s records on fiscal policy.
However, it is worth noting that Hutchison has already signed the Norquist pledge.
As someone who has dealt with state campaigns quite a bit, I think there is a state level tax pledge that is different from the federal pledge... from my googling I can't see that she has signed the Texas level pledge... but then again very few politicians at the lege have signed it either... it is kind of a new thing at the state level.