Mike Wigley’s decision to back Tom Emmer’s campaign got me wondering whether the top two GOP gubernatorial candidates will sign a No New Taxes pledge.
The Taxpayer Protection Pledge (organized by the Taxpayers League of Minnesota) was a critical issue during the early years of Tim Pawlenty’s time as governor. Pawlenty, who remains opposed to tax increases, declined to sign the document in 2006.
Pawlenty’s decision may have quieted the issue but it may get louder as two more Republicans campaign to succeed Pawlenty.
As late as November, Republican Marty Seifert said at a debate that the only pledge he takes is to uphold the Minnesota Constitution () but his campaign manager, Ben Zierke said Seifert signed the pledge last week.
The Taxpayer League’s Phil Krinkie confirmed Seifert signed the pledge. He also said Tom Emmer has not signed it and never signed a pledge. In fact, Emmer said at the November debate that he won’t sign a No New Taxes pledge. He stressed, however, that he’s strongly opposed to raising taxes.
I sent a note to Emmer’s campaign manager to see if Emmer’s position has changed on the issue. He hasn’t responded yet but I’ll post his comments if/when he does.
Both Seifert and Emmer are engaged in what is considered a close contest for the GOP endorsement. Emmer is claiming momentum in recent weeks. Seifert’s decision to sign the pledge and his decision to start questioning Emmer’s temperament to be governor is a signal that Seifert is trying to reclaim momentum.
GOP activists endorse a candidate on April 30th. Both Seifert and Emmer say they’ll drop out if they don’t win party backing.
Question of the Day: Should the candidates be expected to sign a pledge?