The No New Taxes pledge: Where do Seifert and Emmer stand?

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?

  • It’s time to think past the endorsing conventions.

    That’s simply a way station on the way to the primary.

    For the Republicans it’s likely going to be Leslie Davis against Emmer. Start comparing my record against he insurance company lawyer Emmer. You’ll see that he will have no chance.

    Leslie Davis

  • Gipper

    Wow, it’s only March and Seifert’s already breaking out the flip flops!

    Let’s see, as far as I can tell, this is now his fourth different position on this pledge. First he signed it as a legislator. Then he broke it in 2005. Then he said in November he wouldn’t sign any pledges. And now, in a move that stinks of desperation, he’s signing it?

    If we couldn’t trust him when he signed the pledge before, and we couldn’t trust him when he said he wasn’t going to sign any pledges, why would we trust him now?

    P.S. You might want to double check whether Ben Zierke is really still the campaign manager. The Seifert campaign recently sent out an email from Kurt Daudt, Campaign Manager.

  • willie Staehardt

    Gipper – Tom Emmer voted ‘pass’ on the health impact fee – real profile in courage since it included pro-life language. But, guess that’s not a surprise since Angry Tom hates MCCL – read his quotes from that city pages article!

    If Emmer isn’t going to raise taxes, he should sign the pledge, it’s a no brainer.

  • Gipper

    So Seifert will keep the pledge unless some other interest group tells him to break it? Gotcha, that makes complete sense.

  • James

    Is this the same Seifert that voted for Minnesota cap and trade (tax) before he voted against it? And his reason for voting for the tax originally was out of loyalty to Gov Pawlenty…

  • willie Staehardt

    James – maybe you live in an alternate universe….last time I checked we didn’t have cap and trade in minnesota.

    More whispers from emmer’s nutters supporters….isn’t going to get you much traction.

  • James

    Willie Staehardt – you are correct about something – I am not an insider and I don’t know all the details about the legislation (ie MN cap and trade). But, I do believe Seifert voted for some type of tax increase on an environmental piece of legislation. Lets set the record straight – Seifert voted for this tax increase and others and NOW signs a NO tax pledge. You argue whisper campaign, I will argue facts. Seifert has voted for multiple tax increases – look at the record Wille.