Republican candidates for governor Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert both agreed to sign “The Fiscal Responsibility Pledge” last night. The pledge, designed by
the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota Tom Emmer, aims to cut taxes, reduce state government and cut government workers. (Update: Emmer designed the pledge but it was announced at a debate at the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota debate).
Seifert’s campaign, however, is criticizing Emmer for not signing a No New Taxes pledge from the Taxpayers League and for suggesting in the past that he doesn’t sign pledges.
The pledge comes just one week after Emmer and Seifert criticized the other for raising supporting tax increases in the past. Here’s the full release from Emmer’s campaign:
Wayzata — Tom Emmer signed a pledge today directly with the people of Minnesota to reduce taxes, reduce the state workforce and reduce regulations during his term as governor. The pledge goes beyond the traditional language from the Taxpayers League of Minnesota that only promises to hold the line on taxes. Marty Seifert added his signature to the fiscal responsibility pledge during a debate in Wayzata hosted by the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota.
“The voters need to know with certainty the next governor will not raise taxes at a time when so many families and businesses are struggling in this economy,” said Emmer. “This pledge goes beyond simply holding the line on taxes – we will actually reduce the tax burden on families and businesses during our time as governor. It is the fastest way to get this economy moving again and create jobs.”
Emmer and Seifert also promised to reduce the state workforce and reduce regulations that make it hard for Minnesota businesses to add jobs. The complete language of the pledge follows:
I establish this covenant with the people of Minnesota. As Governor I will:
Reduce the tax burden for citizens and employers;
Reduce the size of the state workforce; and
Reduce the number and scope of regulations that inhibit job creation and unduly burden individual freedom.
I stake my honor and integrity upon these promises to the citizens of Minnesota.
— 30 –
Here’s the full statement from Kurt Daudt, Seifert’s campaign manager:
“In less than a week, Representative Emmer has made a dramatic shift from refusing to sign pledges to now writing a pledge that suits his personal convenience.
Rep. Emmer’s covenant is a personal pledge, and no third party organization will hold him accountable. The Taxpayers’ Protection Pledge is the “grand daddy” of pledges in Minnesota politics. It has tradition and prestige.
By signing the Taxpayers’ Protection Pledge, Marty Seifert has promised to not raise taxes and Minnesotans can rest assured that an independent group will judge him accordingly.”
Emmer Claims He “Never” Signs Pledges
“I won’t sign pledges, never have…and I haven’t signed them from day one…I don’t believe that you do [need to sign pledges]…because I think you lose your credibility the second you sign a pledge…I lose the opportunity to explain why it’s a bad idea…” (MGRC Candidate Forum, November 17, 2009).