“Conservatives gone mild”: a hopeful sign

by David Safier

Here’s another hopeful sign that conservatives are feeling uncertain about their core beliefs, and possibly about whether pure ideology will continue to win elections for them. The number of Republicans in the state lege signing Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge is down.

Only 11 lawmakers, including just one of 17 Republicans in the Senate, have signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Only two of the 14 new Republican lawmakers this session have signed.

That number is down from 21 in the 2011-12 Legislature, when the GOP boasted a supermajority in both chambers. And media reports listed the number of pledge signers at the Legislature as being as high as 32 in the two years before that.

Some Republican legislators say signing the pledge may have just slipped their colleagues’ minds. Not likely. “No new taxes” isn’t something Republicans just kind of forget about. Not signing the pledge is a conscious decision.

The names of the 2013 Arizona pledge signers, state and federal, are below the fold.

PHRASE COINAGE NOTE: I googled the phrase “Conservatives gone mild” to see who had used it before. Google replied, “No results found for ‘Conservatives gone mild.'” Maybe no one has used it because it’s lame, but if by chance you see it crop up anywhere, well, you read it here first.

At this point, Gail Griffin is the only AZ state Senator to sign the pledge. On the House side, Adam Kwasman is the only freshman to sign, along with 10 returning reps: David Gowan, John Kavanagh, Phil Lovas, Debbie Lesko, Steve Montenegro, Justin Olson, Warren Petersen, Carl Seel and David Stevens.

In Congress, John McCain and all four Republican reps have signed: Paul Gosar, Matt Salmon, David Schweikert and Trent Franks. Jeff Flake is not on the list.

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