On twitter today, Allen Quist's spouse and campaign manager Julie has tweeted:
Why has @mikeparry not signed ATR tax pledge? Said he would.
We tweeted back, asking for a date and documentation for this Parry campaign promise. Mrs. Quist tweeted back the URL for a Mankato Free Press article from July 12, Quist, Parry engage in tax spat. Free Press staff writer Mark Fischenich reported:
Both candidates have agreed to take the pledge of tax opponent Grover Norquist to never support a tax increase of any kind.
But Parry, too, has changed his position on taxes — and on the wisdom of no-new-tax pledges — although it might have been one of the quickest flip-flops in political history.
It happened on Nov. 4 in Mankato when the Waseca restaurant owner was taking audience questions during his campaign kick-off tour. Asked if he supported Norquist’s no-new-taxes pledge, Parry responded: “I think that’s irresponsible.”
After talking about the importance of first eliminating waste and abuse in government spending, Parry said he would be open to revenue increases to maintain core services.
“At that point in time, if we say, ‘Here’s where we need to be and in order to maintain that, there has to be some income adjustments,’ then that’s where I’m at,” Parry said.
Parry recalled how he reluctantly made large investments in new technology for KTOE radio when he managed the station: “Did we want to do it? No. Did we have to do it to maintain our competitiveness? That’s what’s happening to America today, folks. ... We’re losing our competitiveness around the world.”
Virtually every Republican candidate for federal office now takes Norquist’s no-new-taxes pledge, and Parry changed his answer a few minutes after the Q & A ended.
“Well, let me clarify that,” he told The Free Press after the crowd had departed. “I am going to take the pledge. ... I was overanalyzing. I was thinking, ‘OK, as a business guy, blah, blah, blah, how did I handle spending money?’
“Well, I know it’s broken. I know we’re spending way too much. I am not going to raise taxes, I can guarantee that. In this economy, I would flatly dig my heals in. I just won’t do it.”
Mike Parry's name is does not appear on Americans for Tax Reform's list of 2012 candidates who have signed the pledge. In Minnesota,all four Congressional Republicans have signed the "taxpayer protection pledge;" among candidates running for office, Quist, Lee Byberg and Kurt Bills have signed, as has Kline challenger David Gerson. Parry is not a state signer.
The Parry Campaign has attacked Quist for voting to raise gas taxes in the 1980s; Quist has replied that the increase was balanced by a net tax cut, and that such balancing is acceptable to ATR and GRover Norquist.
Scroll to Minnesota in the embedded document below:
Bluestem doesn't support this approach to revenue.
Photo: Senator Mike Parry.