By now, many of you know that Jeff Crank has been sending a pledge around to City Council and mayoral candidates asking them to promise never to support a tax increase.
Many have signed. I last wrote about it here. Anyway, while some conservatives think Crank's pledge is a great way to sort out the real fiscal conservatives from the bunch, others think it's incredibly short-sighted.
You're asking elected representatives, after all, to make a decision about how they'll handle problems before they even know what the problems are. And it's not as if those elected officials can raise taxes without voter permission anyway. The most Councilors could ever do is put a question on the ballot and let you decide. Mayors have no say in the matter at all.
For these reasons, a few candidates have come out against the pledge. The most recent (and in our opinion the most humorous) is Council candidate Daniel Freysinger.
For your enjoyment, here's the exchange.
From Jeff Crank:
As a filed candidate for Colorado Springs City Council At-Large, I want to offer you the chance to sign the Americans for Prosperity Colorado Taxpayer Protection Pledge. For too long, voters in Colorado Springs have become disillusioned by many elected officials who talk about cutting the size and scope of city government then find those same elected officials turning to a tax increase rather than making the difficult decisions of governance.
Americans for Prosperity Colorado fundamentally believes that the issues within the city of Colorado Springs can be solved through consolidation, spending reductions and better management of city resources and that increasing taxes on the hard-working citizens of Colorado Springs is not the answer.
The attached Taxpayer Protection Pledge, created by Americans for Tax Reform, has been signed by more than 1,100 officeholders around the country and affords the citizens of Colorado Springs the opportunity to know in advance those who commit to smaller government and who, in advance, make it known that they will not support or vote for a tax increase.
Americans for Prosperity Colorado does not endorse candidates. We will, however, vigorously inform our 6,000 AFP activists in Colorado Springs as well as the citizens of Colorado Springs who has and who has not been willing to sign the AFP Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
I hope that you will sign the pledge today. Please return the signed pledge to me by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to me at (719)495-5041 as soon as possible.
Colorado State Director
Americans for Prosperity
And the reply from Daniel Freysinger:
As a filed candidate, I will follow the will of the people. I believe that the people have a right to choose to raise taxes just as they have a right to choose not to raise taxes. As such I have rewritten your pledge in a way that I am willing to sign. I have attached it to this email.