Letter: Pledge tied Vogel's hands
I am having a hard time understanding how an elected legislator, whose goal is supposedly to represent and work for his constituents' best long-term interests, would essentially tie his own hands by signing Grover Norquist's "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," agreeing to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes." Twenty-five of Minnesota's 134 House members have signed the pledge, one of them being Bruce Vogel.
How can a politician be an effective compromiser, when he has given up his right to even consider any kind of tax increase? This results in exactly what has happened in Minnesota, namely, balancing budgets with "massive multibillion-dollar 'borrowings,' accounting shifts, fee and tuition increases, accelerated tax payments, delayed bill payments and shifting costs to local governments," as outlined in an article written by former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson "Republican Legislators Have Forsaken Fiscal Integrity "(updated Oct. 15, 2012).
I, for one, will cast my vote for a candidate whose top priority is to end shutdowns and gridlock in St. Paul. Mary Sawatzky would never sign a pledge that limits her ability to reach across the aisle.