Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist campaigned across the 3rd Congressional district Monday, saying that Republican Congressman Walter Jones had broken his anti-tax pledge.
Norquist said Jones had violated an anti-tax pledge by voting last year for major farm and energy bills, Rob Christensen reports.
Norquist said he had known Jones for years, and had sent letters and talked to him by telephone urging him to avoid voting for a tax hike.
"There were flares up in the sky that were tax increases," Norquist said.
Glen Downs, Jones' chief of staff, said in both cases the farm bill and the energy bill were major pieces of legislation, and only a small portion involved increasing revenues — involving renegotiating oil company leases in the energy bill.
"There has never been a straight up tax increase that Walter has voted for," Downs said.
More after the jump.
To the contrary, Jones was one of the few fiscally conservative Republicans who opposed President Bush's two big budget expansions — providing a Medicare prescription drug benefit and the No Child Left Behind program, Downs said.
"It's interesting that Grover is coming in for Joe," Downs said. "Under Joe McLaughlin's time, property taxes in Onslow County have gone up 60 percent." Until recently, McLaughlin was an Onslow county commissioner.
Norquist said his campaigning was unusual.
"It is rare for me to weigh in on primaries," he told Dome in an interview. "Usually all D's are bad on taxes and all R's are good on taxes. But in these two cases, the Republican has broken his word and violated his pledge."
He was referring to GOP Congressman Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland, who Norquist campaigned against and who was recently defeated.