Re: Activists Groups Demanding We Fill Out Their Survey, Take Their Pledge.

April 23, 2014 11:00 am

by Buzz Brockway · 11 comments

Last summer I received a certified letter from a group called the 60 Plus Coalition. The letter contained a certificate that I was to sign and return to them by a certain date. The letter warned that if I did not, the voters of my district would be informed of my refusal to do as instructed by 60 Plus. I threw the letter in the trash and hoped they would run an ad against me. I was looking forward to speaking to my local press and the voters of my district about how I don’t sign pledges under threat by special interest groups. Sadly, they have not run an ad against me but they did run ads against several of my colleagues. The ads caused no small stir and turned most of my colleagues against this group, even if they agreed with the groups’ stated aims. The ads only stopped when Peach Pundit’s Jon Richards wrote this post.

This morning an email was forwarded to me from Nathan Adams of a group called Georgia Taxpayers United (I’ve written about them before). The text of the email is below the fold. Adams is demanding candidates fill out his survey or be attacked. I received one of his surveys and after I read it I tossed it in the trash, as I’ve tossed several other surveys from groups all across the political spectrum. Some groups send surveys that are clearly meant to determine what a candidate thinks. Others (and it seems to me an increasing number) are worded to trip people up or box them into a corner so they can play “gotcha” politics. And still others like those from 60 Plus and GTU come with threats attached.

I’m more than happy to inform people of where I stand. Just last week I completed a short questionnaire from the League of Women Voters that will be published on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s website. Again this year I will fill out the “Political Courage Test” from Project Vote Smart. I’m also more than happy to answer questions from constituents as I do regularly.

Voters should also reject these kinds of tactics. People often complain about politicians being beholden to special interest groups. The tactics of groups like 60 Plus and Georgia Taxpayers United only contribute to the problem.

So here’s a tip to groups out there who want candidates and elected officials to fill out your surveys: don’t follow the lead of 60 Plus and Georgia Taxpayer’s United. Reject bullying tactics and have an honest conversation about issues that are important to you. And above all, remember that people like me weren’t elected by 60 Plus, Georgia Taxpayers United, or any other interest group. We were elected by the voters of our districts and ultimately we answer to them not you.

What does Democrat Timothy Swiney have in common with Republicans Donald Balfour, Mike Beaudreau, and P.K. Martin?
All of these candidates for your State Senate seat have so far refused to answer their Georgia Taxpayers United candidate survey.
So we just don’t know where they stand on important issues like Obamacare, the income tax, and the largest tax hike in Georgia history, T-SPLOST.
Don’t you think that candidates for office should give voters like you straight answers on important issues?

Why shouldn’t these candidates do just that?

Do they have something to hide?

You see George, Georgia Taxpayers United sent all candidates for State Senate the candidate survey back in late March. The survey was due on April 21st.

We asked candidates to give us straight “yes” or “no” answers on issues that are important to supporters like you such as:
*** Stopping (nullifying) Obamacare in Georgia,
*** Repealing the hospital bed tax,
*** Repealing the state income tax,
*** Repealing property taxes,
*** Repealing taxes on cars,
*** Repealing the largest tax-hike in Georgia history (T-SPLOST), and
*** Repealing Georgia’s Internet tax scheme.

By getting candidates for office to put their positions in writing, we can better hold them accountable should they win elective office.

But some candidates apparently don’t want their true intentions revealed in writing.

Please contact these candidates for your State Senate seat and INSIST that they immediately return their completed Georgia Taxpayers United survey:

Donald Balfour [email protected]

Mike Beaudreau [email protected]

P.K. Martin [email protected]

Timothy Swiney [email protected]

All too often, we hear politicians claim to support our values on the campaign trail only to betray us with “more of the same” once they win their elections.

But with your help we can make sure that these candidates put their promises in writing now so that we can hold them accountable later.

Please take action by contacting each of these candidates and then forward this email to your friends and neighbors!

For freedom,

Nathan
Nathan Adams, President
Georgia Taxpayers United

Larry Harkins April 23, 2014 at 11:19 am

An elected official being asked to go on record on issues?!?!? And then voters notified in their in district as to where they stand on said issues?!?!? *Gasp!*

saltycracker April 23, 2014 at 11:30 am

I’m all for candidates clearly stating their position on their website.
Not so much in wasting time answering demand letters from “organizations”.

Raleigh April 23, 2014 at 11:52 am

Rep Brockway

No one at the state house takes these serious anyway if they sign up or not. Anyway I have taken the liberty to fill out part of GTU’s survey. Feel free to use it as you see fit.

*** Stopping (nullifying) Obamacare in Georgia,
Not happening at the State level, very little the state can do anyway. Federal issue but it is perceived to get state politician brownie points with the voters

*** Repealing the hospital bed tax,
Passed for special interest groups to “fill a hole” in the health care budgets, Funny it’s takes money out of the same area it is supposed to fund. (filed under “shell game”)

*** Repealing the state income tax, Not gonna happen No such thing a a “repealed tax, see “temporary tax”, ( ref federal telephone taxes)

*** Repealing property taxes,
HA, NEVER HAPPEN references the outrage over the GREAT plan for Georgia. What a JOKE!

*** Repealing taxes on cars,
Never happen, Special interest tax, gift to the Auto Dealers Association. See Birthday tax elimination circa 2012-2013 created a massive tax increase on personal auto sales.

*** Repealing the largest tax-hike in Georgia history (T-SPLOST), and
Bad plan whose time should have never come in the first place. Money earmarked to fund many Park and Recreation projects. It will be back in some form or another….

*** Repealing Georgia’s Internet tax scheme.
Special interest tax. To “protect brick and mortar stores buy attempting to shift their tax burden to out of state stores. Reality is their tax burden will never be reduced. Similar to the (911 tax, Tire disposal fee and many others that are only being use to fill the state general fund and not fund the intended purpose.

Demonbeck April 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm

You should have demanded that all readers comment on this post with their opinions by Friday. If not, you would assume that they all voted for Cynthia McKinney for President in 2012.

Demonbeck April 23, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Unless, of course, they did vote for Cynthia McKinney in the last election. Then we’ll say they support fracking.

John Konop April 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Long time….hope all is well for you in the banking world….

Buzz Brockway April 24, 2014 at 9:50 am

+1

DavidTC April 24, 2014 at 11:27 am

…so exactly what sort of taxes *would* be acceptable?

Ah, sales tax, the most regressive tax.

And let’s make sure to keep it regressive as possibly by only taxing things purchased locally, like food, not things purchased online that the non-poor people might be buying.

Demonbeck April 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Charlie Harper has not replied to this thread.

When does he intend to endorse Ben Affleck for President?

Buzz Brockway April 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm

That’s a completely reasonable question.

rwlee2 April 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

What burns my chaps is the P.P.S. of the email, which says “We don’t endorse or oppose candidates for public office…” yet there’s some very clear photos of their mailers opposing candidates for public elections.

If you want your surveys to be taken seriously, it’s pretty important that you be honest about your behavior. Just say you’re a libertarian organization, you support libertarian-minded candidates, and you will go out and spend money for them.

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