My Campaign Promises to You!
Campaign promises are used by most politicians solely for the purpose of garnering votes and getting elected. In this respect and to that extent, they are no better than outright lies intended to seduce you, the voting public, into electing yet another unscrupulous politician to office so that he or she can rape the public treasury, receive unwarranted largesse from special interest groups and commit legalized extortion from unfriendly persons, groups and businesses.
As a Libertarian, I view campaign promises entirely differently.
In my opinion, a campaign promise is (or ought to be) a legal and binding contract with the voters and with the people of the State of New Mexico. And, like wedding vows, campaign promises are not to be taken lightly.
Because I firmly believe that words have meanings which cannot be altered to suit the speaker’s whim, let me state that “never” means “not even once” and that “always” means “without fail”.
With that firmly in mind, please allow me to state my position on campaign promises, and my promises to you:
I, Carl M. “Marty” Swinney, Libertarian candidate for the New Mexico State House of Representatives, 59th District, do hereby declare, of my own free will:
- That I will never vote to increase the burden of taxation in one area unless there is an equal or greater reduction in taxes in another area;
- That I will always vote for a reduction in taxation wherever possible;
- That I will always work and vote for those issues which will result in an increase in personal freedom and never support or vote for anything which will result in a lessening of Liberty; and
- That I will never vote for an increase in State spending in one area unless there is an equal or greater reduction in spending in one or more areas within the New Mexico State Budget.
Furthermore, if I ever violate any one of my campaign promises, I shall voluntarily remove myself from office and resign from the New Mexico legislature.
CARL M. “MARTY” SWINNEY
I hereby challenge my opponent to take his campaign promises as seriously as I do, to put them in writing as I did, and to have their statements notarized as I have done.
For a photocopy of my notarized statement, please write to my campaign at Swinney4House, PO Box 495, Carrizozo, NM 88301; to see why I have taken such a strong stand on campaign promises, please read the following article from the March 29, 2006 edition of the Wall Street Journal:
WALL STREET JOURNAL
REVIEW & OUTLOOK
Corzine the Canary
March 29, 2006; Page A18
Jon Corzine, New Jersey’s new Governor, isn’t the first politician not to follow through on a campaign promise. But rarely is such dishonesty later presented as a virtue. The question for voters to contemplate is whether this is also an indication of what to expect if Democrats gain control of Congress in November.
Mr. Corzine won the Trenton statehouse last year by running as a tax cutter who’d raise property tax rebates by 40% over four years. “I’m not considering raising taxes. It’s not on my agenda. We have a very high-rate tax structure. I’m not considering it,” the then-U.S. Senator had vowed in October.
Well, last week Governor Corzine removed the Steve Forbes mask and submitted a record $30.9 billion budget that increases state spending by 9% and includes $1.5 billion in new levies. He wants to raise the already high state sales tax by 16% and extend it to services; hike taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and expensive cars; and create a new state water tax. And just so Garden State entrepreneurs don’t feel left out, his budget would impose a corporate tax surcharge and a commercial property transfer tax. “There are no immediate plans,” joked one local paper, “to tax the air we breathe — not this year, at least.”
And what about his pledge to more than double property tax rebates in a state where the average homeowner’s tax bill has risen by $1,300 in the past four years? That’s on ice for now, and perhaps until he’s running for re-election. “I’ll be the first to acknowledge that some things have to wait,” said Mr. Corzine in his budget address.
His spending plan would give homeowners about 30 bucks extra, which would hardly cover the property tax hikes that have averaged 7% annually of late. New Jersey already has the highest property taxes in the country, and the new Governor wants to extend its lead.
While voters might feel misled by this 180-degree turn, Mr. Corzine is winning praise from fellow Democrats as a “straight shooter” brave enough to make “hard choices.” Former Governor Jim Florio said, “I think this is an intellectually honest budget.” Senator Robert Menendez, who was appointed to serve the remainder of Mr. Corzine’s term, commended the Governor for submitting the “most honest, fiscally responsible budget in years.”
These Democrats have an odd definition of truthfulness, but then Mr. Florio himself pushed through huge tax increases in the early 1990s after saying he wouldn’t. It cost him re-election, though that was when the New Jersey GOP still had a pulse. Like Mr. Corzine, former Democratic Governor James McGreevey also campaigned on a promise to lower tax burdens. The day after winning office in 2001, he declared, “I am ruling out a tax increase,” yet he went on to raise the state’s top marginal rate by 41% and make New Jersey’s top income tax rate the fifth-highest in the country.
Knowing that track record, New Jersey voters may be getting what they deserve if they were dumb enough to believe Mr. Corzine. But this tax flip-flop seems to take place wherever Democrats take power these days. Former Virginia Governor (and possible Presidential aspirant) Mark Warner also promised not to increase taxes during his campaign in 2001, only to raise them later.
And now Democrats on Capitol Hill are promising they’ll also cut taxes if they’re elected to run Congress next year. Republicans have certainly given Democrats an opening by their failure to govern. But voters who might otherwise choose Democrats for a change might think twice if they conclude that Mr. Corzine is the canary in the coal mine of real Democratic tax intentions.
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