In an interview with the Citizens Voice, Democratic Congressional candidate Matt Cartwright demonstrated the contempt he has for the Tea Party and their pledges.
Frequently, issue organizations propose a pledge or a survey where they ask respondents to promise to their constituents to do or not do something. This allows the organization to get a candidate on the record and in writing on their particular issue.
One such organization which Cartwright seems to take issue with is Americans for Tax Reform or ATR. ATR proposes a pledge to candidates for office that they will not raise taxes on their constituents.
Terrible isn’t it? A politician that promises not to raise taxes and puts it in writing so no one can dispute it.
You would think an attorney like Cartwright would appreciate the concept of getting something in writing. Especially when awarding someone a position as powerful as writing all of the laws of our nation.
Admittedly, pledges are only worth the integrity of the person signing them. For instance, had Democratic Commissioner Corey O’Brien pledged to not raise taxes in writing instead of just saying it, it probably would not have prevented him from breaking his promise and raising them by 38%.
But, none the less, pledges and surveys help voters make informed decisions and avoid the “spin” of politicians – the same “spin” which Cartwright seems to advocate for. Arguing against pledges is arguing against transparency, something that does a disservice to the electorate.