WASHINGTON, D.C. — The founder and president of Americans For Tax Reform says 2014 could be the year West Virginia voters make a major political shift at the polls and put more Republicans in charge in both Washington, D.C. and Charleston.

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Grover Norquist

“West Virginia is probably the state most out of sync between where its voters are on issues and the party affiliation of their governor and both Houses,” said Grover Norquist.

He said it’s clear to him national Democrats, lead by President Barack Obama, have largely left West Virginia.

“The modern Democratic Party has decided that the coal industry and coal workers have to be crushed.  They’ve decided that the Second Amendment is an option.  They want to raise taxes rather than reduce them,” said Norquist on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“You go down the list of things that are of importance to people from West Virginia and the modern Democratic Party is not just indifferent, but hostile.”

He cited Arkansas as a state where such a major political shift, from Democratic leadership to Republican leadership, most recently occurred.  Arkansas had been part of the “Solid South” for Democrats for generations before the change.

Mike Plante, a Democratic Party consultant, argued West Virginia’s Democrats win when the run as “West Virginia Democrats.”  He cited recent campaigns from U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in which both worked to distance themselves from President Obama and other Washington Democratic leaders, despite claims otherwise.

“In three elections, they (Republicans) have thrown President Obama (at them), they’ve done everything they can to try to tie President Obama to Senator Manchin and Governor Tomblin and those two have won because they’ve not been afraid to show where they disagree with the President and with the Administration,” said Plante.

But Norquist said that kind of delineation is getting more difficult to make.

“There are two political parties.  There are two political tendencies and to argue that you’re in the boat that’s rowing hard left, but that you say, ‘Well, my oar, I’m moving it the other way,’ you know, you’re not even slowing it down.  You’re in the wrong boat,” said Norquist.

Americans For Tax Reform is a taxpayer advocacy group formed in 1985 with the mission of limiting the size and cost of government, opposing higher taxes at the federal, state and local levels and supporting tax reforms.  The organization asks all candidates for federal and state office to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a commitment to oppose all tax increases.

The 2014 Primary Election in West Virginia is scheduled for Tuesday, May 13.

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  • Wowbagger

    Grover Norquist is just another actor in the Kabuki Theater that is the Washington establishment as clearly as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed.

  • Aaron

    How this man got so much power and why politicians kowtow to him is beyond my comprehension. As we approach $20 trillion in debt in which Republicans are as responsible as Democrats in piling up, to think that we are going to cut our way out of that fiasco is speculative at best and more logically speaking, ignorance.

    I favor cuts and would love to see the tax code rewritten but to think we can only cut discretionary spending or reduce entitlements and reduce our debts is ludicrous. The simple truth is, if we are going to become financially responsible, we are going to have to use and "all of the above" mentality to get there.

    The problem is, I see NO ONE in Washington with the courage to lead us there. Far too many are afraid of nincompoops like Grover Norquist.

    We're doomed. We don't have to worry about the Soviet Union rising to equal the US as a super power, we're going to 'deficit' ourselves fright down to third world power with them.

  • ole sasquatch

    Grover Norquist is the man that no democrat will debate. Why you may ask - because they fear they cannot dent the logic he speaks.
    Of course if you want govt. giving you something all the time - you would hate this man of which they are examples below. However, some of us like to stand on our OWN two feet.

    • thornton

      Based upon his smoothness in delivery and knowledge of WVa evident in the Talkline interview today....a white oak stob might when a debate.

      He, like his counterparts across the aisle, are little more than political carpetbaggers.....ifin they fit your ideas then you like them...or vice-versa.

      Grover, can anyone keep from smiling when using that name?, is part of the problem and why little will ultimately change for the better....it will simply continue the cycle of the same old Them vs. Us.

    • Sick&Tired

      I would say I'm 47 yrs old and except for unemployment benefits when I was 20 know kind of government assistance.Any politician who would want their name on a wall like a trophy.I will not vote for.

  • Brian

    I do believe WV is in a stage of political soul searching. Clearly WV is conservative on several issues, simply look at the county popular vote and most of WV was red by far. Nationally, I think politics is a total mess with both sides holding firm - the next revolution may be upon us if something doesn't change, including civil war. I don't like it but that's the way many people are seeing it.

  • Imgrill

    This man knows nothing about West Virginia or it's people. I have never voted straight ticket but anyone this hack supports is reason to vote for other party. Grover , and people like him , are the problem not the answer. Both parties have people like him, he isn't offering any solutions just a "no" to everything. Anyone who signs anything that requires them to be loyal to anything but the people who elect them need to be voted out regardless of party. Btw what qualifications does this man have to suggest the people of West Virginia should or shouldn't do anything?

  • Rich

    And why should we care about his opinion?

  • richard

    Grover Norquist - a great reason to vote straight democratic
    He and people like him are exactly what is wrong with politics and this nation when it comes to governing.

    • billyed

      His tax reform is protecting the wealthy
      1 and 2 percent. This excludes over 99% of WV's and shifts the tax burden to the middle
      class and the poor.

      • o

        IRS figures show the top 1 percent of earners take home 16.9 percent of the nation's total income, but pay 36.7 percent of the nation's income taxes.
        There is a point that the wealthy will throw up their hands and say the "hell with it". Under people like Obama that day draws nearer and nearer. Then people wonder why the economy is not growing faster.

    • Brian

      So we immediately follow the left equivalent? If Norquist is that bad for the right, I'm sure your guy is that bad for the left which means either way, we're all screwed. And, a fact that so many politicians choose to ignore, most of us are in the middle. Give a little, get a little in return . Why won't someone give that platform a chance?

  • rick

    I am not sure who listens to this fool who wishes to blackmail everyone to get them to believe his way is best. The Democrats have forgotten who they are in State. Read the history of the State prior to 1933 and you will see what you get when Repubicans have their way.

  • Sick&Tired

    While I will be voting mostly republican this is not a shining light for republicans.Grover is just one more reason of a broken system.

    • Sick&Tired

      I would like to add to the candidates to let me know if you are a part of Grover's wall so I can vote accordingly.

  • GobblyGook

    This is the killer for any politician to make, "The organization asks all candidates for federal and state office to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a commitment to oppose all tax increases."
    Some taxes will need to be increased, and others lowered.
    Like the cap on Social Security tax. The cap for 2014 is $117,000.00. How many Americans make over $117,000 a year? Any salary over the $117,000 threshold is not even taxed. All those million dollar athletes not paying their fair share into Social Security. At the 6.2% rate, a person making $1,000,000 pays the same amount in SS tax as the person who made $117,000, $7,254.00. Ridiculous.