R. Blake, did you even read the thing you signed?
Dakota War College parrots the press releases, but Bob Mercer gets the story: Republican Dr. R. Blake Curd is trumpeting the fact that he's the only candidate in South Dakota's U.S. House race to sign this posturing little pledge from Americans for Tax Reform.
Easy for R. Blake to say, now that he's already voted for SB 186, a tax increase on South Dakota employers. Mercer says SB 186 means South Dakota employers will pay tens of millions more this year to replenish our state unemployment insurance fund. Of course, it's worth noting that SB 186 also decreased another surcharge on employers. NFIB says the law appears to be revenue neutral (see David Montgomery for numbers), but the fact remains that Curd voted to increase taxes for at least some South Dakota businesses.
Now I'm actually fine with increasing that tax. We've got to have unemployment insurance, and we've got to fund it somehow. Now's not the best time to hit employers with a tax, but grumbling about that now is like the fire crew grumbling about having to get up a two a.m. to put out a fire.
What I'm grumbling about is R. Blake's fake principles. If "signing the pledge to oppose any and all tax increases was a simple decision that fits in with my basic principles for governing," then are we to assume he didn't discover these basic principles until after March 3, when he voted for SB 186?
Not only is Curd's pledge blatant pandering to the inattentive voter, but he doesn't even understand what he signed. R. Blake says he signed a pledge to fight "any and all tax increases." The document he claims to have signed (hard to read—doctor's penmanship!) talks about opposing increases in marginal income tax rates and decreases in deductions and credits. Americans for Tax Reform (you know, Grover Norquist's outfit fighting to drown government in the bathtub) does peddle a State Taxpayer Protection Pledge that advocates opposing every tax increase, but that's a whole different kettle of bad policy fish.
R. Blake Curd likes the sound of Tea Bag slogans echoing in his head, but he's still faking it. He still can't mesh his fancy speeches and his voting record into a coherent governing philosophy.
Even if you want to throw the bums out, you don't want to throw this bum in.
Bonus Blake Backsliding! R. Blake hates the stimulus package. But he voted, right along with fellow tea-flavored Republican Gordon Howie, for HB 1018, which changed our unemployment law to allow us to qualify for more stimulus money. (I welcome the good doctor to explain to his friends the tricky amendment machinations surrounding HB 1018.)
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