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November 28, 2012

Gibson disavows Norquist tax pledge

COOPERSTOWN — More than a year after he took a pledge to refuse to support any tax increases, newly re-elected Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, confirmed Tuesday he is on a new path — one that does not include embracing conservative Grover Norquist's push for holding the line on taxes regardless of the consequences.

Gibson, fresh from an Election Day victory over Democrat Julian Schreibman during an election cycle that was overall bad news for Republicans, becomes the latest Republican to abandon the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" touted by Norquist. Gibson had signed the pledge last year.

Asked if his decision shows he has evolved to the point he will no longer assume the position of an inflexible naysayer against higher taxes, Gibson told The Daily Star,  "I don't envision signing any pledges now because going forward I have a record that I'm proud to run on that's pro-growth."

Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, is the architect of an anti-tax pledge that gained the support of all but three Republicans elected to Congress two years ago, when the Tea Party was more fashionable than it is now.

The sharp-tongued Norquist, a champion of supply-side economics, once stated: “I’m not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

Gibson, speaking to The Daily Star from Washington, said he is proponent of a bipartisan budget proposal that he said promotes "pro-growth policies" and is the "best approach" for upstate New York. He said that plan, proposed by Reps. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., and Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, would cut the deficit while achieving tax reductions for individuals, small businesses and corporations.

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