As a member of what Governor Brown calls the “Legion of Acceptability” which includes Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, it was a surprise to see FlashReport Publisher Jon Fleischman tip-toeing around a candidate who REFUSES to sign the ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge in a lead column on his website today:
It’s worth taking a paragraph to address the issue of no new taxes pledges. Travis Allen has signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge. Troy Edgar has not and will not. He has taken his own pledge on his website to oppose taxes. Speaking on behalf of those who encourage candidates to sign no taxes pledges, we prefer a candidate who takes a more comprehensive pledge to both oppose and vote against taxes, but also to oppose any efforts to raise taxes. This language prevents any ambiguity (Is voting to put a tax increase on the ballot to raise taxes? Technically not, but it is sure an effort to raise them!). I have encouraged Edgar to broaden his pledge. But I digress…
If Jon “prefers” and “encourages” Republican candidates to sign a comprehensive pledge like the Gold-standard ATR document to oppose and vote against taxes, he’s giving AD72 candidate Troy Edgar a pass he doesn’t especially deserve. There’s a disappointing level of hypocrisy working here that’s hard to measure, but easy to see if one looks at Edgar’s history.
Former Democrat Edgar has raised taxes twelve times since joining the Los Alamitos City Council in 2006 (the same year he switched parties, but apparently not his leftist ‘tax and spend’ political philosophy). This year, now-Mayor Edgar AUTHORED Measure DD, an extension of Los Al’s existing Telephone Utility Tax. DD doesn’t just refresh a $650k annual revenue source for this small city, it deceptively ADDS cell phones and other telecommunications services like VoIP and perhaps cable and satellite TV to what had only been a 6% tax on landline in-home or in-business telephones.
Seeing a sneaky way of selling this tax extension to his 12,000+ residents, Author Edgar dropped the TUT tax rate by a point to 5%, but went uncharacteristically silent in not mentioning how he’d broadened the target. Edgar and the city never projected what the actual tax increase would collect, and instead played semantic games in just calling it a modernization. But the Orange County Register, and anyone familiar with Edgar’s bullying reputation knew better — the “big paper in the district”, as Jon put it, trashed Measure DD for the tax increase it was, and called Edgar on his deceptive sales job in an October 3rd Editorial: No on Los Alamitos Measure DD. Does this sound like someone who’s taken a “pledge on his website to oppose taxes”? Or is it just another lie that Edgar believes won’t be discovered in the fog of a competitive political campaign?
But the scariest thought to have about Edgar’s rising to the Assembly from the center seat on the dais of the OC’s second smallest city is what happens when Assembly Speaker John Perez stomps into Taxin’ Troy’s small office next to the men’s john after the Assembly’s next in session and asks for his help with some small matter that Edgar’s GOP colleagues are just plain wrong about. As the rookiest of rookies in the Assembly, with the crappiest of Committee assignments, who’s just spent six figures of his family’s money on a political campaign for a $90k/pa job, and someone who’s NOT signed the ATR Pledge, what will it take for ex-Democrat Troy Edgar to sell out like Doris Allen?
Maybe Jon knows.