GOP Candidate In Rhode Island Joins Growing List Of Republicans Refusing To Sign Anti-Tax Pledge

Rhode Island GOP Congressional Candidate Brendan Doherty

The Washington Post reported last week that dozens of candidates being promoted by the National Republican Congressional Committee have refused to sign the anti-tax pledge circulated by Americans for Tax Reform and its president, Grover Norquist. The ATR pledge asks Republican candidates to promise never to raise taxes at any time for any reason, but GOPers have been wavering on it in increasing numbers over the last several months.

Joining the list of Republicans not interested in signing Norquist’s pledge is Brendan Doherty, who is running for the seat in Rhode Island’s first congressional district:

“Brendan has not signed the ATR pledge and has no plans to sign it,” Doherty spokesman Robert Coupe told, using the acronym for Norquist’s group, Americans for Tax Reform. […]

“The premise behind this and similar pledges that seek to tie the hands of candidates and elected officials tends to result in greater division and increased gridlock in Congress, at a time when we need to seek consensus and common-sense solutions,” Coupe said.

“Brendan has called repeatedly for comprehensive tax reform to simplify the tax code, close loopholes and create a tax plan that treats middle class families fairly and allows small businesses to compete and create jobs,” he continued. “That is Brendan’s commitment to the citizens of Rhode Island and his pledge is to provide the real leadership that is needed in Congress right now.”

Of course, Doherty is running in a heavily Democratic district, which may have something to do with his decision to ignore Norquist’s directive. Earlier this year, Rep. Tim Johnson (R-IL) blasted the pledge, saying, “I think anybody who doesn’t indicate their willingness to look at revenues — expiration of tax loopholes, tax credits, increase in contribution to Social Security, which is a tax, and otherwise — would be disingenuous and irresponsible.“