The national anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform will e-mail and fax letters tomorrow to California legislators who signed its no-tax pledge, warning them the group will consider any vote to put tax extension measures on the ballot a violation of that pledge, said the group's state affairs director Patrick Gleason.
Gov. Jerry Brown is planning to make major budget cuts and also ask voters to extend temporary tax increases that are set to lapse this year.
All of California's Republican legislators in both houses have signed the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," except Sen. Anthony Cannella, of Ceres, and Sen. Sam Blakeslee, of San Luis Obispo, who has not signed since becoming a senator last year, Gleason said. No Democratic legislators have signed the pledge.
The pledge reads: "I (name of official) pledge to the taxpayers of the (blank) district of the state of (blank) and all the people of this state that I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes."
Gleason said asking voters whether they wanted to extend tax increases qualified as an effort to increase taxes.
"This is to make clear that putting before a vote a measure to extend the taxes that Brown has proposed would violate the pledge," Gleason said. "We count that as an assist. It's not a direct score, but it's an assist."
Gleason said his group, which was founded by famed conservative Grover Norquist, widely publicizes the names of officials who have signed - and broken - the pledge.
"The pledge is a commitment to their constituents and voters," Gleason said. "As this moves through the legislative process, we'll certainly be putting out press statements and we'll cheerfully let voters know who has broken the promise to them."