George Allen made another move Tuesday in his effort to saddle himself to the Tea Party and ride to victory in next year’s U.S. Senate race.
He signed a list of promises compiled by various tea party and limited-government groups and titled “Contract from America.” Supporters voted on which of 22 ideas to shrink government were the most important to them, and from that, a list of 10 priorities was created.
By signing the pledge, candidates promise that, if elected, they’ll try to bring the items to a vote during their first year in office and will advocate overall for “individual liberty, limited government and economic freedom.”
It’s the first time Mr. Allen has made any substantive promises in the race, which will likely end up in a matchup with Tim Kaine in November 2012. But with a primary to win first, his battle right now is to defend his previous Senate record of voting for large spending bills passed under President George W. Bush—which Tea Party favorite and Republican opponent Jamie Radtke has focused on attacking.
With 18 months to go before the general election, Mr. Allen has miles to go before he sleeps…and now many promises to keep. Here’s what he signed on to:
1. Protect the Constitution by requiring each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill says.
2. Reject Cap and Trade.
3. Amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget with two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.
4. Reform taxes by adopting a simple single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code.
5. Create a taskforce to audit federal programs and agencies and assess their constitutionality.
6. Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population.
7. Defund and repeal the federal health care reform and replace it with a plan that eliminates state boundaries in selling health insurance.
8. Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves and reduce regulations on all other forms of energy creation.
9. Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced and then require a two-thirds majority to pass any earmark.
10. Make permanent the Bush tax cuts to income, capital gains and death taxes.