The hubbub among Kentucky Democrats wanting the "freedom" to raise your taxes has conveniently avoided the flap between Grover Norquist and the highest-profile Dem in the state, Ben Chandler. It is a story worth noting.
In 2003, Chandler made a point of refusing to sign the American's for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Last week, several House liberals have decided en masse to back out of their promise to avoid raising taxes. Chandler in October 2003 then called the Pledge "irresponsible," a term echoed by others this past week. After losing the race for Governor, Chandler promptly signed the no tax pledge and proceeded to run for Congress as a self-styled "conservative" Democrat.
Once ensconced in Washington D.C., Chandler even voted to raise taxes on moderate income earners in the 10% and 15 tax brackets. Chandler's duplicity raised Norquist's ire (he called Chandler an "enemy of the taxpayer") but didn't prevent Chandler's re-election. Local media persists in attacking Norquist, but conveniently leave out this element of the story. Ironically, it is likely Chandler's flip-flop and his subsequent electoral success that powered this latest strategy.