4 years ago Lord Patel's family had a good chuckle when he drew a cartoon of his grand-daughter wearing a T shirt "Cheney - Rice 2008"
Grover Norquist is President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR),which is a collection of barmy taxpayer groups, individuals and businesses who oppose higher taxes. Yes , that's higher taxes at any level federal, state and local levels. They have a pleded to commit themselves to oppose all tax increases. To date, President George W. Bush, 195 House members, and 42 Senators have taken the pledge. On the state level, 7 governors and 1,221 state legislators have taken the pledge.... however 71 taxpayer spending Senators voted last week to keep their earmarks.
Financial backing for ATR comes from many taxaphobic Fortune 500 companies, Microsoft, Pfizer, AOL Time Warner ,UPS, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds,U.S. Tobacco Distilled Spirits Council, United Distillers & Vintners and Seagram Companies and curiously, in 1999, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians ($360,000), in support of Norquist's work for the gambling industry - who were famously ripped off by Jack Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon.
Harvard-educated intellectual Grover also is a Directors of the National Rifle Association of America. Grover Norquist has a powerful influence in the shady and shadowed world of repug politics. This article he wrote about Karl Rove gives a flavour of his views on running political campaigns and Grover has forgotten nothing in overtaking his role as the managing director of the hard-core right in Washington. It is also said that after Grover met Dubya with Karl for the first time in Austin Texas in November 1998 Norquist's support and lobbying was decisive in swinging the bulk of the conservative movement into Bush's camp by early 1999.
A little known part of his past was his involvement in support of anti-Soviet guerrilla armies, which involved opearting in war zones from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to southern Africa. He was involved with Col. Oliver North's freelance support network for the Nicaraguan contras and other Reagan Doctrine-allied insurgencies. Unsurprisingly he was also proting US support forMozambique's RENAMO, Jonas Savimbi's UNITA in Angola - Grover was a registered lobbyist for UNITA in the early 1990's.
Every Wednesday this increasingly powerful Washington power broker holds a standing-room-only conference room at his organization's L Street offices meeting of conservative leaders where people such as the Christian Coalition rub shoulders with Heritage Foundationto staffers and get briefings from senior political leaders. 2 weeks ago Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice showed up.
She also made a rare appearance at the State Department’s press briefing room Friday February 22ns 2008 and said she had no interest in running for Vice President on the 2008 Republican ticket.
"I have always said that the one thing that I have not seen myself doing is running for elected office in the United States,I didn’t even run for high-school President" adding "It’s not in my genes."
Rice for Veep is gaining traction ... watch this space. Pictures like this don't get into public prints by accident.
Might be worth mentioning that this tax cutting wannabe king maker also has an unresolved project. Which is interesting in the light of the current problems that the denizens of Wall Street are struggling with ... State by state, he's planning to launch a campaign to dismantle and privatize state pension plans and their trillions of dollars of public funds held as investments for retirees. "Just 115 people control $1 trillion in these funds," he says. "We want to take that power and destroy it."