Thankfully, at least some political donors exist who are willing to hold Republicans’ feet to the fire on cutting spending, reducing taxes, and eschewing unfair corporate incentives.
In North Carolina, The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that donor and widely respected school-choice advocate Bob Luddy plans to divert a $25,000 donation away from N.C. House Republicans based on a proposed House budget that raises spending without cutting taxes.
As the Observer reports:
Luddy complained that the budget advancing to a major vote on Thursday does not include new tax cuts and extends tax breaks for specific industries. He called the spending plan too “liberal” and said he’s decided to withold [sic] his planned, annual donation to the House Republicans’ campaign committee.
“I had planned to donate $25,000 this year to the House Republican Caucus to help re-elect a conservative supermajority,” Luddy wrote in the email to all Republican House members this week. The message was posted to the Civitas Institute’s blog Tuesday night.
“Unfortunately, after seeing the $1.3 billion in additional spending and no across-the-board tax relief in the proposed House budget I had to reconsider,” he wrote. “We now find that based on the Republican budget, special interests such as film producers, non-competitive solar energy manufacturers and out of state companies are favored over hard-working taxpayers and North Carolina businesses.”
Kudos to Luddy for standing strong in support of common sense tax policy.
North Carolina Republicans have done much to benefit the state in recent years. For one, the GOP-led legislature and governor’s office green lighted tax reform in 2013 that flattened rates and broadened the base for corporate and personal income taxes.
But Republicans are new to power in North Carolina, having only won a majority in 2010 for the first time since Reconstruction, and with newfound power also comes newfound temptations, particularly from special interests looking for government handouts and favorable tax policies.
The N.C. House continues to debate the budget even up to this moment, so the final version is far from certain. Even so, it’s refreshing to see the willingness of conservative donors such as Luddy to play hardball when it’s called for.