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Riser, Morris Ignore Louisiana Voters, Make Pledge to DC Insider Grover Norquist

BATON ROUGE — Two candidates in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District, state Sen. Neil Riser and state Rep. Jay Morris, have pledged fealty to Grover Norquist, but their concern for Louisiana families is still up for debate.

“By signing a pledge to follow the lead of a Beltway insider like Grover Norquist, rather than the wishes of their constituents, Riser and Morris have demonstrated they are followers, not leaders,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. “We need a representative that stands up to the lobbyists and corporate special interests and fights for Louisiana families. Riser and Morris have shown they lack the independent voice the 5th Congressional District needs in Washington.”

Norquist recently announced Morris and Riser had signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge, but the organization’s news release placed Riser and Morris in Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District — not the 5th.

“If Grover Norquist can’t figure out which Louisiana district has a special election coming up, he definitely should not have a say in our elections,” said Handwerk.

In late 2012, GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced, “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge…. I don’t worry about that because I care too much about my country. I care a lot more about it than I do Grover Norquist.”

Another conservative Republican senator, Tom Coburn, has also clashed with Norquist, who charged that Coburn’s proposed amendments to eliminate tax earmarks for the film and ethanol industries would have violated the pledge.

“If legislators can’t look at reducing tax programs that benefit corporate special interests at the expense of Louisiana families and small businesses, this so-called ‘taxpayer protection pledge’ is preventing our representatives from helping middle-class families get ahead in today’s economy,” said Handwerk.