Why Did Anti-Tax Grover Norquist Take Such An Interest In VW’s Union Vote?

Known for his tax pledge taken by members of Congress, Grover Norquist traveled to Tennessee Tuesday to advocate for ending the state's Hall Income Tax. Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Known for his tax pledge taken by members of Congress, Grover Norquist traveled to Tennessee Tuesday to advocate for ending the state’s Hall Income Tax. Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Tax cut crusader Grover Norquist views his opposition to union organizing in Tennessee as an extension of his core mission. He was at the state capitol Tuesday advocating for tax cuts. But he also talked about the United Auto Workers.

As the UAW was courting Volkswagen employees, Norquist’s Washington-based political group Americans for Tax Reform spun off a new organization. It’s called the Center for Worker Freedom, and it spent untold amounts on billboards and radio time in Chattanooga, trying to convince workers that unionizing would kill the city’s economy.

Norquist sees unions as the enemy of any conservative position, including his pet issue of cutting taxes.

Whether it’s the Second Amendment or questions of regulation and taxes and spending, if your money is being taken out of your community, out of your paycheck, by organized labor, it is not being spent in areas that necessarily reflect your interests.

Asked whether he’s still fighting the UAW, which has challenged the close vote last month, Norquist compared what his group is doing to an anti-rape campaign.

“Somebody needs to tell the UAW that no means no,” he said.

Daniel Potter contributed to this story from the state capitol.

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