Press Release from Zach Wamp for Governor; Aug. 3, 2010:
Tennessee Conservative Union Joins in Sounding the Alarm
NASHVILLE – Zach Wamp, Republican candidate for governor, sounded the alarm again today on the likelihood that Bill Haslam would ultimately call for a new state income tax if elected, noting that those who led the last push for the income tax now serve on Haslam’s leadership team and have contributed tens-of-thousands of dollars to his campaign for governor.
In 1999, Bill Haslam’s father, James Haslam II, was joined by Clayton McWhorter of Nashville and Allen Morgan of Memphis in creating and leading Citizens for Fair Taxes, a group that raised and spent nearly $2 million in an attempt to ram through the Sundquist–Naifeh state income tax.
Now Allen Morgan and McWhorter’s son, Stuart McWhorter, serve on Bill Haslam’s statewide leadership and finance committees, and along with the Haslams recruited their family members, co-workers and employees to contribute tens-of-thousands of dollars to Haslam’s campaign for governor.??Just last week Haslam proudly announced that he has the support of state Rep. Steve McDaniel, the lone remaining Republican in the state House of Representatives who co-sponsored and vote for the legislation to enact a state income tax in Tennessee.
In fact, McDaniel, Morgan, McWhorter and Big Jim Haslam were so convinced that a state income tax was the only answer to the state’s budget deficit in 1999 that Mr. Haslam wrote in a piece published by the Knoxville News Sentinel: “Simply put…we must have more revenues…”
Wamp said that with the state of Tennessee facing a $1 billion shortfall early next year, the influence of Bill Haslam’s core campaign team and his family’s support for a state income tax means Haslam cannot be trusted when he says he won’t push for a new state income tax to cover the deficit because he did the same thing in Knoxville when he instituted the largest property tax increase in history to pay for only a $10 million budget shortfall.
“Past performance and the advice and counsel of those around you are good predictors of future behavior, and unfortunately that means the prospects for a state income tax increase dramatically if Bill Haslam’s allowed to buy this election on Thursday,” Zach Wamp said.
“Haslam’s friends and family tried real hard to fool us once before on the state income tax, but we should not let them all do it again.”
The Tennessee Conservative Union weighed in on this issue yesterday, sounding the alarm about what Bill Haslam could mean for Tennessee: “Bill Haslam will be surrounded by many of those who were Sundquist foot soldiers in the income tax battle. It is worrisome to say the least.”
“Actions speak louder than their words, and Bill Haslam puts us one step closer to a state income tax in Tennessee,” Wamp said. “If working families and small business owners want an income tax, then Bill Haslam is their guy. But if they don’t, then I hope they will vote for Zach Wamp on Thursday.”