Grover Norquist: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Grover Glenn Norquist

Grover Norquist at CPAC in February 2010.
Born Grover Glenn Norquist
October 19, 1956 (1956-10-19) (age 53)
Sharon, Pennsylvania
Residence Washington, D.C.
Nationality  United States
Education B.A. 1978, M.B.A. 1981
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Economist
Employer Americans for Tax Reform
Home town Weston, Massachusetts
Board member of National Rifle Association, American Conservative Union. Nixon Center
Religion Methodist
Spouse(s) Samah Alrayyes Norquist
Children Grace Salam, Giselle Salma
Parents Warren Elliott Norquist
Carol Lutz Norquist

Grover Glenn Norquist (born October 19, 1956) is president of anti-tax advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist is a member of the board of directors of the National Rifle Association[8] and the American Conservative Union.[9]


Background and education

Norquist grew up in Weston, Massachusetts, and became involved with politics at an early age. In his early teenage years, Norquist volunteered for the 1968 Nixon campaign, assisting with get out the vote efforts.[10] He enrolled at Harvard University in 1974, where he would obtain both a BA and MBA. While in school, Norquist helped to publish the libertarian-leaning Harvard Chronicle.[11] Norquist has said that he believes that one's political beliefs are fully developed by the age of 21.[10]

Americans for Tax Reform

Norquist is best known as the founder of Americans for Tax Reform in 1985, at the request of President Ronald Reagan, and has headed the organization ever since.[12] The primary policy goal of Americans for Tax Reform is to reduce the percentage of the GDP consumed by the government.[7][13] ATR states that it "opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle."[14] Americans for Tax Reform seeks to curtail government spending by supporting Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) legislation[15] and transparency initiatives,[16] and opposing cap-and-trade legislation[17] and Democratic efforts to overhaul health care.[18]

In 1993, Norquist launched his Wednesday Meetings series at ATR headquarters, initially to help fight President Clinton's healthcare plan and eventually becoming one of the most significant institutions in American conservative political organizing.[11]

Other political activities

Early in his career, Norquist was executive director of both the National Taxpayers Union and the national College Republicans organization, holding both positions until 1983. Afterward, he held the positions of Economist and Chief Speechwriter at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1983 to 1984.[19]

Norquist traveled to several warzones across the world to help support anti-Soviet guerrilla armies in the second half of the 1980s. He worked with a support network for Col. Oliver North's efforts with the Nicaraguan contras and other insurgencies, in addition to promoting U.S. support for groups including Mozambique's RENAMO and Jonas Savimbi's UNITA in Angola.[11]

In addition to heading Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist serves on the board of numerous organizations. He is former chairman of the Islamic Free Market Institute. Norquist was a co-founder of the Merritt Group, later renamed Janus-Merritt Strategies, whose clients included international companies, Indian gaming interests, the government of Pakistan and the government of Gabon, and the American Muslim Council. Norquist has also represented American Express and Microsoft.[20][21]

Influence in national politics

Norquist was instrumental in securing early support for then Texas Governor George W. Bush, acting as his unofficial liaison to the conservative movement.[11] After Bush's first election, Norquist was a key figure involved in crafting Bush's tax cuts. The Wall Street Journal's John Fund dubbed him "the Grand Central Station" of conservatism and told The Nation: "It's not disputable" that Norquist was the key to the Bush campaign's surprising level of support from movement conservatives in 2000.[22]

Working with eventual Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Norquist was one of the co-authors of the 1994 Contract with America, and helped to rally grassroots efforts, which he later chronicled in his book Rock the House.[11] Norquist also served as a campaign staff member on the 1988, 1992 and 1996 Republican Platform Committees.[1]

Norquist, along with Bill Kristol, Ralph E. Reed, Jr., Clint Bolick, and David McIntosh, is one of the so-called "Gang of Five" identified in Nina Easton's 2000 book by that name,[23] which gives a history of leaders of the modern, post-Goldwater conservative movement. Humorist P. J. O'Rourke has described Norquist as "Tom Paine crossed with Lee Atwater plus just a soupçon of Madame Defarge".[11]


Influence in state and local politics

Norquist's national strategy includes recruiting politicians at the state and local levels. Norquist has helped to set up regular meetings for conservatives in many states, meetings modeled after his Wednesday meetings in Washington, with the goal of creating a nationwide network of conservative activists that he can call upon to support conservative causes, such as tax cuts and deregulation. There are now meetings in 48 states.[25]

In 2004, Norquist helped California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with his plan to privatize the CalPERS system.[26] In Virginia's 2005 Republican primaries Norquist encouraged the defeat of a number of legislators who voted for higher taxes.[25]

Views on government

Norquist has been noted for his widely quoted quip: "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."[27] Norquist favors the elimination of numerous federal organizations including the Internal Revenue Service, the Food and Drug Administration, Education Department and the National Endowment for the Arts.[11]

He has also stated, "Cutting the government in half in one generation is both an ambitious and reasonable goal. If we work hard we will accomplish this and more by 2025. Then the conservative movement can set a new goal. I have a recommendation: To cut government in half again by 2050".[28] The Americans for Tax Reform mission statement is "The government's power to control one's life derives from its power to tax. We believe that power should be minimized."[29]

Norquist is the author of the book Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government's Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives,[30] published on March 11, 2008 by HarperCollins.

Involvement with Jack Abramoff

Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform were mentioned in Senate testimony relating to the lobbying scandal for which Abramoff pled guilty in 2006. Norquist has denied claims that he did anything wrong.[25] Records released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee allege that ATR served as a "conduit" for funds that flowed from Abramoff's clients to surreptitiously finance grass-roots lobbying campaigns. A second group Norquist was involved with, the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, received about $500,000 in Abramoff client funds.[31]


On April 2, 2005, Norquist married Kuwait-born Samah Alrayyes,[32] who until then had been the director of the Islamic Free Market Institute. She is a CEO of her own communications firm and formerly a Public Affairs Specialist for Arab and Muslim outreach at the Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs at USAID.[33][34]

Norquist is said to live a modest lifestyle. According to friend and former roommate John Fund, Norquist's devotion to conservative causes is "monk-like" and comparable to that of Ralph Nader.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b "ACU: Board of Directors: Grover G. Norquist". The American Conservative Union. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  2. ^ "The 2008 Distinguished Service Award Dinner". The Nixon Center. Retrieved 10 Jan 2010. 
  3. ^ "Grover Norquist From HarperCollins Publishers". HarperCollins Publishers. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  4. ^ Document Number: K2015721859 "Marquis Who's Who: Who's Who, 2008". Fairfax County Public Library. Document Number: K2015721859. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  5. ^ Scherer, Michael (Jan 2004). "The Soul of the New Machine". Mother Jones. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  6. ^ Gay, Sheryl (August 2004). "Political Points - Of Marriage Vows and No Tax Pledges". New York Times. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Grover Norquist (15 April 2009). "National Tea Party Tax Protests". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 October 2009. 
  8. ^ "NRA Leaders: Grover Norquist". NRA Leaders. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  9. ^ "ACU: Board of Directors: Grover G. Norquist". The American Conservative Union. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  10. ^ a b Grover, Norquist (23 Aug 2009). "First Person Singular: Grover Norquist". Washington Post. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Robert, Dreyfuss (14 May 2001). "Grover Norquist: Field Marshal of the Bush Plan". The Nation. Retrieved 10 Jan 2010. 
  12. ^ ATR | Mission Statement
  13. ^ "Cost of Government Day 2008". Center For Fiscal Accountability. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  14. ^ "The Great Tax Debate". NOW With Bill Moyers. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  15. ^ Tom, Bell (14 May 2001). "Tax-Reform Guru Touts TABOR II". Morning Sentinel. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  16. ^ Reuters (28 October 2008). "Advocates of Florida Spending Transparency Hold Press Conference". Press release. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  17. ^ Mora, Edwin (26 August 2009). "Government Agencies Would Need $16.6 Billion in New Tax Revenue to Buy Carbon Allowances Under Global Warming Legislation". CNS News. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  18. ^ Reuters (28 October 2009). "Taxpayer Group Launches Petition to Ask Sen. Ben Nelson to Keep His Pledge". Press release. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  19. ^ "Grover Norquist: Republican". NewsMax. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  20. ^ Palast, Greg (26 October 2004). "Adventure Capitalism". Tom Paine.Common Sense. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  21. ^ Pope, Charles (27 April 2005). "Microsoft Defends Ties to Ralph Reed". Seattle PI. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  22. ^ Suellentrop, Chris (7 July 2003). "Grover Norquist, GOP Prophet of Permanence". Slate. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  23. ^ Indiana Monthly, version 24, no. 2 (Indiana): pp. 144–144. October 2000. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b c Cassidy, John (25 July 2001). "Wednesdays With Grover". The New Yorker. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  26. ^ "CSR in the Cross-Hairs". Business Ethics. Spring 2005. Retrieved 7 November 2009. 
  27. ^ "Conservative Advocate". NPR's Morning Edition. 25 May 2001.
  28. ^ The Insider Online
  29. ^ Mission Statement for Americans for Tax Reform
  30. ^ "Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government's Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives". HarperCollins. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  31. ^ Schmidt, Susan; Grimaldi, James V. (25 June 2006). "Nonprofit Groups Funneled Money For Abramoff". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  32. ^ "2004 Annual Report". Marriages Recorded in Weston. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  33. ^ "3rd NAAP Annual Conference". Network of Arab American Professionals. Retrieved 7 Nov 2009. 
  34. ^ Sperry, Paul E. (2005). Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington. Thomas Nelson Inc.. pp. 276–294, esp. 287.,M1. "The relationship gives literal meaning to the notion that Norquist is in bed with Islamists." 

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Grover Norquist (born October 19, 1956) is a prominent conservative activist.


  • "Our goal is to inflict pain. It is not good enough to win; it has to be a painful and devastating defeat. We're sending a message here. It is like when the king would take his opponent's head and spike it on a pole for everyone to see."
    • from the National Review, quoted in The Republican Noise Machine by David Brock, Crown Publishers 2004, pg. 50
  • "Don Sherwood’s seat would have been overwhelmingly ours, if his mistress hadn’t whined about being throttled.”
    • quoted in Caroline Daniel et. al., Financial Times, November 10, 2006 [1]
  • "We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals -- and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship."
    • quoted in John Aloysius Farrell, "Rancor becomes top D.C. export: GOP leads charge in ideological war," Denver Post, May 26, 2003 [2]
  • "And we've had four more years pass where the age cohort that is most Democratic and most pro-statist, are those people who turned 21 years of age between 1932 and 1952--Great Depression, New Deal, World War II--Social Security, the draft--all that stuff. That age cohort is now between the ages of 70 and 90 years old, and every year 2 million of them die. So 8 million people from that age cohort have passed away since the last election; that means, net, maybe 1 million Democrats have disappeared--and even the Republicans in that age group. [...] You know, some Bismarck, German thing, okay? Very un-American. Very unusual for America. The reaction to Great Depression, World War II, and so on: Centralization--not as much centralization as the rest of the world got, but much more than is usual in America. We've spent a lot of time dismantling some of that and moving away from that level of regimentation: getting rid of the draft."[3]
  • "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."[4]
  • "Alexander Hamilton has been on the $10 since 1928, he's been well honored by the country, he was a great Secretary of the Treasury. But of all the people on the currency, the only one who isn't a president." [Note: Benjamin Franklin, whose portrait appears on the $100 bill, also was not a president.]
    • interview with CNN's Judy Woodruff on the possibility of putting Ronald Reagan on the $10 bill, June 8, 2004
  • "Yeah, the good news about the move to abolish the death tax, the tax where they come and look at how much money you've got when you die, how much gold is in your teeth and they want half of it, is that — you're right, there's an exemption for — I don't know — maybe a million dollars now, and it's scheduled to go up a little bit. However, 70 percent of the American people want to abolish that tax. Congress, the House and Senate, have three times voted to abolish it. The president supports abolishing it, so that tax is going to be abolished. I think it speaks very much to the health of the nation that 70-plus percent of Americans want to abolish the death tax, because they see it as fundamentally unjust. The argument that some who played at the politics of hate and envy and class division will say, 'Yes, well, that's only 2 percent,' or as people get richer 5 percent in the near future of Americans likely to have to pay that tax. I mean, that's the morality of the Holocaust. 'Well, it's only a small percentage,' you know. 'I mean, it's not you, it's somebody else.' And this country, people who may not make earning a lot of money the centerpiece of their lives, they may have other things to focus on, they just say it's not just. If you've paid taxes on your income once, the government should leave you alone. Shouldn't come back and try and tax you again."
    • interview with NPR's Terry Gross on the program Fresh Air, October 2, 2003
  • "[Democrats] will only become acceptable once they are comfortable in their minority status. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate." As quoted by Paul Krugman November 10, 2006 [5]


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