Political Notebook

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Tax pledge still intact in Indiana

Grover Norquist's no-tax-increase pledge might be taking a beating on the national level but local politicians who signed remain supportive.

Only a few area state lawmakers have taken the pledge but none seem to be backing away.

Then again, state tax increases aren't even on the table after Indiana built up a massive surplus and is sending refund checks to Hoosiers.

Sen. Jim Banks, R-ColumbiaCity, tweeted this week that he signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge not to raise taxes "and will not abandon my promise to Hoosiers who elected me."

The two newest signers just won their Indiana House races – Rep. Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne, and Rep. David Ober, R-Albion.

Ober said federal lawmakers just need to reduce spending to balance the budget.

"I'm disappointed by the federal talks of backing down," he said. "Breaking promises to your constituents makes you a tax hiker, a liar and a coward to boot."

Carbaugh also still supports the pledge, and said the nation should look at Indiana as an example.

"We have weathered the recession storm," he said. "I would hope they would find a way to focus on cutting wasteful government spending."

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, also pledged but didn't return a phone call seeking comment.

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