Lecture (6:30pm for) 6:45pm – 8:15pm
Grover Norquist (Twitter: @GroverNorquist) is president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a taxpayer advocacy group he founded in 1985 at President Reagan’s request. ATR works to limit the size and cost of government and opposes higher taxes at the federal, state, and local levels and supports tax reform that moves towards taxing consumed income one time at one rate. ATR organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to the American people to oppose all tax increases. In the 113th Congress, 219 House members and 39 Senators have taken the pledge. On the state level, 14 governors and 1,035 state legislators have taken the pledge.
Norquist chairs the Washington, DC – based “Wednesday Meeting,” a weekly gathering of more than 150 elected officials, political activists, and movement leaders. The meeting started in 1993 and takes place in ATR’s conference room. There are now 60 similar “center-right” meetings in 48 states. Mr. Norquist holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, both from Harvard University. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Samah, and his daughters, Grace and Giselle.
Mr. Norquist also:
- Serves on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association of America, the American Conservative Union, the Parental Rights Organization and Center for the National Interest (formerly The Nixon Center.)
- Serves as a Contributing Editor to the American Spectator Magazine.
- Serves as president of the American Society of Competitiveness.
- Authored three books: Rock the House; Leave Us Alone – Getting the Government’s Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives; and (with co-author John Lott) Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future
In the past, Mr. Norquist served as:
- A commissioner on the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce.
- A commissioner on the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service.
- Economist and chief speech-writer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce (1983-1984.)
- Campaign staff on the 1988, 1992, 1996 Republican Platform Committees.
- Executive director of the National Taxpayers’ Union.
- Executive director of the College Republicans.
Arianna Huffington calls Norquist “The dark wizard of the Right’s anti-tax cult.”
According to John Stossel, “No one in modern times has fought harder to shrink the state than the founder of the group Americans for Tax Reform.”
In the words of Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist is “the person who I regard as the most innovative, creative, courageous and entrepreneurial leader of the anti-tax efforts and of conservative grassroots activism in America . . . He has truly made a difference and truly changed American history.”
P.J. O’Rourke says “Grover Norquist is Tom Paine crossed with Lee Atwater plus just a soupçon of Madame Defarge.”
Senator Mitch McConnell says, “It’s because of soldiers like Grover that the conservative movement is so vibrant today and that the liberals who thought they had taken over two years ago are on the run.”
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