2014 SF TechTable: Grover Norquist

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[staff name=”Grover Norquist” position=”President | Americans for Tax Reform” img=”https://www.t4a.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/grover-norquist.jpg”]Grover Norquist is best known for his founding of the taxpayer advocacy group, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in 1985. The organization “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.” Norquist is also known for his effort to promote the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” and his Wednesday Meetings in which he convenes elected officials, activists and leaders to problem solve issues in Washington. In addition to these accomplishments, he serves on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association of America, the American Conservative Union, the Parental Rights Organization, and the Center for the National Interest. Finally, Mr. Norquist has also written three books and has served in a variety of other positions in the political world including commissioner on the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, executive director of the National Taxpayer’s Union, and economist and chief speech-write for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Outside of Politics, Norquist is known for his sense of humor and competes regularly (and has won) Washington’s Funniest Celebrity contest. Mr. Norquist currently resides in Washington D.C. with his wife Samah and their two daughters.

Connect with Grover here: [v_icon color=”#1bb2e9″ size=”21px” hover=”show-color” name=”moon-twitter” url=”https://twitter.com/GroverNorquist” target=”_blank”][/staff][/column]

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[quote author=”Grover Norquist”]Misbehavior that leads to disruption in the classroom does not warrant a $500 Class C misdemeanor ticket and subsequent trip to municipal court. An after-school detention or two, for example, should do the trick just fine, without great cost to the taxpayers or overburdening our courts.[/quote]

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[heading]Key Takeaways[/heading]
[v_icon color=”#1B75BB” style=”pull-left” size=”38px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-location”]Grover Norquist was particularly passionate about a bipartisan effort to reform the criminal justice system. Rather than spending exorbitant amounts of tax payer money on our prison systems, Norquist believes we should redirect these funds to preventative measures. He believes there is an opportunity for the technology community to participate in this as well. One example he gave is, rather than putting large numbers of offenders in prisons, we could use more ankle monitoring bracelets for non-violent offenders. This saves tax payer dollars and avoids the extended separation of families that too often happens with prison time.

[v_icon color=”#F37320″ style=”pull-left” size=”38px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-bubble-link”]Like many in the technology industry, electronic privacy is a priority for Norquist and his organization, Americans for Tax Reform. They are working to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to protect American’s Fourth Amendment rights in our modern, digital world.

[v_icon color=”#FBAD1D” style=”pull-left” size=”38px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-user-plus-2″]Contrary to popular belief, there are Republican coalitions that are interested in immigration reform. In particular, Norquist referenced religious groups (Mormons, Southern Baptists, and Irish Catholics), the business community (particularly focused high-tech H-1B visas), and law enforcement. This group is also highlighted as a focus for the National Immigration Forum (with whom we also sat down with) which formed an alliance called Bibles, Badges, and Businesses to join together “those who hold a Bible, wear a badge, or own a business” and are committed to passing immigration reform.

[v_icon color=”#F05A28″ style=”pull-left” size=”38px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-search”]Finally, Norquist also pinpointed government transparency as an area in which technology could be immensely helpful. While it’s true that, legally, of all of this data is public, it’s not in a format that’s easily accessible. Much or the resistance seems to come from the fact that states tend to want to synthesize and analyze their data. Norquist however urges them to skip this step—get the data out there and think tanks will do the rest.

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[heading]Executive Briefing[/heading]

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