Grover Norquist speaks at conservative conference in Camp Hill

You've never voted for him, you may not have even heard of him, but critics say Grover Norquist has too much political power in Pennsylvania.

Norquist created that pledge that he's proud to tell you nearly every member of Congress and thousands of state legislators have signed; that pledge to not raise taxes under any circumstances.

Pennsylvania born but bred for Washington politics, the 55-year-old founder of Americans for Tax Reform returned to his home state for the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, a meeting of conservatives at the Radisson Camp Hill.

“You're saying to voters 'Look, when I run into a problem, I'm going to reform government. I'm not going to raise your taxes to bail us out of whatever the problem is,'” Norquist said of his no-tax pledge.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed the pledge and living up to it. His critics say it's the reason why the governor wouldn't sign off on a tax on Marcellus shale natural gas drilling, and hasn't agreed to raise taxes to fix roads and bridges.

“If more money is needed for roads and bridges, take it from some other government spending that's going on right now,” said Norquist, who added that Corbett's pledge was not made to him, but Pennsylvania taxpayers.

“Democrats and spending interests want more of other people's money,” he said. “Like a teenage boy on prom night, they keep asking for the same thing repeatedly, in different ways. What elected officials have to do is say no, no, no.”

Norquist is a master at wooing Republican politicians and of wowing their conservative voters.

“The left is not made up of friends and allies,” he said. “The left is made up of competing parasites.”

Presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and former candidate Herman Cain will speak at the conference on Saturday.

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