So Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge has spread to Italy, and beyond:
Today, as questions loom in the U.S. over whether the recent fiscal cliff negotiations show Norquist's pledge is dead, the conservative anti-tax activist's signature document is proving its tenacity by spreading its tentacles of influence to another unlikely place: Europe.
A group called Tea Party Italia, inspired by the tea party movement in the U.S. and by Norquist's pledge, created a similar taxpayer contract it is pushing ahead of the country's general election next month. The pledge says politicians won't raise taxes and will work to reduce the country's debt, which the Associated Press reports hit a record $2.64 trillion in December.
David Mazzerelli, a co-founder of the Italian tea party group, tells Whispers that getting supporters hasn't been a problem. The group has hosted 200 mostly well-attended events over the last several years, he says. But getting politicians to sign on to the pledge might prove more of a challenge.
"Candidates in the U.S. want to sign this pledge because they have to do a difficult and hard campaign," he says. Italian candidates, on the other hand, are chosen by the party and don't go through a campaign season. "So it's very difficult to find [politicians] that believe in our ideas in Italy."