Michigan Tax Hike Could Sting Romney In Michigan?

Among the very few Republicans who voted for the largest tax increases in Michigan's history this week: two endorsers of ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney.

They are: State Sen. Valde Garcia, a member of Romney's mid-Michigan leadership team, and State Sen. Ron Jelinek, a member of Romney's West Michigan leadership team.

Presumably, these two state senators would have been called to campaign for Gov. Romney in Michigan... but if the tax hikes prove unpopular with conservatives -- and, here's a guess -- they will -- you may not see Jelinek or Garcia on the trail with Romney.

Note, too, that the next Republican debate will be held in Dearborn and will focus on economic issues. Michigan's 11.5 percent income tax hike and its sales tax extention will almost certainly be the subject of a question or two.

At least one of the Republicans on the dias -- ex-AR Gov. Mike Huckabee, agreed to tax increases in order to fund education and road programs in his state. And Romney raised "fees" to help close a budget deficit. As Grover Norquist would tell you, Republican governors face enormous political pressure to avoid cutting spending without increasing revenue somehow. Governors who do -- think of Bill Owens of Colorado -- tend to become personas non gratas with their state parties, which is controlled at the grassroots level by moral conservatives and rapid anti-taxers and is funded by corporate interests who seek tax breaks for their profits.