and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

MTF “Analysis” – Pure Political Propaganda

For Immediate Release

Once again the misnamed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has issued another timely anti-taxpayer “analysis” promoting a vote against a tax cut for regular, average taxpayers; this latest report titled "The Enormous Consequences of Question 1."

But what do you call a report that begins with a premise then purchases the “facts” to support the premise, then promotes it as impartial?  Pure political propaganda.

You won’t find MTF’s vaunted “analysis” of the effects of Question 1 listed in the NO ballot committee’s campaign finance reports as a contribution or expenditure.  It’s not there.  It’s filed separately with the state Office of Campaign & Political Finance on the agency’s CPF Form 22:  Ballot Question Spending Reports of Corporations and Other Groups.

MTF isn’t alone filing the payment for its bogus study and its cost, $8,750 paid to Global Insight of Lexington, MA.  That was merely its quarter-share of the total cost for the pure political propaganda report.

MTF was joined by other fat-cat big-business interests:  The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and Associated Industries of Massachusetts, all reported payments of $8,750 on Aug. 28.  The Massachusetts Business Roundtable didn’t pay its $8,750 share until Sep. 4.  The total cost for this “analysis” apparently was $35,000 split among them.

Lest there be any doubt about the corporate fat-cats’ intent, all one needs to do is read Line 4 and see how each group answered it -- with a handwritten checkmark declaring opposition to Question 1 and signed “under the penalties of perjury.”

4.  The expenditures below were made to "oppose” “Question 1" relating to "Repeal of the State Income Tax"

The expenditures were made to oppose Question 1.  So too was the product they bought.

Mass. Taxpayers Foundation - 8/28/08

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce - 8/28/08

Associated Industries of Mass. - 8/28/08

Mass. Business Roundtable - 9/4/2008

Also of note is the Coalition for Our Communities in its latest report lists even the $22,793.86 inkind contributions from Stand For Children of Portland, Oregon, for the services of its finance & administration director, Jennifer Cuellar-Smith, while she’s stationed here temporarily from her West Coast home.  But there is no mention whatsoever of any contribution from MTF, either direct or inkind.  That is found on MTF’s separate CPF Form 22, along with those of its fat-cat corporate allies.

Of the $2,534,922.52 received by the NO committee in direct and inkind contributions since its startup in April, there is not one mention of MTF’s considerable support and Michael Widmer’s personal effort on its behalf.  Among the $443,437.52 of inkind contributions to the committee there is and has been no listing for MTF whatsoever.  That is found somewhere else, if you know where to look:  CPF Form 22.

Again the so-called Mass. Taxpayers Foundation is flying under the radar like a stealth fighter jet.  Is it concerned that its IRS tax-exempt status might be threatened by its overt political activity in opposition to a citizens’ ballot initiative?

So far the Coalition for Our Communities – the NO on Question 1 ballot committee – has raised $1,470,500 of its total receipts from out-of-state public employee unions.  That is a whopping 70 percent of its funding total, as of October 1 with still a month to go.

Since April, the entire $2,091,485 it has raised has come almost exclusively from union coffers, but for $450 from four Massachusetts citizens.  This is hardly a grassroots effort.  And this total doesn’t count the fat-cat big-business contribution and its pure political propaganda stealth campaign.

The NO committee has received an additional $443,437.52 in inkind contributions, again primarily from labor and public employee unions.

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