In conjunction with the National Taxpayers Union, and in response to its request to NTU
state affiliates, CLT today joined with other state taxpayer groups around the country
and issued the following news release.
Citizens for Limited Taxation urges Attorney General Thomas Reilly to drop his
taxpayer-funded litigation against Microsoft. Former-Attorney General Scott Harshbarger
originally joined the antitrust suit against Microsoft and Reilly has perpetuated
According to a document filed with the federal court last summer, our state attorney
general seeks reimbursement from Microsoft for taxpayers' money spent by his office;
almost $900,000. How can his office justify pouring "3,666 hours" into this case?
"'Taxation through litigation' as a revenue substitute must end," said Chip Ford, director of
operations for Citizens for Limited Taxation. "Whether it's 'Big Tobacco,' firearms
manufacturers, a deep-pockets software corporation, or high-cholesterol foods (no doubt
the next target), this recent backdoor revenue scam must stop. Ultimately, as witnessed
with the tobacco settlement, it is taxpayers who fund these attacks, win or lose, consumers
who pay any settlement, and only government and trial lawyers that profit."
Microsoft has appealed the federal judge's break-up ruling to an appellate panel, which is
highly critical of that judgment. President Bush has nominated a new Justice
Department antitrust chief for confirmation: Charles James appears more sympathetic to Microsoft's
position than his predecessor. It's unlikely that the Bush Justice Department
will appeal the panel's decision if it favors Microsoft, but it seems that some of the 19 states which have
joined the suit are considering their own appeal.
We hope Massachusetts will not be one of them. It's time for our attorney general to
accept the new political reality, cut our losses, and stop throwing good taxpayer money
after bad. It's time to end taxation through litigation.