A Ballot Committee of
Citizens for Limited Taxation & Government
PO Box 408 * Peabody, MA 01960
Phone:(617) 248-0022 /(508) 538-3900 E-Mail:
Visit our web-page at:

*** Promise Update ***
Saturday, December 6, 1997

Greetings activists;
The dark forces of insatiable greed converged on our petitions yesterday, over a dozen mercenaries armed with two copiers, and began pouring over our signatures. Soldiers from TEAM (Tax Everything and More", though they prefer Tax Equity Alliance of Massachusetts) and the MTA ("More T’ain’t Enough", though their preference is the Massachusetts Teachers Association, but just why a bunch of teachers are fighting a cut in their income tax eludes me—but if teachers want to be seen as the enemy of the taxpaying citizen, so be it!) dragged in two copying machines and set up shop in the Secretary of State’s office.

Barbara and I are putting together an emergency fund-raising letter today (just another typical weekend) and will get it out next week. We’re counting on you and many others to respond both quickly and generously so we can hire a ballot law attorney and afford a counter-challenge immediately, to keep our hard-earned initiative alive and headed for the ballot.

Please, don’t depend on "someone else" to do it.

I think we all recognize now that there are just not enough "someone elses" out there to go around—and the result of counting on "them" is disappointing indeed, if not disastrous!

If you’re not already on our mailing list and want to receive one of the above letters so you can help, please send your name and address to:


Or mail your contribution to:
A Promise to Keep: 5%
PO Box 408
Peabody, MA 01960

Thanks for your anticipated support!
Chip Ford—

Advances.......Dec. 8, 1997

Week of December 8, 1997

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON . . . This week’s messages emanating from Beacon Hill to Bay State voters may be mixed. On the plus side, citizens could get official news that the cost of insuring their cars will drop for the fourth straight year. But questions will continue over whether a future income tax cut will be in their hands, or those of the 200 legislators they have elected to represent them. The 1998 auto insurance rate reduction appears assured, and must be announced by Insurance Commissioner Linda Ruthardt by Dec. 15. But what taxes will be cut in the coming year, and by whom, remains anybody’s guess. Signatures on petitions placing the question of slicing the state’s income tax on the ballot in November are being scrutinized by opponents of the tax cut and may be challenged.

CLT&G . . . Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government handed in 65,045 valid signatures on its tax-cutting ballot petitions by last Wednesday’s 5 pm deadline, but that doesn’t mean the group made it. Workers from the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts will spend this week pawing through the hundreds of petitions the group submitted, looking for signatures that could be forged or otherwise illegitimate. The groups are trying to prevent the tax reduction question from going before voters in November, fearful that it will mean a cut in spending on education and social programs. The rollback of the state income tax to 5 percent from 5.95 percent is projected to cost state coffers $1.2 billion a year after it is fully phased in. The group proposes that 1999 income be taxed at 5.6 percent; 2000 income at 5.3 percent; and income for 2001 and beyond at the pre-1989 rate of 5 percent. Towards the goal of canceling voters’ ability to decide the question, the teacher’s union and TEAM hope to successfully challenge so many signatures that the petition is knocked off the ballot. Challenges are filed with the five-member Ballot Law Commission, a state board appointed by the governor that investigates fraud in the electoral process. Challenges must be filed by Jan. 2, and the board will then have until Jan. 23 to rule on how many signatures are invalid.

Arline Issacson, an MTA lobbyist who spent part of Friday reviewing the tens of thousands of names, reported back late in the day. The process, she said, was "slow as molasses in Antarctica. But, she added, "There’s some basis to say, yeah, we’ve got a shot here."

BALLOT LAW COMMISSION . . . If and when the ballot law commission does receive signature challenges, it could well be without a chairman and missing two members. Longtime chairman Samuel Tisdale, whom Secretary of State William Galvin said was the board’s first and only chairman, resigned in December of 1996, and neither William Weld nor current acting Gov. Paul Cellucci made a replacement appointment. On October 29 of this year, Elaine Noble resigned from the panel, and she has not been replaced either. There was no word from the governor’s office late Friday on whether Cellucci plans to have the new members in place in time for the expected challenge.

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