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

*** Promise Update ***
Wednesday, January 21, 1998


The hearing before the state Ballot Law Commission brought by the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Tax Equity Alliance of Massachusetts against our "temporary" income tax rollback continues through this week. The commission must by law make its determinations not later than Friday.

Every day our attorney, Steve Epstein, is usually accompanied by Barbara as his "legal assistant," though last week on a "snow day" his 12-year old daughter sat next to him at our Respondents table and assisted.

Steve and Barbara spent yesterday confronting the teachers union’s team of lawyers . . . and comforting the elderly citizens dragged in from their homes across the state to be attacked as forgers by the hired guns of the "compassionate" teachers of the commonwealth.

As one elderly signer was being grilled by the teachers’ counsel, Barbara too loudly instructed Steve to stipulate signatures of the elderly that were being challenged by the teachers, to bring an end to the cruel inquisition of the elderly and infirm by the teacher terrorists. Judge Hennessey asked if they wanted to step outside and hold a private discussion, to which Steve replied no.

He explained to the commission that we didn’t want to inconvenience any more of these senior citizens, especially at a risk to their health, and would agree to and accept the loss of a signature wherever it was even vaguely apparent that an elderly husband or wife might have signed for the other, if the teachers would provide us with a list of those they had subpoenaed.

The teachers refused to provide the list, and insisted that the elderly citizens appear before the commission to testify!

Yesterday, the teachers union asked that the commission extend the statutory deadline beyond Friday, stating that there wasn’t enough time to complete their challenge. Judge Hennessey related another case in which a convicted criminal pleaded with the court to lessen his sentence as he was old and wouldn’t live to serve out his term. Quoting that judge’s response, he told the teachers, "Then you’ll have to just do the best you can"!

The teachers immediately appealed his refusal, filing it with the Superior Court.

When Barbara met with the senior citizens outside the 21st floor hearing room and apologized for them being harassed, intimidated, and dragged in from points all across the state, they were thrilled to meet her. "I used to listen to you all the time on Jerry’s program," was a shared response. But when the teachers’ lawyers came over to "thank" them for coming in, the old-timers let loose at them with a vengeance!

Barbara chased off the mercenaries with, "Do you mind if I talk with my friends!" Then she set Jim St. George, executive director of TEAM, rocking back on his heels when he came over and introduced himself to the seniors. She told him that he was "scum" to put them through this just for a lousy signature or two, and that should anything happen to even one of them as a result, it would be on his conscience.

Thanks to the volunteers who’ve come into the Boston office and helped prepare our defense, and to the many who have helped with our ongoing search for signatures that *should have been* certified by the city and town clerks but weren’t! (We’re up to about 1,500 now with which to counter-challenge in Superior Court, our next battleground!)

We still need help finding more of those signatures in the half of the state that remains to be done.

Accomplishing this isn’t rocket science, folks: it just takes a little time and effort: The only qualifications are that you can read and write!

We provide you with green copies of the certified petitions.

You take them down to your town hall and compare the signatures that were rejected with your town’s voter list. If you find a signature you believe was overlooked by the clerk that should have been certified, you make a note of it, then return your notes to us to be added to our running total.

Once again, I hope we’ve all learned a lesson about depending on "Someone Else" to do a job that needs getting done. YOU ARE THAT "SOMEONE ELSE"—and YOU will benefit from rolling back the "temporary" tax hike we’re working so hard to provide!

We’ve still got petitions from cities and towns representing almost half of the state that need to be scrutinized and our time’s quickly running out. *WILL* *YOU* *HELP* *YOURSELF?*

If you are willing to finally roll up your sleeves and take a role in our enormous effort to save YOU money, please immediately call Chip Faulkner or Loretta Hayden at the Boston CLT&G office, at (617) 248-0022.

Call right now! There’s not much time left to procrastinate!

Chip Ford—

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