Limited Taxation & Government
18 Tremont Street #608    Boston, Massachusetts   02108     (617) 248-0022
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For Immediate Release
Monday, April 13, 1998

For further information contact:
Barbara Anderson - (781) 639-0096
Chip Ford - (978) 538-3900

Those Subpoenas Are Not Ours!

As the battle rages between Citizens for Limited Taxation & Government and the
Massachusetts Teachers Association on the state income tax rollback, citizens are being issued subpoenas to appear in Superior Court to validate or invalidate their signatures on the petition.

The subpoenas are being sent by Hoopes & Cronin with a cover letter signed by Cheryl Cronin that states "we represent individuals involved in an upcoming trial . . ." that does not identify those individuals nor the organizations who are challenging the petition, the MTA and its puppet, the Tax Equity Alliance of Massachusetts (TEAM).  Subpoena recipients are told to call 1-800-392-6088 to discuss signing an affidavit.

Callers to that number last week were not told who was issuing the subpoena unless they pressed.  The persons on the other end said it was "ten signers."  When directly questioned, they finally admitted the first signer was "St. George" -- i.e., Jim St. George, director of TEAM. One caller was told "This subpoena was issued by Barbara Anderson because. . ."

I have issued no subpoenas.  CLT&G and its ballot committee A Promise to Keep: 5% have issued no subpoenas.   Using the Secretary of State's Central Voter Registry database, and volunteers checking original voter registrations at city/town halls, we have identified over 1500 signatures that we argue should have been certified last fall and should now be added   by the Superior Court.

The teachers union, along with challenging our additions, is trying to remove more signatures that had been certified by city/town registrars.  In its desperation, the MTA is frivolously fishing for unlikely forgeries by harassing husbands and wives whose names appear together on the petitions.  Even when the handwriting is obviously different, the union is threatening citizens with subpoenas that interfere with jobs and vacations or require long drives to Boston.  Many of the people who are calling our office are elderly.

If in fact someone's name was signed by another, we agree that this name should be struck. But if people are willing to sign an affidavit that they did sign the petition, they should not be forced to appear in court.  However, people are calling us to complain that the people who made an appointment to come to their home to get the affidavit signed are not  keeping the appointment, or are being "very hostile."

It is clear to us that the MTA is not only trying to keep our petition off the ballot, but is trying to harm the initiative petition process by discouraging future petition signatures.

Our case will be tried this week, with the MTA handwriting "expert" expected to be on the stand Tuesday.  The subpoenas for "hundreds" of voters have been issued for Wednesday and Thursday.

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