Limited Taxation & Government
18 Tremont Street #608 Boston, Massachusetts
02108 (617) 248-0022
E-Mail: email@example.com Web-page: http://cltg.org
Tuesday, June 9, 1998
Greetings activists and supporters:
I'll send this along without comment; it speaks for
Barbara and I depart tomorrow morning for the International Taxpayers Conference in
Vancouver, BC, to meet with taxpayer group leaders from around the world. She will be
giving a presentation on the "Activism and the Media" panel on
Saturday; I'm on the "In-House Fund-raising and Computer Application"
Hopefully a little time off and away after nine grueling months of non-stop activity will
provide us with some fresh perspective, new ideas, and perhaps even some much-needed
inspiration and reinvigoration.
These Updates and Alerts! will be suspended pending our return.
That gives you some time to consider what you want us to do when
we return; you will decided whether CLT&G goes on or goes away.
That "fish-or-cut-bait" decision, my friends, is now entirely in your hands and
will be determined by your response.
Chip Ford --
The Boston Herald
Tuesday, June 9, 1998
Under-funded tax activists may go out of
By Robin Washington
The Bay State's most vocal anti-tax group may be
closing down -- or at least moving off Tremont Street to cyberspace.
Reeling from stagnant fund raising, a rent hike, and
a court defeat on a proposed ballot initiative, Citizens for Limited Taxation and
Government said yesterday it will likely close its downtown Boston office in June and
possibly cease to exist.
"Unless there's a demand for us to continue . .
. CLT&G will shut down at the end of July," said co-director Chip Ford in a
letter to supporters.
Both Ford and co-director Barbara Anderson said their
different philosophies led them to survey members to determine CLT&G's future.
"Chip doesn't want to close the doors until
there's one member left, and that's him. I am willing to do that myself but I'm reluctant
to keep asking our members to pay for everything," Anderson said.
In addition to a million-dollar effort by the
Massachusetts Teachers Association to defeat CLT&G's proposed 5 percent tax rollback
initiative, Anderson blamed the group's troubles on a fictitious character named "I.
"He's the guy at the mall who says he supports
what we're doing, but when you ask him to sign a petition, he say, 'Oh no, I'm all
set,'" said Anderson.
Both Anderson and Ford already work out of their
homes and said there would be little change if they stayed in business without the office.
The group will also keep its presence on the World Wide Web, she said.
"The only reason we needed to be in Boston was
when we did a lot of lobbying when we had conservative Democrats who would ally with
Republicans in the House. We don't have that any more," said Anderson, of Marblehead.
Around the corner on Temple Place, CLT&G's
nemesis greeted the news with one word.
"Good!" said James St. George of the Tax Equity
Alliance of Massachusetts.
"This just shows that the people of Massachusetts share no appetite for
Barbara Anderson's radical views on taxes and spending," he added.
Asked if the rent increase might turn her into an advocate for rent control, Anderson
said, "Not me! Absolutely not!"
The Boston Globe
Tuesday, June 9, 1998
Antitax group's leader warns of pending demise
By Frank Phillips
Barbara Anderson, the tax-cut proponent who has
influenced the state's fiscal policy for years, is considering abandoning her movement in
the face of a financial crunch and increasing public apathy.
Still stinging from a loss to the teachers' union
over a tax-cut ballot question, Anderson's group, the Citizens for Limited Taxation and
Government, has sent a letter to its members asking them to decide whether the
organization should continue to operate.
Anderson said a waning public appetite for activism,
a financial drain, and personal exhaustion from battling the union has led her to question
whether it is time to pull the plug on the once-powerful Massachusetts tax-cut movement.
For nearly two decades, Anderson has been an effective antagonist to Beacon Hill Democrats
on issues ranging from tax cuts, lawmakers' pay raises, and term limits.
"If the members don't feel strongly about
keeping it going in face of the general public's indifference to what the government does
to them, then we can all get a life," Anderson said yesterday.
That apathy can be measured by the decline in the
group's membership. In the mid-1980s, the group could count on about 18,000 members. That
has dropped by half, to 9,000.
Anderson and co-director Chip Ford have already
decided to close the group's downtown Boston office, pushed in part by the landlord
raising the rent. But the organization's financial woes go beyond just rent.
"To keep the organization alive through July,
each of us four staffers have taken another pay cut," Ford said in a letter sent to
members this week. "We're now each making $369 a week until the funds run out."
Ford told the members that unless they responded with
some financial help and enthusiasm, the group will shut down in late July "... and
the four of us will be out looking for other work."
"Unless our members say differently, I don't
want to ask them to contribute their money and their time in order to give tax cuts to
people who don't seem to care," Anderson said.
The decision to reevaluate her mission and possibly
disband her group stems from the bitter struggle she lost with the Massachusetts Teachers
Association, which challenged the signatures that the group had gathered to place an
income tax-cut question on the November ballot.
A judge ruled in April that Anderson and her allies
had failed to collect enough certified voter signatures to qualify for the ballot.
That has left Anderson and her group financially
crippled. But it has not dampened her spirit.
Displaying her feisty image, Anderson talked of
destroying the powers of the teachers' unions, which she blames for opposing any moves to
cut the size of government. She and Ford have created a Web site to provide information on
teacher union activities around the country.
"First we have to take out the teachers' union
before anything else can happen," Anderson said.
Lou DiNatale, a Democratic political analyst, said a
decision by Anderson to call it quits would be a "significant loss" for the
"She's been right at the cutting edge of all of
the issues," DiNatale said. "Her support has been critical to the leadership of
the conservative movement and the Republicans."