We finished up at the National Taxpayers Union Conference 99 and 30th
Anniversary Gala on Sunday and are now in western Pennsylvania taking a few days of
R&R to visit Barbara's mother. I finally have the time to dig out the laptop and a
phone connection, so here's the latest news.
First, as I mentioned in my last Update before heading down to Washington, DC --
CLT received some great news -- great recognitions from taxpayers around the nation. As
longtime director of CLT, Barbara was honored at the NTU conference with the Howard Jarvis
Taxpayers Association Lifetime Taxfighter Award!
This award was presented by Jonathan Coupal, the new president of the largest
taxpayer organization in California (200,000 members!), founded by the late and famous
Howard Jarvis of Proposition 13 fame. Proposition 13 ignited the imaginations of taxpayers
and the grassroots tax revolt that swept the country in the late 1970s -80s.
Since the early 80s there have been only four recipients -- with Ronald
Reagan being the first (his now resides in the Reagan Library) -- so Barbara's
certainly in good company! (I told her all she needs now is her own library!)
The brass plaque on the lifesize (about 30 solid pounds!) bronze bust of Howard
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers
Lifetime Taxfighter Award
Massachusetts Citizens for Limited Taxation
There were a lot of good speakers and forums, but perhaps the one I personally
most enjoyed was by Saturday's luncheon speaker, Virginia Governor James Gilmore, a
Republican who recently won election on the promise to eliminate the car tax in Virginia.
He had us all standing in applause after his stirring speech about the only way of
controlling the growth of the government beast is to cut off its money supply at all
levels and by all means.
Gov. Gilmore can give a rousing speech with the best of them, but we'd better
never get too complacent blindly following slick-talking politicians, even the best of
them. When Q&A time arrived, I asked him what he planned to do with his state's share
of the "Tobacco Settlement" taxpayer reimbursement. It went like this:
"Set up a fund for the tobacco growers, invest in economic development ...
"But Governor, that money was intended as a taxpayer
reimbursement; if the taxpayers don't get it returned, isn't this just another
bait-and-switch scam? Won't this just feed the insatiable beast of
"Hmm, yes, that's something consider, I suppose ... by the way, I'm good
friends with your governor!"
"Yes, so am I Governor. Paul Cellucci wants to spend our
reimbursement too. But our organization's fighting to get it back to our taxpayers."
"Yes, that's something that could be considered ..."
Chip Ford --
to CLT Updates page