Greetings activists and supporters:
With the petition drive more than half over and the response to our Phase I mailing in, I
can provide a bit of a progress report.
CLT is fielding over 800 volunteer petitioners. In September each was sent a
petition package and as many petitions as they need. Many have called in to request more.
Two weeks ago, CLT mailed out the "End of Phase I" packages. Each
package included fresh petitions, a large self-addressed, postage-paid envelope, and
instructions to stop what you are doing, put your signatures into the return envelope,
mail it back to us immediately, then continue collecting signatures on the fresh
As of yesterday, we have received return packages from only about a third of those
volunteers, with only about a third of the signatures that have been pledged.
If you have not sent us your signatures per instructions, when you've collected as
many signatures as you can, please take your petitions to the appropriate town clerks
before the November 17th deadline and send us your receipts. If you have any problems call
Chip Faulkner at (508) 384-0100. This drive DEPENDS on EVERYONE
fulfilling their commitment.
Thank goodness we still have 24 days! It's not much, but we need every day we can
get from the look of things!
Next weekend will be our one-and-only big statewide malls weekend. We've reserved
and will have petition tables set up and staffed on both Saturday and Sunday in eighteen
malls covering from the Cape to Pittsfield, from Dartmouth to Fitchburg. Governor
Cellucci and Lt. Governor Swift are expected to make
appearances, and WRKO's Howie Carr has agreed to staff a table.
Had enough yet? If so, NOW you can actually do something
about your own political and financial survival!
If you haven't requested your petition package yet, you've got only
24 days left -- a mere three more weeks -- before the absolute deadline! Click
below while you still have time to save yourself from rapacious greed and limitless
self-interest -- or you have nobody to blame for it but yourself!
Get your petition package -- while
there is still time!
* ONLY 24 DAYS * ONLY 24 DAYS * ONLY 24 DAYS * ONLY 24 DAYS *
As always, thanks to those of you already with us who are out there practicing the
only means of political self-defense remaining, collecting signatures for the initiative
The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune
Friday, October 22, 1999
Spending juggernaut rolls on
The overdue budget for Massachusetts is likely to contain more spending and
little for taxpayers.
If legislative leaders cannot exercise fiscal discipline, the governor should do
it for them with his veto.
Massachusetts taxpayers have been waiting for legislative leaders to come up with
a budget for the current fiscal year.
The state has been operating without a budget -- and doing quite well, mind you --
since July 1 while House and Senate leaders haggle out a compromise.
Last week, amid much glad-handing and back-slapping, House Speaker Thomas M.
Finneran and Senate President Thomas F. Birmingham announced that they had reached a deal
on the major sticking points, though details are still being worked out.
Almost four months of waiting and this is what taxpayers get: $1.3 billion more in
spending, pennies in tax cuts and the spectacle of the two Tommies telling us what a great
job they've done.
The $20.8 billion budget fails to live up to legislators' long ago promise that,
as soon as the fiscal emergency of the late 1980s ended, the state income tax would return
to its "permanent" level of 5 percent.
Instead, leaders tossed a sop to taxpayers -- a three-year plan to reduce the tax
rate from 5.95 percent to 5.75 percent. In the first year, the rate will drop to 5.85
percent. The next two years will each see the rate fall by 0.05 percent. Each 0.05
percentage point decline saves a taxpayer earning $50,000 a year a whopping $25.
Don't spend that all in one place now.
And while leaders are handing taxpayers that cash with one hand, they're picking
their back pockets with the other.
The budget deal includes a restructuring of the Massachusetts Bay Transit
Authority that increases the number of cities and towns that must pay assessments for
train service. Under the proposal, an annual assessment will be phased in that could top
$300,000 in Haverhill and Lawrence by 2006. That increased local expense would likely be
passed on to property owners in higher taxes.
While the state has had no budget, it has been operating under temporary measures
that lock in spending at last year's level. If we can do that for more than three months,
why not a year?
It would require fiscal discipline, which is sorely lacking at the Statehouse.
Gov. A. Paul Cellucci has threatened to veto parts of the budget bill when it finally
arrives on his desk. And so he should.
If our legislative leaders cannot exercise any self-control, the governor should
do it for them.
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