CITIZENS   FOR  LIMITED  TAXATION
and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

CLT UPDATE
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Can Question 1 be bought by greedy public employee unions?


You can tell when defenders of an indefensible status quo are getting desperate. They play the class warfare card.

So, perhaps you've noticed the not-so-subtle shift in emphasis from those who oppose Question 1 on the November ballot, which calls for eliminating the 5.3 percent state income tax: It will give tax cuts to the rich!

It is no longer enough to haul out the old "devastating cuts in services" line. People are actually getting wise to the fact that the only real devastation will be visited on those who have been on a decades-long, taxpayer-funded gravy train.

It's no longer enough to suggest — gently of course — that voting to let Massachusetts taxpayers keep about $12.5 billion of the money they've been sending to Beacon Hill will be, uh, well, there's really no other way to put this — "stupid." You know, like shooting yourself in the foot. You will be sorry, because all those services you desperately want and need will vanish....

So, it's time to haul out the big gun — class envy. The supposedly nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which represents taxpayers about as well as a fox represents chickens, warns that if Question 1 passes, those who make more than $100,000 will benefit to the tune of $16,295, while those making less than $50,000 will see only $850.

Wow. You know what? I'll bet it's even worse than that. I'll bet that people who don't pay any state income tax at all will get nothing back if Question 1 passes. How grossly unfair is that?

In a sane world, the MTF would get laughed off the public soapbox for such inanities....

If the state's leaders wanted to defuse the anger and frustration that led to Question 1, they could have done it easily, by honoring the vote several years ago ordering them to keep their promise, and return the income tax to 5 percent. They wouldn't even do that, so great is their contempt for the voters. If you want to talk "stupid," stupid is re-electing them every two years.

The Eagle Tribune
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Defending the government gravy train with class envy
By Taylor Armerding


We understand the temptation by some to vote for Question 1, especially after we got wind yesterday of a report by Auditor Joseph DeNucci on the apparent mismanagement of funds by another state agency.

But that audit of the Massachusetts Cultural Council wasn’t the only item to land in our in-box yesterday. We also have a new analysis of the impact that eliminating the income tax would have on our economy - and it is alarming in the extreme.

The report by Global Insight, commissioned by four business groups, found the loss of $12.5 billion in revenue would be a “disabling blow” to state and local government services. That’s obvious to most people....

DeNucci’s report about the Cultural Council and its use of funds for new software and an “online cultural marketplace” - funds that DeNucci says should have been returned to the state - is the kind of thing that might inspire some voters to give Beacon Hill a wake-up call. But if Question 1 passes, we’re all in for a rude awakening.

A Boston Herald editorial
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Impact too taxing


There is nothing new about taxpayers getting angry about a bloated government that permits public servants to gorge themselves at the public trough.

Proposition 2˝ was passed in the 1980s as a direct response to legislators who arrogantly continued to tax, spend and gorge. Social engineers had turned the necessary power to tax, without which government can not function, into a tool that corrupted them and the system. So personnel compensation policies, infrastructure, and education, etc., are now in serious disrepair.

Prop. 2˝ wasn't sold as good tax policy. Instead it was meant to be a political message to lawmakers: "Change your ways or we'll take your revenue toys away." ...

Taxpayers will be warned over upcoming weeks that the world will end if the income tax is eliminated. It won't. But reform will be forced and maybe, just maybe, a new era of cleaner, better, smaller government will begin.

If you want reform, vote against every candidate who refuses to support Question 1. If you vote no, you're supporting the status quo. Think and act.

The Salem News
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Vote yes on Question 1
By Robert Kelly


The Globe published a lengthy editorial strongly opposing Question 1 on Sept. 28, and nothing in the interim has changed our view....

Business groups, charities, unions, churches, municipal governments, and legislative leaders in both Democratic and Republican parties are united in saying that Question 1 goes way too far. We hope the voters of Massachusetts will join them in rejecting this reckless and destructive idea.

A Boston Globe editorial
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
No on Question 1


It’s always the same story around here. First to take it on the chin in tough times are housebound seniors who need Meals on Wheels, the legally blind, the mentally ill and, of course - pardon the expression, Howie - the children.

In other words, those who can afford it least get hit hardest.

But we never get any systemic reform of what’s truly costing us. And it’s not the old, the blind or the preschoolers - not 18 years ago when the public sector unions warned against cutting back the state income tax rate, saying “It goes to far!”

Not today, when the anti-tax cut crowd has another catchy slogan: “Vote No On Question 1 (to end the income tax). It’s a risky idea.”

Yesterday I asked “No on 1” spokesman Stephen Crawford if the group has any reform suggestions.

“That’s not our role,” he said....

Asked how much of Vote No’s money comes from unions, Crawford would not say. The answer, as the Herald disclosed last month: two-thirds comes from two big teacher unions.

Enough said.

The Boston Herald
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Same old story from No on 1 set
By Margery Eagan


BOSTON - Unions hoping to convince voters to kill a ballot question that would eliminate the state income tax are pouring fresh millions into the campaign in the weeks before Election Day.

Between Oct. 2 and Oct. 15, the Coalition for Our Communities raised $2.4 million, according to records filed with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

The Committee for Small Government, which supports the measure, raised less than $26,000 during the same period, more than a third of it from donors outside Massachusetts.

The $2.4 million raised by opponents includes $1.5 million from the Massachusetts Teachers Association and $750,000 from the Washington, D.C.-based National Education Association. All told, the group has raised $4.6 million.

Associated Press
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Unions pour fresh millions into Question One fight


Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that tracks government spending, outlined the risks; and Kamal Jain from the Committee for Small Government, the group behind Question 1, spoke in favor of the initiative.

Widmer outlined a what he called a "havoc and chaos" scenario in Massachusetts if Question 1 passes. Eliminating the income tax and the $12.5 billion it generates will result in cuts of more than 70 percent to most state-run programs, such as prisons and courts, human services, transportation, parks, colleges and universities, and state employees' pension and health care benefits.

"It would usher in a period of havoc and chaos across the state," said Widmer....

Meanwhile, unions hoping to convince voters to kill a ballot question that would eliminate the state income tax are pouring fresh millions into the campaign in the weeks before Election Day.

Between Oct. 2 and Oct. 15, the Coalition for Our Communities raised $2.4 million, according to records filed with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

The Committee for Small Government, which supports the measure, raised less than $26,000 during the same period, more than a third of it from donors outside Massachusetts.

The $2.4 million raised by opponents includes $1.5 million from the Massachusetts Teachers Association and $750,000 from the Washington, D.C.-based National Education Association.

All told, the group has raised $4.6 million in cash and another nearly $520,000 in "in kind" donations for a fundraising total of more than $5.1 million.

Supporters, by comparison, have raised a total of $497,009 in cash and another $1,900 in "in kind" donations for a fundraising total of nearly $499,000.

The Berkshire Eagle
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Income tax initiative sparks heated discussion


Today’s poster boy for a yes vote on Question 1 to abolish the state income tax is reprobate Rep. Robert Spellane of Worcester.

Spellane, who at the State House holds the extremely important job of vice chairman of the Financial Services Committee, is in a heap of trouble. He is being sued by a bank that let him skip payments for a year on a $340,000 home loan. Last year he was found guilty of diverting $50,000 from his campaign account for personal use.

In 2004, this deadbeat Democrat filed legislation to retroactively raise the state income tax to 5.95 percent ...

Remember, Spellane and the other tax-fattened hyenas on Beacon Hill beg you not to abolish the income tax. They need your money to support their unspeakably depraved lifestyles.

Vote yes on Question 1.

The Boston Herald
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Let ’em Spellane it to taxpayers! Vote Yes on 1
By Howie Carr


The city [Boston] is removing an illegal banner mysteriously unfurled across a South Boston main drag urging residents to vote against three ballot questions.

The red-on-white banner at Broadway and I Street reads: “Common Sense Vote No 1, 2, 3” - referring to the ballot questions to scrap the income tax, remove criminal penalties for small pot possession and outlaw greyhound racing.

Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, said an anonymous city resident objected to the banner in a call to the Mayor’s Hotline.

“When we receive complaints, we take them down,” Joyce said.

The Boston Herald
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Illegal political banner in Southie being grounded


Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

The two Boston daily newspapers, the Globe and Herald, have both come out with another "No on Question 1" editorial, as if one editorial wasn't enough.  But the "No on Question 1" ballot committee -- the Coalition for Our Communities, funded largely by massive teachers unions based in both Massachusetts and Washington, DC -- believes in redundancy as well.

It's raised over five million dollars -- $3,733,876.50 from just the teachers unions -- which is a big part of what's being spent inundating the airwaves and newspapers, filling our mailboxes with it's junk mail flyers.

[See:  CLT's News Release of yesterday -- "Opposition to Question 1 hits record $5M mark."]

And you can bet at least another million or two bucks will pour in from the teachers and other public employee unions between now and the next financial disclosure reporting period.  Those disclosures won't become public until after the election.  That's how it worked against us by the same cabal's anti-tax rollback ballot committee in 2000.

But our "Yes on Question 1" side is getting its share of support among some in the media -- and the reasons are so clear and indisputable.

The "No" side spokesmen keep asking us proponents of Question 1 "Where will you cut?"  They ask like programmed robots, but ignore when we answer, as Steve Crawford did when I gave him solutions during our debate.  But when they're asked "Where would you reform?" they refuse to answer and that's supposed to be just fine!  “That’s not our role,” the very same Steve Crawford responded to Herald columnist Margery Eagan.  They have no ideas because they have no intention to reform anything.  They like things just as they are.  The "No" side is all about killing reform and stuffing their pockets with ever more taxpayer cash.  That's why they're investing so much money to defeat Question 1.

[See my debate with Steve Crawford sponsored by the Salem News and Beverly CATV.]

As we said in yesterday's news release, let's hope voters being buried with "No" ads at every turn will reach critical mass, recognize the deep-pockets source and its selfish, greedy motivation at our expense, and with disgust vote "Hell Yes!" on Question 1.

Chip Ford


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The Eagle Tribune
Sunday, October 19, 2008

Defending the government gravy train with class envy
By Taylor Armerding

You can tell when defenders of an indefensible status quo are getting desperate. They play the class warfare card.

So, perhaps you've noticed the not-so-subtle shift in emphasis from those who oppose Question 1 on the November ballot, which calls for eliminating the 5.3 percent state income tax: It will give tax cuts to the rich!

It is no longer enough to haul out the old "devastating cuts in services" line. People are actually getting wise to the fact that the only real devastation will be visited on those who have been on a decades-long, taxpayer-funded gravy train.

It's no longer enough to suggest — gently of course — that voting to let Massachusetts taxpayers keep about $12.5 billion of the money they've been sending to Beacon Hill will be, uh, well, there's really no other way to put this — "stupid." You know, like shooting yourself in the foot. You will be sorry, because all those services you desperately want and need will vanish.

Is it just coincidence, or is the timing of Gov. Deval Patrick's big announcement on budget cuts, less than three weeks before the vote, a bit suspicious? He doesn't have to say a thing, but the message is clear: Here's a little taste of the pain you'll suffer if you eliminate the income tax.

Because, of course, that money doesn't go into fat pensions, early retirements, lavish benefits and rampant patronage. No, it all goes to critical services.

Your aging parents will suffer. Your children will suffer. You will have to hide in your home because there won't be any cops to protect you from criminals running rampant in the streets. If your house catches fire, well, it will just burn down because there won't be any firefighters around to put it out. And you wouldn't want to drive anywhere anyway, because bridges will be collapsing all around you.

(A brief aside — that last one is a hoot. With the income tax firmly in place, the bridge on Mill Road in Ipswich — one of the main links to Hamilton — has been closed since the Mother's Day floods of 2006. Two years and five months later nothing — nothing — has been done.)

Yes, the "devastating cuts" line is getting old and overused.

And those who bother to check, and notice that eliminating the state income tax would put the budget about where it was 10 years ago, will probably remember that 1999 was not a time of Third World deprivation in Massachusetts. They will probably also notice that while the state budget has increased much faster than the rate of inflation, their own salaries and benefits have not. They are getting tired of having to absorb energy and health insurance increases within their own flatlined salaries, and then being forced to insulate those on the public payroll from the same thing.

So, it's time to haul out the big gun — class envy. The supposedly nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which represents taxpayers about as well as a fox represents chickens, warns that if Question 1 passes, those who make more than $100,000 will benefit to the tune of $16,295, while those making less than $50,000 will see only $850.

Wow. You know what? I'll bet it's even worse than that. I'll bet that people who don't pay any state income tax at all will get nothing back if Question 1 passes. How grossly unfair is that?

In a sane world, the MTF would get laughed off the public soapbox for such inanities. Of course those who pay the most in taxes now will "get the most back" (actually keep the most) if the tax is repealed. That should be obvious to everybody who has made it out of preschool.

An argument like that makes it clear that these people don't really care about services. This is about power — the power to redistribute money from those who earned it to those who are more "deserving."

If the state's leaders wanted to defuse the anger and frustration that led to Question 1, they could have done it easily, by honoring the vote several years ago ordering them to keep their promise, and return the income tax to 5 percent. They wouldn't even do that, so great is their contempt for the voters. If you want to talk "stupid," stupid is re-electing them every two years.

Peter Meade, head of the Vote No Committee, is fond of saying, "If you want to send a message, get a Hallmark card."

But, Hallmark cards don't work. Even votes don't work.

And that's the other thing the MTF, the unions and the ACORN (yes, ACORN is now involved as well) types don't tell you. If Question 1 passes, it will never be implemented. It's just a law, and the Legislature will repeal it, as they can with any law — you know, to save us from 1999-like devastation.

But maybe, just maybe, they will also get the message that we are sick of having far too much of our money wasted.

Taylor Armerding is associate editorial page editor of The Eagle-Tribune.


The Boston Herald
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Boston Herald editorial
Impact too taxing

We understand the temptation by some to vote for Question 1, especially after we got wind yesterday of a report by Auditor Joseph DeNucci on the apparent mismanagement of funds by another state agency.

But that audit of the Massachusetts Cultural Council wasn’t the only item to land in our in-box yesterday. We also have a new analysis of the impact that eliminating the income tax would have on our economy - and it is alarming in the extreme.

The report by Global Insight, commissioned by four business groups, found the loss of $12.5 billion in revenue would be a “disabling blow” to state and local government services. That’s obvious to most people.

The report details how the loss would effectively close credit markets to state agencies, cities and towns, so the school now under construction in your neighborhood would remain a hole in the ground and the bridge now closed to traffic would stay that way. “The cost to Massachusetts’ residents will increase substantially in the form of higher tuition payments, new [tolls] and other user fees - expenses that will more than offset the gain from paying no income tax for most households,” the report states.

But the point lost on some people is that it wouldn’t just be public dollars that would dry up. As the study notes, when the state is no longer investing in education and infrastructure, private businesses will bolt - and take their jobs with them.

DeNucci’s report about the Cultural Council and its use of funds for new software and an “online cultural marketplace” - funds that DeNucci says should have been returned to the state - is the kind of thing that might inspire some voters to give Beacon Hill a wake-up call. But if Question 1 passes, we’re all in for a rude awakening.


The Salem News
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vote yes on Question 1
By Robert Kelly

There is nothing new about taxpayers getting angry about a bloated government that permits public servants to gorge themselves at the public trough.

Proposition 2˝ was passed in the 1980s as a direct response to legislators who arrogantly continued to tax, spend and gorge. Social engineers had turned the necessary power to tax, without which government can not function, into a tool that corrupted them and the system. So personnel compensation policies, infrastructure, and education, etc., are now in serious disrepair.

Prop. 2˝ wasn't sold as good tax policy. Instead it was meant to be a political message to lawmakers: "Change your ways or we'll take your revenue toys away."

The controversial law has had a positive effect. Every year communities across the state try to get overrides, most of which fail, which means that spending is being disciplined. And it's spending, not the lack of revenue, that was and is the problem in Massachusetts. We have fallen prey to the socialistic notion that perfect happiness on this earth can be attained through organization and spending.

But the lessons of Prop. 2˝ have not been long-lasting. Recent years have seen fresh displays of the old arrogance by elected officials and judges. And the public is angry. It is increasingly demanding reform that will streamline government, restructure education and eliminate the repeated reports of double-dipping and ridiculous pensions.

It's time for a complete overhaul of government, a fresh definition of its purpose, the implementation of new wage and fringe programs that are directly tied to private sector practices and the implementation of a new education program that is aimed at educating, not indoctrinating.

But to begin such a broad program of reform is not possible until lawmakers are shaken up to such an extent that they will be forced to listen to the people. One way to do that, of course, is to refuse to support them with your vote.

Another way is to support Question 1. It would drop the income tax rate to 2.65 percent in 2009, and to zero percent in 2010. Similar to Prop. 2˝, this proposal does not pretend to be good tax policy. It is shock treatment. But unlike the earlier proposal, the effects of which were mitigated by state transfers to towns, this one directly hits the transferee right in the belly.

This is no crazy idea proffered by a lunatic fringe group. A similar proposal in 2002 garnered 45 percent of votes cast. It actually won a majority vote in Barnstable and Plymouth counties; and in the three largest counties — Middlesex, Essex and Norfolk — it pulled 43, 49 and 45 percent of the vote, respectively.

Does it have a chance of passing this year? Past history, some polls, and especially the activities of the opposition, say the possibility is real.

But while Carla Howell's group, which organized this initiative, has raised $160,000, those opposed have $1.5 million, two-thirds of it coming from national teacher unions. Money of this magnitude is not raised to fight minor threats. The Howell proposal is real and, despite the disparity in resources, its message will ring clear to the voters: We rule and you serve — or else!

Taxpayers will be warned over upcoming weeks that the world will end if the income tax is eliminated. It won't. But reform will be forced and maybe, just maybe, a new era of cleaner, better, smaller government will begin.

If you want reform, vote against every candidate who refuses to support Question 1. If you vote no, you're supporting the status quo. Think and act.

Robert Kelly of Peabody writes regularly for the Opinion page.  He is the author of of "The National Debt of the United States 1941 to 2008, 2d ed"


The Boston Globe
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Boston Globe editorial
No on Question 1

The Globe published a lengthy editorial strongly opposing Question 1 on Sept. 28, and nothing in the interim has changed our view. In fact, the current economic crisis only underlines the case against eliminating the state income tax. Question 1 would starve state government of 40 percent of its revenue - more than $12 billion - and give the biggest breaks to the richest taxpayers. It would pressure communities to make up for lost revenue, almost surely by raising property taxes. Services ranging from the MBTA, to fuel aid, to local police would be slashed just when residents need them most.

Proponents claim that state government is full of fat and incompetence. But Question 1 would require such extreme cuts that the government could fire every state employee - every prison guard and social worker - and still have to find another $7 billion.

Business groups, charities, unions, churches, municipal governments, and legislative leaders in both Democratic and Republican parties are united in saying that Question 1 goes way too far. We hope the voters of Massachusetts will join them in rejecting this reckless and destructive idea.


The Boston Herald
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Same old story from No on 1 set
By Margery Eagan

It’s always the same story around here. First to take it on the chin in tough times are housebound seniors who need Meals on Wheels, the legally blind, the mentally ill and, of course - pardon the expression, Howie - the children.

In other words, those who can afford it least get hit hardest.

But we never get any systemic reform of what’s truly costing us. And it’s not the old, the blind or the preschoolers - not 18 years ago when the public sector unions warned against cutting back the state income tax rate, saying “It goes to far!”

Not today, when the anti-tax cut crowd has another catchy slogan: “Vote No On Question 1 (to end the income tax). It’s a risky idea.”

Yesterday I asked “No on 1” spokesman Stephen Crawford if the group has any reform suggestions.

“That’s not our role,” he said.

Why not?

Yesterday, after testifying on Beacon Hill about budget cuts after the Wall Street disaster, tax watchdog Michael Widmer said he thinks this fiscal mess is a perfect “opportunity for real reform,” particularly of major budget-busters such as pension and health care costs. They account for a whopping 70 percent of local budgets, he said.

Question 1, if passed, would take more than $12 billion, or nearly 40 percent, from the state’s budget. Yet cities and towns joining the state’s health insurance pool could save $2.5 billion over 10 years. But almost none of them have joined the pool because local unions don’t want to. The state won’t make them (why not again?) and local leaders are stuck.

In fact, part of the selling point in Brookline, which just passed a Proposition 2˝ override, was the expectation that local unions would buy into the state pool and save the town $3 million. What happened? Guilt-fueled voters, already paying some of the highest property taxes in the state, passed the override to pay even more. And then? Guilt-free unions voted against joining the state.

Too late now, you gullible Brookline voters you.

The Vote No on 1 set has millions to fight the Yes on 1 crew - led by the ever-energetic Carla Howell, who has about 25 cents.

The Wall Street fiasco makes her chances of prevailing worse than they already were. Yet the same old story and refrain is wearing thin, isn’t it? Just keep on paying as the scams keep coming, no fixes in sight.

Asked how much of Vote No’s money comes from unions, Crawford would not say. The answer, as the Herald disclosed last month: two-thirds comes from two big teacher unions.

Enough said.


Associated Press
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Unions pour fresh millions into Question One fight

BOSTON - Unions hoping to convince voters to kill a ballot question that would eliminate the state income tax are pouring fresh millions into the campaign in the weeks before Election Day.

Between Oct. 2 and Oct. 15, the Coalition for Our Communities raised $2.4 million, according to records filed with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

The Committee for Small Government, which supports the measure, raised less than $26,000 during the same period, more than a third of it from donors outside Massachusetts.

The $2.4 million raised by opponents includes $1.5 million from the Massachusetts Teachers Association and $750,000 from the Washington, D.C.-based National Education Association. All told, the group has raised $4.6 million.


The Berkshire Eagle
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Income tax initiative sparks heated discussion
By Trevor Jones

LENOX — The contentious debate Question 1 has sparked was on display at a Town Hall meeting yesterday and included accusations of government ineptitude and a state representative threatening to end his time in the Legislature if the measure passes.

State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli convened speakers for and against the Nov. 4 ballot question, which would cut the state income tax from 5.3 percent to 2.65 percent in 2009 and eliminate it completely in 2010. The referendum question is binding, meaning if voters approve it, it will become law.

Pignatelli, who strongly opposes Question 1, said the forum was intended to clear up public misconceptions about it.

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that tracks government spending, outlined the risks; and Kamal Jain from the Committee for Small Government, the group behind Question 1, spoke in favor of the initiative.

Widmer outlined a what he called a "havoc and chaos" scenario in Massachusetts if Question 1 passes. Eliminating the income tax and the $12.5 billion it generates will result in cuts of more than 70 percent to most state-run programs, such as prisons and courts, human services, transportation, parks, colleges and universities, and state employees' pension and health care benefits.

"It would usher in a period of havoc and chaos across the state," said Widmer.

Widmer said it would not only have a negative impact on state services, but also disrupt the financial stability of residents and local businesses, affecting "the quality of life in the Berkshires and the entire commonwealth."

Budget cuts on such a scale would put the Legislature in an impossible position, Pignatelli said.

If Question 1 passes, the state representative said it would force him to reconsider his role there.

"I'll announce it's my last term," said Pignatelli about what he would do if the question becomes law.

Compounding the problem

Widmer said eliminating the income tax would only compound problems for the state, which he expects will already have to cut up to 10 percent in local aid in 2009 due to decreased revenues.

But for Jain, a proponent of Question 1, major cuts and potential chaos are needed to get the state going on the right track. Jain said he believes most state spending is wasteful and that cutting the state's tax revenues would force lawmakers to reprioritize expenditures.

"We cannot continue to borrow ourselves into debt," said Jain. "When you've run out of money, you need to stop spending."

Meanwhile, unions hoping to convince voters to kill a ballot question that would eliminate the state income tax are pouring fresh millions into the campaign in the weeks before Election Day.

Between Oct. 2 and Oct. 15, the Coalition for Our Communities raised $2.4 million, according to records filed with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

The Committee for Small Government, which supports the measure, raised less than $26,000 during the same period, more than a third of it from donors outside Massachusetts.

The $2.4 million raised by opponents includes $1.5 million from the Massachusetts Teachers Association and $750,000 from the Washington, D.C.-based National Education Association.

All told, the group has raised $4.6 million in cash and another nearly $520,000 in "in kind" donations for a fundraising total of more than $5.1 million.

Supporters, by comparison, have raised a total of $497,009 in cash and another $1,900 in "in kind" donations for a fundraising total of nearly $499,000.

Jain said the state is headed in the wrong direction, with residents leaving the state and a rapidly increasing debt. He said the best way to help struggling families is to allow them to keep more of their money.

"We believe this is the best thing to do for Massachusetts, especially right now with a bad economy where people can't even afford to pay their mortgages," said Jain.

"We can all do a better job with how we spend our money, but to say that 40 percent to 70 percent is wasteful is sending the wrong message," Pignatelli later responded.

'Resist those temptations'

Widmer argued Question 1 would hurt the people Jain spoke about in the long run.

"I understand the frustration of individuals that want to vote 'yes' and send a message to legislators," said Widmer. "We strongly urge voters to resist those temptations because the consequences would be worse than what we already are facing."

Widmer said to make up for the shortage of income tax, the state would eventually have to increase fees and raise property or sales taxes, which would have a disproportionately adverse impact on lower income residents.

"The very people that might be attracted to this are the very people who will be most adversely impacted," he added.


The Boston Herald
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Let ’em Spellane it to taxpayers! Vote Yes on 1
By Howie Carr

Today’s poster boy for a yes vote on Question 1 to abolish the state income tax is reprobate Rep. Robert Spellane of Worcester.

Spellane, who at the State House holds the extremely important job of vice chairman of the Financial Services Committee, is in a heap of trouble. He is being sued by a bank that let him skip payments for a year on a $340,000 home loan. Last year he was found guilty of diverting $50,000 from his campaign account for personal use.

In 2004, this deadbeat Democrat filed legislation to retroactively raise the state income tax to 5.95 percent and he has played golf with convicted felons such as Tommy Taxes Finneran.

And now we find out that at the age of 38, Spellane has left his 46-year-old wife to take up with a blond, 27-year-old former “TV reporter” who, after a nationwide search, has been hired by an insurance-industry lobbying group.

According to the Worcester Telegram, the name of the solon’s galpal is Brianne Mallaghan, who less than a decade ago was attending Burncoat High School. Her title at the American Insurance Association is “director of public affairs.” I kid you not - the state rep’s alleged girlfriend is in charge of “public affairs.”

When the lobbyists hired Brianne, they put out a press release saying they’re trying to improve their “perception among legislators” and that “Brianne is well-positioned to help influence this debate.”

Well-positioned? You can’t make this stuff up. If the Republicans had a candidate on the ballot (they don’t), Spellane’s seat would be an automatic pickup.

Perhaps some of you are wondering why the “embattled” Spellane is married to a woman eight years older than himself. Did I mention Susan Spellane’s father owns an insurance company? If you have any further questions, ask John Kerry.

A few years ago, Mrs. Spellane called my radio show. I was pointing out that her husband shouldn’t be consorting with crooks like Felon Finneran. She phoned to tell me how hard Spellane worked - once, the missus said, he’d even had to miss a trip with their four children to Storyland because of his very pressing public affairs on Beacon Hill.

If a guy will tell his own wife a story about Storyland, he’ll probably tell her other stories as well. Calls to both Spellanes and the well-positioned director of public affairs were not returned. Remember, Spellane and the other tax-fattened hyenas on Beacon Hill beg you not to abolish the income tax. They need your money to support their unspeakably depraved lifestyles.

Vote yes on Question 1.


The Boston Herald
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Illegal political banner in Southie being grounded
By Edward Mason

The city is removing an illegal banner mysteriously unfurled across a South Boston main drag urging residents to vote against three ballot questions.

The red-on-white banner at Broadway and I Street reads: “Common Sense Vote No 1, 2, 3” - referring to the ballot questions to scrap the income tax, remove criminal penalties for small pot possession and outlaw greyhound racing.

Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, said an anonymous city resident objected to the banner in a call to the Mayor’s Hotline.

“When we receive complaints, we take them down,” Joyce said.

Joyce said banners crossing streets are illegal and typically only allowed if, as in the North End and South Boston, they advertise a charitable event. An adjoining banner promoting a fund-raiser for the Kaitlyn Keaney Scholarship Fund, named for a Boston police officer who died this summer, will remain.

State Rep. Brian Wallace (D-Boston) said the banner “pushed the envelope” for what is allowed in Southie. And it has caused a buzz because no one knows who put it up.


NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml


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