CITIZENS   FOR  LIMITED  TAXATION  &  GOVERNMENT
and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

 

BARBARA  IS  BACK !

Barbara's accident and recovery
A timeline progress report:  Apr 17 - May 21, 2002


Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Yesterday Barbara was taken to the hospital after a serious adverse reaction to a recently prescribed new medication. I found her semi-conscious on the floor of her home in the morning and called for an ambulance. After a series of tests, her doctors determined that she had fractured her skull. They transferred her to an excellent Boston hospital by medivac, where the surgeons immediately performed cranial surgery to reduce the brain swelling. Barbara is in intensive care and her condition is very serious.

Please bear with us during this ordeal. Please do not call for further information; I will keep you updated of her condition as we know more. Your prayers are welcomed.

Thanks.


Thursday, April 18, 2002

Barbara's medical situation has stabilized. Though this is not much, it is positive news. Her doctor says she's a fighter (as if we needed to hear that from him!), but the outcome is still "minute to minute." Test results are at least moving in the right direction, though slowly, almost imperceptibly.

Thanks to those who've sent along their messages of support and faith. And thanks for not calling us for more information at this time of hectic concern.

I'll keep you posted through these updates if there are any changes.


Friday, April 19, 2002

There's little new to report today. Barbara's condition is still stabile and she seems to at least continue moving ever so incrementally in a positive direction. The next few days will be important.

Her son Lance flew in from Nevada and is literally living at the hospital and I'm commuting back and forth a couple times a day. Though we were told she's not "around the corner" yet, she's in the best hands in the world getting the best treatment available anywhere, and she's improved over her condition a couple days ago. At this point, that's all we can ask for or expect.

Thanks for all the support we've received, and for your patience not calling for more information. It'd be really difficult for us to have to answer the phones constantly to give the same message over and over.

Some have asked if they can send flowers or cards. No flowers please, but if you want to send a card, send it to PO Box 408, Peabody, MA  01960 and I'll make sure she gets it when the time's appropriate.


Saturday, April 20, 2002

It's late -- actually it's Sunday now (1:00 am). I just got back from the hospital visiting Barbara. Her son Lance is spending the night there again. I'd hoped to send along the Lowell Sun report on Barbara's accident but alas, the copy that was promised to be faxed to me never arrived. Tomorrow, I hope.

Barbara is still holding her own through a day of small ups and downs. Things still look good for her -- overall she continues to move in the right direction -- but indeed it is minute by minute and not without concern.

I've been asked by some on this list to stress that your prayers are and remain welcomed. For all of us, it's the best we can do.

Thanks for all your support, the many offers of assistance with "anything we can do," and the e-mail messages of support. Right now, positive thoughts and prayers are all any of us can contribute. Keep them coming.


The Lowell Sun
Saturday, April 20, 2002

Anderson hospitalized after fall, skull fracture
By Jennifer Fenn
Sun Statehouse Bureau

BOSTON - Tax cut crusader Barbara Anderson is being treated at a Boston hospital after falling in her Marblehead home Tuesday and fracturing her skull.

Her prognosis is unclear, said her business partner and friend, Chip Ford.

"It's pretty serious," Ford said yesterday afternoon. "Nobody really knows anything. As the doctors say, its minute by minute."

Anderson is the executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation, the driving force behind the Proposition 2 law more than 20 years ago and the 2000 ballot initiative to roll back the personal income tax rate from 5.6 to 5 percent. Proposition 2 limits the amount of local tax increases.

Anderson also writes a newspaper column that appears regularly in The Sun.

Anderson's group had scheduled a rally for Tuesday - Tax Day - to celebrate the success of the rollback, but it was abruptly called off amid reports that Anderson was sick. There was no indication at the time, however, that her injury was serious.

But yesterday, Ford said Anderson apparently fell in her home and hit her head, causing a hairline fracture that was not immediately detected. The injury caused internal bleeding and swelling of the brain, which forced doctors to perform cranial surgery to relieve the pressure, Ford said.

She has been unconscious since, under heavy sedation.

"She's holding her own now; she's not getting any worse," Ford said.

Ford said Anderson's son, Lance Crowley, flew into Boston from Nevada Wednesday morning. Crowley and Ford have been rotating shifts at the hospital, waiting for news of improvement.

Anderson battled cancer last fall, but Ford said she had fully recovered.

Ford said he found Anderson on the floor of her home at about 8 Tuesday morning, but he doesn't know what time she fell. Ford had last seen Anderson the night before at about 11 p.m. Ford said Anderson was [not] feeling well and had complained of a headache.

When he stopped by to see her in the morning, she was barely conscious.

"We didn't know what it was," Ford said. "There was no outward sign of injury. I called 911 for an ambulance and when they ran the test, (they) showed a hairline fracture and bleeding and swelling of the brain."

Ford said Anderson was flown from Salem Hospital to an undisclosed Boston hospital where she had surgery to relieve the pressure on her skull. Ford said well-wishers can send cards to Anderson at P.O. Box 408, Peabody, MA 01960.

"It is a shock," Ford said. "It's amazing how fragile you are, It's hard to believe you could fall down and put yourself in this position. We're just crossing our fingers."

A spokesman for acting Gov. Jane Swift, who with former Gov. Paul Cellucci worked with Anderson on the income tax initiative two years ago, said she hopes Anderson makes a speedy recovery from her accident.

"We certainly wish Barbara Anderson and her family the best and are keeping them in our thoughts," said Swift spokeswoman Sarah Magazine. "Barbara is a tireless advocate for lower taxes on behalf of the citizens of the commonwealth."

Christopher Anderson, president of the Massachusetts High Tech Council, said the state needs Anderson's voice and advocacy for lower taxes. Chris Anderson (no relation) said his group worked closely with her on the Proposition 2 initiative and income tax cut.

"We wouldn't have Prop. 2 or the debates of local spending if it wasn't for Barbara Anderson. That's a fact," Chris Anderson said. "She has a unique ability to communicate with just about any type of individual about matters of tax policy and government in a way that everyone can relate to. That's her enduring, and we expect to be her ongoing contribution, not just today but in the years ahead.


Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Actually, it's now after 1:00 a.m. Monday, but this relates to today's (Sunday's) events. Doing updates this late at night after returning from the hospital can get somewhat confusing.

Barbara continues to hold her own. Today the doctors took her off sedation, and she began to respond in a way they felt was positive. The swelling and bleeding have lessened markedly.

She still can't talk, primarily due to the breathing tube, but she does respond to Lance, me and her doctors by trying to speak.

"Minute to minute" sure can be a long time, but Barbara is moving forward, making progress, recovering inch by inch.

Lance took a much-needed night off to get some sleep in a real bed. He's been fantastic throughout this ordeal, though exhaustion caught up on Day 6. Being EMT-certified, he's able to communicate with the medical staff in ways I never could. He's been at Barbara's side or nearby literally 24/7 keeping his eyes on things, catching naps when and wherever he can, and I've been driving in and out of Boston a couple times a day.

Keep those prayers and positive thoughts heading her way, folks; they seem to be working so far! (And I did tell her about them tonight.)


Monday, April 22, 2002

I just got a call from Lance at the hospital, and Barbara is back among us!

She is fully conscious, aware, and communicating. She's already asked that I bring in the book she'd been reading when I go in, and asked Lance to get her a Red Sprite to drink!

Lance called it "100 percent" and the hospital staff is stunned and thrilled at the suddenness of her recovery; she's the talk of the ICU ward. She's got a way to go to reach full recovery, but the worst is behind her now; she survived that critical first few days.

She remembers nothing about last Tuesday, but asked Lance to call me and let me know she's back.

I wanted you all to know what I know, but I'm out'ta here on my way in to the hospital. I'll write more later.

Thank you one and all for the prayers and positive thoughts: they have worked a miracle!


Monday, April 22, 2002

I'm back from the hospital, and I'm euphoric. Lance was right, she's 100 percent! Miracles do happen.

What a stunning turn-around. She came to and hasn't missed a beat -- except for what happened to her on Tuesday: she has no recollection, but her doctor said it may come back to her eventually.

Some have questioned why "the media" have not reported what happened. There was no "conspiracy," trust me. One questioning supporter ventured that perhaps "her friends and family were just keeping a low news profile." That sums it up from my perspective, and we're grateful for those many friends of Barbara in the media who apparently respected our wishes.

Barbara usually fields some 6-12 or so media calls a day; I usually handle maybe 2-3. Since her accident last Tuesday we've received two; both on Tuesday asking why the CLT news conference was abruptly canceled. We always answer media calls immediately, always. But those two I just was not able to return in time.

Today, out of nowhere, the calls suddenly again began. Quotes from CLT Updates where tossed up for me to respond to. This is good; they're reading our Updates ... even if the Updates haven't yet made it to the public web pages as they eventually always do, usually within a short time after they're posted to this list.

I returned a couple other media messages, but was too late to reach the reporters.

No "conspiracy" -- just some little-credited concern and honest humanitarian care, I believe. Honestly responsible journalism, and they don't often get credit for this. I deal with these folks, and it's sometimes there.

Ie., the Salem Evening News was going to report the hospital location tomorrow. We do not want that public. But they had it. I asked that they don't publish it, or we'd probably have to move Barbara to another location. In the end, they won't, attributed to "the wishes of the family." That is a class act. Last Friday the assistant editor told me they had "looked into it" and there was no reason why the public had "a right or need to know." He was right. This is Barbara's privacy, and we're going to protect it.

Anyway, she asked me to pass on to you her first thoughts. When she came to, her dubious doctors asked her a few simple questions to ascertain her lucidity. She told me:.

"They asked what year it was, and I told them it was 2002. Then they asked, 'Who is the vice-president of the United States?' I told them Dick Cheney, of course. Why didn't they ask me something more difficult, like what's my name?"

Oh yeah, Barbara's back!


The Boston Globe
Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Tax relief advocate Anderson
regains consciousness after fall

by Michael S. Rosenwald

Tax relief advocate Barbara Anderson regained consciousness yesterday for the first time since she suffered a skull fracture after falling in her Marblehead home last week, according to Chip Ford, her colleague and companion. Anderson, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation, regained consciousness in the intensive care unit of a Boston hospital, but is expected to remain hospitalized for at least a few weeks, said Ford, who is the organization's operations director.

Ford found Anderson semi-conscious in her home last Tuesday. She had apparently fallen, fracturing her skull and causing bleeding and swelling around the brain. Anderson was taken to Salem Hospital and then flown to an undisclosed medical center where doctors performed cranial surgery to reduce the swelling.

Anderson and Ford suspect a blood pressure medication she had begun taking could have caused the fall.

Yesterday Anderson was in good spirits, Ford said, and joked about the questions doctors asked her -- such as the current year and the name of the vice president. "But she said it was too bad they didn't ask her a tougher question -- like what's my name?" Ford said.


The Salem Evening News
Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Anderson recovering from mysterious collapse
By Alan Burke
News staff

MARBLEHEAD -- After hovering in or near a state of unconsciousness for almost a week, political activist and Evening News columnist Barbara Anderson woke up yesterday afternoon in intensive care at a Boston hospital.

"She's back 100 percent," said her relieved companion and political ally Chip Ford. "Everything seems to be functioning. ... She's looking for a book to read. ... It's just like a miracle."

Ford said he found Anderson unconscious in her Marblehead home last Tuesday. "I found her on the floor. I had no idea what was wrong. ... When I found her, she was sort of semi-conscious."

Anderson was rushed to Salem Hospital where a CT scan indicated cranial bleeding and a hairline fracture of the skull. She was later taken to a Boston hospital, according to Ford, and surgery was performed to relieve the swelling in her brain.

As of yesterday, Ford said, no cause had been pinpointed, nor did Anderson have any recall of how she fell.

"We don't know what happened to her," Ford said, "if she passed out or not. ... She had a headache the night before."

"She was being checked for some sort of blood disorder," he continued, which thickens her blood. He speculated that the treatment -- or even the symptoms of the disorder -- may have contributed to the episode.

All her locks and deadbolts were secured from the inside, he added, apparently ruling out the possibility of foul play.

"I checked it out," he said.

One aspect of the incident left Ford bemused. "Her house is so cluttered with furniture," he said, "that we're trying to figure out how she could have fallen without knocking something over."

This is the second serious health emergency for the outspoken libertarian, who was treated last year for lung cancer. "That was removed," said Ford. "And she's totally recovered."

As one of the founders of Citizens for Limited Taxation -- she and Ford are now co-directors -- Anderson is credited as the author of 1979's Proposition 2, an initiative petition limiting the ability of cities and towns to increase taxes. The controversial measure inspired support from many taxpayers, but enmity from others unhappy with the resulting cutbacks in spending for schools and local government.

Anderson's appearances at the Marblehead Town Meeting, for example, have at times been met with boos and catcalls.

Although she has steadfastly refused to consider a race for elective office, she has continued to promote her anti-tax message through the initiative petition process. She writes a regular op-ed column for the Evening News.

As recently as Sunday, April 14, she gave a speech in [North] Andover as part of an ongoing campaign to halt plans to freeze the tax rollback recently approved by voters in a CLT-endorsed initiative petition.


Keller-at-Large - WBZ Radio AM-1030
Broadcast at 7:55 a.m.
Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Commentary by Jon Keller

Barbara Anderson, the longtime anti-tax activist, is in the hospital, recovering from injuries sustained in a fall. And if you pay taxes in this state, believe me, you need Barbara to get well and get back to work as quickly as possible.

For more than twenty years, Barbara Anderson has been this state's most articulate and principled defender of your wallet. While she's a Libertarian with a lower-case "L" philosophically, Barbara is not opposed to any taxation or role for government - the name of her group is Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government. She just wants taxation and government that's honest, above board, and responsive to the will of the taxpayer. Barbara believes, with considerable justification, that Massachusetts state government is a bloated, self-serving insiders club that pads payrolls with double-dipppers and hacks, ignores the stress taxation places on ordinary working people, and reflexively reaches for YOUR wallet to keep the whole scam afloat.

Plenty of people talk that kind of talk, but Barbara walks the walk with unmatched intelligence and passion. If you've ever read one of her op-ed articles or commentaries on the CLT web site, you know that she is a superb writer with a razor-sharp edge and an acute sense of sarcasm. She and tireless CLT colleagues like Chip Ford and Chip Faulkner have for years, on a shoestring budget, run one of the most successful lobbying operations on Beacon Hill, regularly outsmarting high-priced pro-tax lobbies like the Mass. Teachers Association and the AFL-CI0.

And the thing I appreciate most about Barbara is the genuine passion and sincerity she brings to her advocacy. She is that rarest of political creatures, a truly independent thinker, ready to dump a political ally who betrays her principles, and quick to give hell to a reporter who messes up, I can assure you from grim personal experience. Right now, they're gearing up to raise your taxes on Beacon Hill. SO Barbara, quickly please, out of that hospital bed and back to work. We need you now more than ever.


The Boston Herald
Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Anti-tax activist Anderson recovering from bad fall
by Jessica Heslam

Anti-tax activist Barbara Anderson awoke Monday after being in and out of consciousness for six days after a fall in her Marblehead home, her companion said yesterday.

"She's doing good. She's totally back to normal," Chip Ford said of Anderson, the vocal leader of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Ford said he discovered Anderson semi-conscious on the floor in her home when he went over there April 16.

Anderson was rushed to Salem Hospital, where doctors discovered brain swelling and bleeding as well as a hairline skull fracture, according to Ford. Anderson was then flown to an undisclosed Boston hospital, here she underwent surgery to reduce the swelling.

Anderson was in the intensive care unit yesterday, Ford said.

"She was basically unconscious and sedated until Monday," he said. "Even the hospital staff is surprised how suddenly she recovered."

Ford said Anderson does not remember how she fell.

"She does not remember anything about Tuesday (April 16). It is a mystery," Ford said. "Doctors are running tests and trying to figure out what happened."

Anderson had complained of a headache the night before the fall, Ford said, and might have had a reaction to medication she just had started taking to treat a blood disorder that causes her blood to thicken.

Anderson is the executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation, which spearheaded the campaign for Proposition 2 to limit property tax increases in the early 1980s. Ford is director of operations for CLT.


The Boston Herald
Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Postscript to
"Exec clean after Fleet takes Enron bath"

by Cosmo Macero Jr.

I was happy to learn yesterday that anti-tax activist Barbara Anderson is now doing better after suffering a skull fracture. I was also mortified about not having learned earlier that Ms. Anderson had taken ill, since I used a less than flattering characterization of her in Monday's column. The context was limited. But to say it was awful timing would be putting it mildly. I hope Herald readers will join me in wishing Ms. Anderson a full and speedy recovery.


The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune
Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Anti-tax crusader recovering
By Jennifer D. Jordan

BOSTON - Barbara Anderson, founder of Citizens for Limited Taxation, is recovering in a Boston area intensive care unit after undergoing cranial surgery to relieve pressure on her brain, said her colleague and companion, Chip Ford.

"She'll spend a few more days in intensive care, and then we're not sure, but we think she'll spend some more time recovering in the hospital," Ford said yesterday, declining to name the hospital. "She's 100 percent now, mentally. Now, it's recovering from the surgery."

Ford said he found Anderson, 59, semiconscious on the floor of her Marblehead home April 16 and she was taken to Salem Hospital. There doctors determined she had sustained a skull fracture, possibly by falling, Ford said.

She was transported to a Boston hospital for cranial surgery last week, he said.

"It was a really scary five to six days, but now it looks like she's going to be all right," Ford said. He said Anderson might have had a bad reaction to medicine she was taking and hadn't felt well the day before she fractured her skull.

Chip Faulkner, associate director for the taxpayer watchdog group. Said it's been harder to concentrate on the budget and new taxes debate while Anderson has been ill.

"We've sort of been at a standstill lately," Faulkner said. "But we're still following what the legislature is doing and we're still asking people to call their legislators."


Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Barbara is doing very well, seemingly improving by the minute. Yesterday I brought her some 50-60 get-well cards we've received (PO Box 408, Peabody, MA 01960) and we spent a good hour opening and reading them. Her son Lance arranged them on the shelves in her hospital room, filling the space.

She got out of bed for the first time and sat in a chair to read your cards, and she really enjoyed them -- and the fact that so many cared enough to send them.

I told her yesterday that I've asked each of you a couple times to call your state rep and state senator, and Gov. Swift, and urge them to reject tax increases next week; she hopes every one of you are making those calls.

I also hope every one of you have, are, or will!

We expect that today she'll be transferred out of the intensive care unit and into a regular hospital room, which is big step forward. She'll probably remain there for a week or so before being released to come home.

Thanks for all your support and patience throughout the last week. It means a lot to both of us.


Saturday, April 27, 2002

Barbara is doing very well, I'm happy to report.

She was transferred from ICU to a regular hospital bed on Thursday, and may be transferred back to Salem as soon as Monday for a week or so of rehab before coming home.

She's on the warpath over the Legislature's proposed rollback "freeze" and other tax hikes. She watched the House debate on her hospital TV this week, has been reading print-outs of my Updates and related news reports, and we'll be working together on a CLT memo to the Legislature over the weekend, to be hand-delivered to every legislator on Monday.

Yesterday she asked me if I could get her a wheelchair: she wanted to have us roll her into the State House, head bandaged wearing the helmet (she needs to wear for a while whenever she's out of bed), carrying a sign, "'Temporary' my aching head!" What a political statement that would make, but regardless, I talked her out of it ... I think!

Her son Lance leaves today, flying back to Nevada, his wife, and Barbara's twin grandkids. I'll miss him: there's that something about shared crisis that builds strong bonds. I don't know how I could have handled it all without him being here.

When we left Barbara's room together last night after his saying good bye to his mom, I told him "good job!" The crisis was over and we had somehow prevailed, stronger for it.

In closing, I trust you've made your calls by now to your state rep, your state senator, and Governor Swift's office and told them "no taxes!", so I won't urge you further today. I know:  it's the least you could do, especially considering the situation, and you know how much it means to Barbara. We thank you, because we sure can't do it without your personal effort, and that of the other hundreds on this and other lists!


Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

Saturday, May 11, 2002

Great news: Barbara is home and resting comfortably!


Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Update from Barbara Anderson

Well, it's been over a month since Chip saved my life by realizing that I was brain-injured from a fall and not just sleepy and reluctant to get up and spend another day arguing with Beacon Hill. It's almost two weeks since I was released from the hospital to his round-the-clock care; he has been doing his job, my job, dealing with the largest assortment of thieves and thugs ever to assault our Massachusetts pay checks, and taking care of me and the cats.

At first he brought me my food, meds, and daily briefings and put up with the ingratitude and crankiness that is my natural response to dependence. Then he spent the weekend setting up the house so I could do most things for myself. Now I am happy, got my first column since the accident off to my editors this morning, and am feeling much stronger. So he decided I should take a turn at doing the daily update.

Unfortunately for you, I can only read so much of the day's news reports before I put my pillow over my eyes and tune into Golden Oldies TV music instead, trying to return to a time when life, even political life in Massachusetts, made at least a modicum of sense. Or is that my fantasy imagination? "Back in the good old days..." Maybe it never made any sense at all. Do check out Chip's web site and pick up the Andy Hiller commentary. I heard it in the hospital and kept telling everyone how great it was until he found it at the Ch 7 website. My best contribution this month... The best sign is that the media in general is really starting to catch on, and we have been getting good newspaper and editorial coverage.

And of course we stopped, at least for now, the assault on Prop 2. Thanks, CLT activists who let us publicize you as potential write-in candidates against legislators who threaten 2.

Thanks too for the cards, phone calls, offers of assistance to help CLT use this hot period for recruitment of new members, and patience with the services you are accustomed to that Chip [Ford] just can't do alone. We'll be back to normal soon I hope.

Thursday is the State House Senate hearing on the tax package and budget. Chipster [Chip Faulkner] is polling Senators and will be testifying Thursday on general subject of respecting the voters on initiative petitions. As for the tax package, we are just as opposed to the House proposed income tax rate "freeze" to 5.3% as we are to Tom Birmingham's proposed 5.6%. A tax hike is a tax hike, and of course a pay cut.

Meanwhile, we are watching override results and the battles against local proponents' dirty tricks. Today, we await news from the new taxpayer group that is fighting off an override in North Andover under the leadership of CLT activists Ted Tripp and Chuck Ormsby. Tune in tomorrow for what we hope will be good news.


BARBARA ANDERSON --


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