Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 07:25:06 -0400 (EDT)
A PROMISE TO KEEP: 5%
A Ballot Committee of
Citizens for Limited Taxation & Government
PO Box 408 * Peabody, MA 01960
Phone:(617) 248-0022 /(508) 538-3900 E-Mail: email@example.com
Visit our web-page at: http://cltg.org
*** Promise Update ***
Thursday, August 7, 1997
Whew, what a day yesterday was! All the weeks of high intensity planning, the conferencing with three teams of some of the best legal minds nitpicking over precise wording, wrangling over the best strategic political approach, getting together the signatures and voter registration certificates of the ten original signers (actually 18 counting the alternates) drafting the perfect news release with just the right tenor and tone to set the debate, designing the best, most informative media package to press our points . . . it all paid off in spades yesterday!
Apparently we made Massachusetts history yesterday, when not only state Treasurer Joe Malone joined us in the attorney generals office to deliver our three versions of the income tax rollback petition, but Governor Paul Cellucci joined us as wellmarking the first time in the memory of the AGs office or the media, which was there in force, that a sitting governor not only endorsed a citizen initiative but accompanied the sponsoring activists to a petition filing!
[BTW, another initiative was filed separately by a business group to cut the tax rate on so-called "unearned" income from 12 percent down to 5.95 percent. As part our effort, we propose setting the rate to equal that of wage & salary income: 5.6 percent starting in 1999, 5.3 percent starting in 2000, and 5 percent starting in 2001.]
Phase One, the drafting and filing, is over and well be taking a deep breath and a little much-needed time off. Then its on to gearing up for Phase Twothe signature drive!
Rest up, folks: Were going to need every ounce of energy each and every one of you can contribute when those petition forms are printed and available to us in mid-September!
Co-Chairman, A Promise to Keep
PS. Apparently weve got new executive director of TEAM [replacing Jim Braude], Jim St. Georges shorts wrapped tightly in a knot around his ears! Sputtering in frustration, hes already labeled us the "extreme right-wing"! [see Boston Globe story below] Despite the state budget skyrocketing from $12 billion in 1991 to $18 billion in 1998 with a record-breaking revenue surplus, Jim thinks there are still far, far too many "unmet needs" to be met before his Tax Everything And More bandits can even consider leaving us with ANY of *OUR* money. The only promise TEAM recognizes is unlimited government tax-and-spending.
* * *
The Boston Globe
Thursday, August 7, 1997
Metro | Region
Tax-cutters 2 Republican escorts know 3s a crowd
By Scot Lehigh
By any measure, it was an extraordinary political honor guard.
When Barbara Anderson, co-director of Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government, showed up at the attorney generals office to drop off her tax-cutting petitions for constitutional review yesterday, she was flanked by Acting Governor Paul Cellucci and Treasurer Joseph D. Malone.
"Of all the petitions I have filed over the years, I dont think I have ever been escorted by the governor and the treasurer before," said Anderson.
"The pleasure is ours," said Malone.
"Glad to be with you," piped in Cellucci.
The presence of the states top two Republicans demonstrates just how important Anderson has become as a symbol in the jockeying for image and political position the two GOP gubernatorial hopefuls are engaged in.
It also marks the dramatic reemergence of Anderson, who in just a few weeks has gone from a rebel in search of a compelling cause to the woman driving the GOP tax agenda.
Yesterday was Andersons third appearance with Cellucci since he took over for William F. Weld on July 29. She was there on his first full day in office, when Cellucci adopted her effort to roll the state income tax back from 5.95 to 5 percent.
Also, she was a featured speaker on Monday when the acting governor announced he would veto any tax on land transfers.
Celluccis advisers say he legitimately supports those positions. And history suggests Cellucci is correct in thinking CLT&Gs petition gives him political purchase to push the Legislature: It was Andersons ballot question that helped persuade lawmakers to repeal the so-called Dukakis surtax in the cash-flush year of 1986.
Still, politics has played a considerable part in making Anderson the woman of the moment. Political advisers say Cellucci wants to show voters he is every bit as tough on taxes as Weld. Tougher, even, when you consider that Weld hadnt taken a hard-line position on transfer taxes.
That draws howls of protests from progressive critics.
"Cellucci is pandering to the extreme right-wing of his party," said James St. George, executive director of the Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts.
So far, however, there has been little downside. Neither of the two top likely Democratic candidates for governor Attorney General Scott Harshbarger and US Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy IIhas addressed the tax issue. Legislative leaders, meanwhile, have been uncharacteristically measured about an income-tax cut that would cost an estimated $1.2 billion when fully implemented.
And whatever the possible risks for Cellucci, the immediate political benefits are far more tangible: depriving Republican rival Malone any running room. Yesterday, Malone, who was the first of the two to support Andersons efforts, sounded more like an ideological teammate than a rival.
"Paul and I know a good idea when we see one," he said. "I am proud to be here with Paul and with Barbara Anderson and all the rest of the citizens who want to see this happen."
As the Cellucci camp sees it, with their man ensconced in the governors office, with all the power and publicity the post commands, Malones only chance to mount a formidable primary challenge is if he can find a big issue, such as taxes, to draw a meaningful distinction.
Cellucci seems determined not to let that happeneven if it means looking a little like a member of Andersons entourage. Told yesterday that as far as people knew, no governor had ever showed up for a petition dropoff, Cellucci replied: "Im happy that I am the first."
"If Joe Malone cant drive a wedge between himself and Cellucci on tax and fiscal issues, he really has nowhere to go," said one Cellucci adviser. "There is a risk of looking un-gubernatorial, but owning this issue is important."
So important that Republican consultant Todd Domke thinks it could determine whether Malone runs at all.
"Obviously Paul Celluccis strategy is not merely to defeat Joe Malone on primary day but to try to persuade him not to make this race," Domke said.