A Ballot Committee of
Citizens for Limited Taxation & Government
PO Box 408 * Peabody, MA 01960
Phone:(617) 248-0022 /(508) 538-3900 E-Mail:
Visit our web-page at:

*** Clarification of Policy ***

I recently received the following e-mail from one of our longstanding members and realize there might be some confusion among our membership. The message follows:


I got your card which might be read as telling CLT people not to help other friendly groups. Since there are so few of our type of people in Mass., it seems to be a mistake to tell the same group of people who will be getting signatures for terms limits and tax reduction not to help each petition drive.

My response follows:

The vote of the CLT&G board of directors was not to preclude *individuals* from doing as they see fit -- afterall, our members are volunteers, not employees we'd even consider ordering around.

It was to preserve CLT&G's resources and volunteers' efforts, and help insure our own success.

In 1996, while we were engaged in the petition drive to repeal the legislators' pay-grab, we started helping out a little with the Free the Pike and Auto Excise Tax Repeal drives. Gradually we got pulled in more and more, almost without notice. Before the filing deadline, we were providing more support than we could afford -- in fact we ended up picking up everyone else's petitions all across the state because they didn't have the manpower to retrieve their certified petitions themselves.

[We also provided them with space at the malls where we'd reserved a table -- drawing criticism from some of the mall management for having more petitions there than we'd contracted with them to have, a minor violation of our agreement with the management -- Chip.]

Ever driven to Woronoco, Pittsfield, Peru or Florida, Massachusetts to pick up certified petitions from the town clerks? Let me know if you'd like to in November and I'll arrange it!

Now if our purpose in this life was to run petition drives, that would be fine and well -- but we'd be charging what the professionals charge -- and we're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars per issue! But we're not in it for that. We're in it to win *our* issue, and we spend one hell of a lot of time and *our members' * money to succeed.

I got a call Friday from the Parental Rights Initiative. They wanted to "pool our resources," "help each other out." When I asked how many petitioners they had, I was told "about twenty"! As in the past, we've found that, for too many, petitioning looks easy from arm's length -- and we've probably had something to do with that through our successes over the decades. But too often, when the rubber meets the road, we get the inevitable calls to bail them out. We thought it was only fair this time to let everyone know from the outset that those days have passed.

Petition drives are anything *but* easy. We'll have our hands full again trying to be one of the groups that cross the finish line. (In 1996, 18 petition drives were launched: *two* made it, and we were one of them, barely.)

If you want to help the others, you're of course perfectly free to do so. But this time CLT&G will be focusing our members' resources and all our energy on succeeding with our own drive. That elusive finish line is still quite a distance off!

I hope this helps you to understand our new position.

Chip Ford