Limited Taxation & Government
18 Tremont Street #608    Boston, Massachusetts   02108     (617) 248-0022
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CLT&G Update
Tuesday, June 9, 1998

Greetings activists and supporters:

I'll send this along without comment; it speaks for itself.

Barbara and I depart tomorrow morning for the International Taxpayers Conference in Vancouver, BC, to meet with taxpayer group leaders from around the world. She will be giving a presentation on the "Activism and the Media" panel on Saturday; I'm on the "In-House Fund-raising and Computer Application" panel.

Hopefully a little time off and away after nine grueling months of non-stop activity will provide us with some fresh perspective, new ideas, and perhaps even some much-needed inspiration and reinvigoration.

These Updates and Alerts! will be suspended pending our return.

That gives you some time to consider what you want us to do when we return; you will decided whether CLT&G goes on or goes away.

That "fish-or-cut-bait" decision, my friends, is now entirely in your hands and will be determined by your response.

Chip Ford --

The Boston Herald
Tuesday, June 9, 1998

Under-funded tax activists may go out of business
By Robin Washington

The Bay State's most vocal anti-tax group may be closing down -- or at least moving off Tremont Street to cyberspace.

Reeling from stagnant fund raising, a rent hike, and a court defeat on a proposed ballot initiative, Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government said yesterday it will likely close its downtown Boston office in June and possibly cease to exist.

"Unless there's a demand for us to continue . . . CLT&G will shut down at the end of July," said co-director Chip Ford in a letter to supporters.

Both Ford and co-director Barbara Anderson said their different philosophies led them to survey members to determine CLT&G's future.

"Chip doesn't want to close the doors until there's one member left, and that's him. I am willing to do that myself but I'm reluctant to keep asking our members to pay for everything," Anderson said.

In addition to a million-dollar effort by the Massachusetts Teachers Association to defeat CLT&G's proposed 5 percent tax rollback initiative, Anderson blamed the group's troubles on a fictitious character named "I. Mallset."

"He's the guy at the mall who says he supports what we're doing, but when you ask him to sign a petition, he say, 'Oh no, I'm all set,'" said Anderson.

Both Anderson and Ford already work out of their homes and said there would be little change if they stayed in business without the office. The group will also keep its presence on the World Wide Web, she said.

"The only reason we needed to be in Boston was when we did a lot of lobbying when we had conservative Democrats who would ally with Republicans in the House. We don't have that any more," said Anderson, of Marblehead.

Around the corner on Temple Place, CLT&G's nemesis greeted the news with one word.

"Good!" said James St. George of the Tax Equity Alliance of Massachusetts.

"This just shows that the people of Massachusetts share no appetite for Barbara Anderson's radical views on taxes and spending," he added.

Asked if the rent increase might turn her into an advocate for rent control, Anderson said, "Not me! Absolutely not!"

The Boston Globe
Tuesday, June 9, 1998

Antitax group's leader warns of pending demise
By Frank Phillips
Globe Staff

Barbara Anderson, the tax-cut proponent who has influenced the state's fiscal policy for years, is considering abandoning her movement in the face of a financial crunch and increasing public apathy.

Still stinging from a loss to the teachers' union over a tax-cut ballot question, Anderson's group, the Citizens for Limited Taxation and Government, has sent a letter to its members asking them to decide whether the organization should continue to operate.

Anderson said a waning public appetite for activism, a financial drain, and personal exhaustion from battling the union has led her to question whether it is time to pull the plug on the once-powerful Massachusetts tax-cut movement. For nearly two decades, Anderson has been an effective antagonist to Beacon Hill Democrats on issues ranging from tax cuts, lawmakers' pay raises, and term limits.

"If the members don't feel strongly about keeping it going in face of the general public's indifference to what the government does to them, then we can all get a life," Anderson said yesterday.

That apathy can be measured by the decline in the group's membership. In the mid-1980s, the group could count on about 18,000 members. That has dropped by half, to 9,000.

Anderson and co-director Chip Ford have already decided to close the group's downtown Boston office, pushed in part by the landlord raising the rent. But the organization's financial woes go beyond just rent.

"To keep the organization alive through July, each of us four staffers have taken another pay cut," Ford said in a letter sent to members this week. "We're now each making $369 a week until the funds run out."

Ford told the members that unless they responded with some financial help and enthusiasm, the group will shut down in late July "... and the four of us will be out looking for other work."

"Unless our members say differently, I don't want to ask them to contribute their money and their time in order to give tax cuts to people who don't seem to care," Anderson said.

The decision to reevaluate her mission and possibly disband her group stems from the bitter struggle she lost with the Massachusetts Teachers Association, which challenged the signatures that the group had gathered to place an income tax-cut question on the November ballot.

A judge ruled in April that Anderson and her allies had failed to collect enough certified voter signatures to qualify for the ballot.

That has left Anderson and her group financially crippled. But it has not dampened her spirit.

Displaying her feisty image, Anderson talked of destroying the powers of the teachers' unions, which she blames for opposing any moves to cut the size of government. She and Ford have created a Web site to provide information on teacher union activities around the country.

"First we have to take out the teachers' union before anything else can happen," Anderson said.

Lou DiNatale, a Democratic political analyst, said a decision by Anderson to call it quits would be a "significant loss" for the state's Republicans.

"She's been right at the cutting edge of all of the issues," DiNatale said. "Her support has been critical to the leadership of the conservative movement and the Republicans."

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