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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don't be fooled

The fund-raising numbers don't look good for the folks promoting Question 1 -- the income tax repeal. Neither does the fact that a lot of that cash is going into the their own pockets and not advertising.

That's exactly what they want you to think.

The income tax repeal question is not going to be won with television ads. It will be won at the grassroots level -- the bumper stickers, yard signs, phone trees and all those seemingly quaint reminders of yesteryear.

It may seem like an odd comparison, because the folks in support of Question 1 and the backers of Barack Obama are strange bedfellows, but they are both relying on the same thing -- good old-fashioned legwork.

Want better proof?
Citizens for Limited Taxation, another nonprofit advocacy group, also plans to get involved, and will distribute red and white bumper stickers that read, "Hell Yes! Question 1."
Anyone want to check out Barbara Anderson's success rate in winning anti-tax ballot questions? And virtually all of that success is built on a foundation of activists who have never met a tax they liked -- even if those taxes helped to pay for police, fire, schools and trash removal.

That's even before we get to the mismanagement of the Big Dig and the MBTA.

This is a question that received 45 percent voter approval in better economic times. Anyone care the suggest things are great these days?

And don't be complacent by thinking the Legislature will overturn the will of the voters as they have in the past -- and have suggested they will do in this case too.

Do you think that Wall Street -- which has plenty of problems these days because of the shaky underpinnings of lots of mortgage financing tools -- will look kindly on bonds being issued by a state that has lost a substantial chunk of its revenue designed to guarantee those bonds?

The Legislature can't act as fast as a bunched of panicked Wall Street types. Or the bond rating agencies.

Don't be fooled.



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