Saturday, June 16, 2012

Virginia Anti-Tax Group Mails Attacks on Proposed Casino Tax Cuts // MD Del. Brian Feldman's Voters Urged to Contact Him

TRIPLE-UPDATE: Okay, so the anti-tax group is apparently fairly random in its targeting. The D16 version targets all three Delegates (Frick, Lee, Kelly). Meanwhile, a D39 reader reports on more conflicting information about the mailing:
D39 READER: Just wanted to give you a quick update on District 39.  I received a mailer yesterday as well.  It only targeted Delegates Reznik and Barkley, and not Delegate Robinson.  Del. Barkley and Reznik both voted against the tax plan, and Del. Robinson voted for it.  So, it goes counter to your thinking on the D18 mailer, where Del. Gutierrez was not targeted. So, frankly, I have no idea what their logic is. Also, our mailer did not have the home phone numbers of the officials.

DOUBLE-UPDATE: More readers are providing clues about the Virginia anti-tax mailing. First, the senders appear to have listed the home phone numbers of Maryland lawmakers. Ouch! 

In District 18, we previously only had reports of mail targeting Senator Rich Madaleno. The same source now indicates that other D18 voters are receiving mail targeting Delegates Al Carr & Jeff Waldstreicher. Notably, Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez is the only member of the D18 delegation to have voted against the budget this year. Are the mailings simply using the gambling issue as the vehicle to criticize politicians on broader tax issues? It is still unclear, given the scattershot reports. See further details below.

Additionally, we previously only reported on Montgomery legislators receiving the mailing. But in the comments below, a HoCo reader reports receiving mail targeting Delegates Shane Pendergrass and Guy Guzzone. A Baltimore County reader reports that in District 42, they received mail targeting Delegates Cardin and Morhaim (but not Stein) of neighboring District 11.

UPDATE: Several readers are confirming that, indeed, these mailers seem to be going to multiple legislative districts. A reader in District 18 reports receiving a version targeting Senator Rich Madaleno, while the District 19 version targets only Delegates Sam Arora and Bonnie Cullison (see below). Lastly, the District 17 version only targets Delegate Luiz Simmons. Random!

A Maryland Juice source has sent us a scanned copy of a direct mail piece hitting the mailboxes of Delegate Brian Feldman's constituents. The postcard (copied below) asks voters to contact Mr. Feldman and urge him to reject a special gambling session. Some pertinent parts of the text on the mailer are excerpted below:
ANTI-TAX DIRECT MAIL: "...the legislature may come back for a 2nd special session - this time to give special tax breaks for casino special interests...."

"We can't raise taxes on working families and then give tax cuts to corporate special interests. It just doesn't make sense."

"Contact Rep. Brian Feldman ... and urge him to vote AGAINST tax breaks for casino interests."

Maryland Juice assumes that if Delegate Feldman is being hit with this kind of mail, other lawmakers must be in the target group, too. If you received a mailer like this, please contact with details or copies.

ABOUT THE SENDER: Notably, the mailer  below was sent by the Virginia-based Taxpayers Protection Alliance. Their mission statement notes (excerpt below):
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is a non-profit non-partisan organization dedicated to educating the public through the research, analysis and dissemination of information on the government’s effects on the economy. TPA, through its network of taxpayers will hold politicians accountable for the effects of their policies on the size, scope, efficiency and activity of government and offer real solutions to runaway deficits and debt....

NO SPECIAL GAMBLING SESSION // NO MORE REVENUE OR TAX BREAKS FOR MD CASINOS - Given that the group is another one of these rightwing front-groups opposing all taxes, I suspect that they are simply exploiting the gambling issue to advance their anti-tax agenda. Nevertheless, they are correct that under no circumstance should Maryland lawmakers even think about giving casinos a tax break or greater share of gambling revenues.

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