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Sunday, October 18, 2009

CLT's Annual Brunch
Save the date -- and save CLT!

Chip Ford's CLT Commentary

CLT's annual brunch will be held on Sunday, November 15th. Its success is essential to our continuing as the voice of the Massachusetts taxpayer.

Over the thirty-five years of its existence, CLT has been financially on the brink many times. (Barbara remembers it considered laying her off in 1979 until she pointed out that her boss at the time couldn't type. She also recalls working without pay during part of the 1980 Prop 2½ campaign.) Somehow, with the help of its loyal activists, and some generous assistance from a very few "John Hancock" contributors, we've muddled through.

But right now we are hurting financially more than ever before, partly because most of those few "larger" contributors have passed on or have moved to a better state. Because of the generous response to our September mailing from some members, we figure we can stay afloat until after the annual brunch (more details below) on November 15. The next day -- November 16th -- CLT will shut down. Financially it must, because we have always said we would not go into debt.

Three of us are looking into collecting unemployment compensation (except for Barbara, who is on Social Security). CLT as a legal organization will remain intact -- but with nobody working for it.  It will become an empty shell.

We intend to do an end-of-year mailing to the membership as usual, again asking those who have not contributed this year to rejoin us. This letter should be received by you in early- to mid-December. I do all that work in-house to get mailings to you and our members to save outside production costs, and I will do it again -- salary or not, regardless of what I'm doing then. But there will still be the unavoidable printing and mailing costs, a few thousands of dollars. The response to it will decide if we can become rehired, if CLT can be resurrected in time for our planned "Revolution 2010."

Already, one staffer has requested that she not be rehired -- that living on this precipice day-to-day for so long is "enough is enough." I know exactly how she feels. We will not find anyone else who'll work for her meager salary, who'll replace doing what she does (and is capable of doing from her years of experience doing it) from her dedication. One casualty is among us already.

Three of us remain, are still available -- sort of. All bets are off if a better opportunity is offered to any of us while we're unemployed.

To be honest -- I'm open for one.  I've lived frugally and precariously like this for too long.  Somebody make me an offer!

If one more of us remaining three staffers -- Barbara Anderson, Chip Faulkner, or me -- depart permanently, in my opinion there can and will be no chance of CLT ever happening again. It will become just a 35-year piece of history in Massachusetts politics -- a wonderful memory; a sudden vulnerability for taxpayers.

And you will be on your own.

For your interest and contemplation:  Just the taxes alone on the four CLT salaries for a four-week month like September are $2,754.20 -- October is a five-week month thus the taxes will be more.

CLT doesn't have "more." It doesn't have enough, so it must start withholding paychecks, while still organizing the brunch, which WILL be held -- because we have made a commitment.  What little crumbs remain in the treasury is and must be so dedicated to the brunch.

Annual brunch invitations are being mailed next week to everyone who's made a contribution of $50 or more since January 1, 2007. If you fit into this category, you should be receiving your invitation during the following week. If you don't, and would like to attend, information on the event follows. We expect it to be informative and fun as usual, and -- we hope -- a kick-off event for Revolution: 2010 -- instead of a farewell party.

For a Copy of the Invitation Package (PDF File):


12:00 - 3:00 PM


$6,000 PER TABLE

Your check -- made out to CLT -- MUST  be received by us no later than November 8th to ensure your reservation. All per-person reservations arriving after November 8th:  $75.00

OR CALL  (781) 344-2797

You can make your reservation(s) by mailing your check made out to CLT, with your notation of how many in your party, to:

PO Box 1147
Marblehead, MA 01945-5147

There's also credit card payments available through PayPal -- with your notation during the transaction that it's for the brunch and how many are in your party. Without a notation, we won't know to have your reservation at the door.  You will not be seated, as we won't be able to arrange for your meal(s).

This is not a major fundraising event -- at $60 per person, CLT barely breaks even. (In the past, "John Hancock" supporters and those who could not attend but sent a contribution RSVP, made it financially worthwhile.) It is generally a celebration where members get together once a year to socialize and strategize. This year it may become a memoriam of CLT's accomplishments over the past 35 years, and a farewell.

Either way, Barbara, Chip Faulkner, and I hope to see you there . . .


Last year's CLT brunch, with Michael Graham

2007 CLT brunch, with Jon Keller

2006 CLT brunch, with Jim Braude

2005 CLT brunch, with Charlie Baker

Chip Ford