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Need to Sort Election Fact from Fiction? Citizen Group Offers Report on Ballot Measures, Candidates' Stances on Fiscal Issues
For Immediate Release October 20, 2006
(Alexandria, VA) -- The untold story in the upcoming election isn't about men or women running for office -- it's about state and local ballot measures, and the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has compiled a detailed guide to the proposals that would affect taxpayers. NTU has also assembled a Congressional Candidate Survey database that catalogues officeseekers' views on specific fiscal issues. Both are available online at www.ntu.org.
"The pundits view 2006 as one of the most important Congressional election years in recent memory, yet most have overlooked the biggest slate of state and local tax and spending proposals in over a decade," said NTU President John Berthoud. "November 7 is as important a date for fiscal ballot issues as it is for incumbents and challengers at all levels."
NTU's publication, Ballot Guide 2006: A Taxpayer's Perspective, is the product of painstaking research in all 50 states on initiatives and referenda concerning taxes, spending, regulations, and government accountability. The result is an encyclopedia describing some 100 ballot measures, from Alabama to Wyoming, and their likely effect on the size and cost of government.
Since the days of California's Proposition 13 in the 1970s, NTU and its members have participated in numerous ballot efforts, and in so doing have developed institutional expertise on the use of initiative and referendum powers to shape fiscal policy.
Such is also the case on the national level, where NTU has polled Congressional hopefuls on taxpayer concerns for 20 years. The 2006 NTU Congressional Candidate Survey consisted of 11 questions (some with numerous subparts), on issues ranging from Social Security's future to specific tax reduction proposals. The database of results is searchable by state, chamber, Congressional district, last name, or political party (even Independents and third parties). More than 400 candidates responded, making the database one of the most complete and in-depth election resources available.
In addition, ongoing projects from NTU and its research affiliate, NTU Foundation, will prove of interest during the campaign season. "NTU Rates Congress" is the only scorecard that reflects every roll call vote affecting fiscal policy. Online archives for the Rating date back to 1992. NTU Foundation's VoteTally and BillTally systems provide cost estimates on every piece of spending legislation introduced in Congress, and furnish a running tally on the amount of new federal outlays each lawmaker has voted for or sponsored. Again, years of data are available online.
"In a realm where words are thick and facts are woefully thin, taxpayers may not know where to turn for solid, reliable information on the ballot issues and politicians they'll decide upon this fall," Berthoud concluded. "NTU's projects can help to fill this void and serve the public."
NTU is a non-profit, non-partisan citizen group working for lower taxes and smaller government at all levels. Note: Ballot Guide 2006, the Congressional Candidate Survey Results, and the other items described above are available at www.ntu.org.