I asked Fred Leonard of Rochester Concerned Taxpayers to throw together some thoughts about what happened with the spending cap vote there.
Good news indeed! After over a decade of banging away at the local liberals, we have a huge victory with the passage of the tax & spending cap. With 70% of the votes cast for the cap, Rochester's voters sent the message loud and clear to the City Council, city manager and the school board - no more out of control spending!
The Rochester Concerned Taxpayers Association, using the language provided by the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition, spent 5 months campaigning to put an end of spending and taxing that has outstripped the taxpayer’s ability to pay in Rochester. We used signs, letters to the editor, public input at City Council workshop meetings, press releases, our website (largely provided by our great friends at the CNHT!) and newspaper ads along with radio ads and a mailer supplied by the NHAC to wage a battle against the long entrenched liberal establishment.
Even though the public labor unions joined forces and threw everything they had at us for the last 2 weeks leading up to the election, Rochester taxpayers knew that the tax & spending cap was the mechanism that would help leave more money in their pockets. With an economy that is growing weaker by the day, sky rocketing food, home fuel, gas and other vital living costs rising faster than people can keep up with, taxes and the economy were the issues of the day on November 4th. Messages of the world crumbling and the sky falling from the IAFF and the AFT were no match for a taxpaying public worried about job lose and higher taxes.
This is truly a great victory in an otherwise gloomy conservative environment in NH. It appears that while the GOP has long been the stalwarts of fiscal conservatism, the democrats were able to put together a better ground game and steal the typical conservative vote. We want all conservatives in NH to know that they can take the battle to the big spenders and win.
The message is simply and it can even be accomplished with a small handful of people. We were able to sustain a 5 month multipronged approach with just 10-12 people meeting once a month, at first, and then once a week with 2 1/2 months before the election. We used countless phone calls and emails to communicate and strategize amongst our dedicated little group between meetings. And, in the end, 9,755 people of Rochester voted themselves one big tax relief!
It just might be that the way to take back NH is one city and town at a time with the most fundamental issue most near and dear to most taxpayers.