An opponent of the income tax initiative is accusing the campaign of using “devious” tricks to get some of the signatures it turned in today.
Richard Schrock, who served as commerce director under Republican Gov. John Spellman, said he confronted a signature gatherer at a Kmart in Everett who had folded the top of the petition over. Signers couldn’t see the ballot title describing the measure as “establishing a state income tax and reducing other taxes.”
She pitched it as a measure to help education without mentioning the income tax, Schrock said.
In a news release, Schrock called it “widespread deception engaged in by many i1098 petitioners,” though he acknowledged in an interview he saw a few times and extrapolated from there: “‘I observed it two or three times, and I assume that it was done a lot.”
I-1098 spokesman Sandeep Kaushik said the campaign “engaged a very reputable signature gathering firm, as well as hundreds of dedicated volunteers.” They pitched the initiative as tax reform, Kaushik said, although he added he “can’t speak with absolute assurances there aren’t from time to time individual signature gatherers” who didn’t follow that model.