Email shows push to defeat gas tax question

BOSTON (AP) — Department of Transportation officials have circulated an email outlining a coordinated effort to defeat a proposed gas tax ballot question.

Supporters of the ballot question say that email, which was distributed through official state email addresses, violates Massachusetts ethics laws. The question would repeal a new law automatically linking future increases in the gas tax to the rate of inflation.

The email included a list of 16 “talking points” officials can use to argue against supporters of the question.

State campaign finance laws prohibit the use of public resources for political purposes, including ballot question campaigns. Government email is considered a public resource.
Transportation Secretary Richard Davey defended the email.

Davey told WWLP-TV that the email was intended to help those in the department better inform the public about the consequences of the repeal effort.

Copyright Associated Press

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