By Erin Smith
The group opposed to Boston's bid to host the 2024 Summer Games is vowing to launch a ballot initiative or push for state legislation to prevent Bay State taxpayers from having to foot the bill for the Olympics.
"The USOC knew that opposition to Boston in the greater public was strong so they clearly picked a fight, and we're willing to have that fight," said Chris Dempsey, co-chairman of No Boston Olympics, who said his group is mulling either a referendum question or a legislative effort to block taxpayer money from funding the massive project.
"We think this conversation needs to be had out in the open. We're confident that as the taxpayers in Massachusetts weigh the pros and cons, they're going to come out on our side," Dempsey said.
Organizers for the Boston Olympics effort -- spearheaded by developer John Fish -- have come under fire after submitting a bid proposal last month without any public input. Dempsey called on the Boston 2024 group to immediately release all bid documents and plans submitted to the United States Olympics Committee, which decided yesterday to back Boston's bid for the Summer Games.
"It is very concerning because the process has been conducted entirely behind closed doors and the bid was never released to the public," Dempsey said. "The more that's promised, the more that taxpayers are at risk."
Dempsey said the USOC board of director's decision to back Boston as its U.S. candidate has provided his grass-roots group with a groundswell of new support.
"Even as we speak," he said, "more and more supporters are signing up on our website and sending in donations."
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