A last-minute political move designed to capitalize on the high-priced publicity of the Cambridge Civic Association came to light yesterday as pre-election campaigning ended its final day.
Only a light turnout is expected today when voters go to the polls to select nine city councilmen and seven members of the School Committee.
CCA President Alan Steinert, speaking at a Continental Hotel rally last night, sharply condemned a group calling themselves the Middlesex County Civic Association. "Boring political chicanery" was the term with which Steinert described the group's use of the initials CCA in their campaign literature.
All letters in the organization's name were printed in very small type, with only the CCA appearing large. "The stunt in obviously a last minute attempt to take advantage of our name," Steinert said.
Number One in Crucial
The County Civic Association endorsed three CCA candidates, but gave the number one position on their cards to Thomas B. Harris, who is not endorsed by the CCA. In proportional representation voting, the number one vote is crucial.
Although Cambridge politics knows no party line, the group sending out the cards is a Republican faction. Their two top School Committee selections are also unendorsed by the CCA. Arthur E. Robinson, secretary of the County Civic Organization, said last night "I suppose our use of the letters CCA is a trick in a way, but there is nothing to prevent our using them."
Some Connection...Would Help"
He described the people receiving his cards as working class Republican living in East Cambridge and Somerville. "We're not a very well know organization and we thought that perhaps some connection with the CCA would help us," he said.
A key issue in today's election is whether Cambridge will retain proportional representation. In a shrewd political move, the anti-PR faction has succeeded in having the ballot printed in a manner that is designed to confuse the voter. If a voter favors PR, he must vote NO. If he wants to see it abolished, he votes YES.
University student groups have been actively campaigning to clarify the confusion. The Liberal Union, the Young Democrats, and the Young Republicans all support the CCA or CCA policies and will aid in the distribution of campaign information at the polls.