Dear Readers: I wanted to share this story to offer a great example of local Tea Party/Citizen Action groups experiencing specific problems with the Republican Machine, while offering some (hopefully) helpful suggestions.
There was a Tea Party in East County recently, which I did not choose to attend for the following reasons:
1) It is known to me that the East County Tea Party has received seed money for an event from the San Diego County Republican Party and the group is the most heavily promoted Tea Party entity by the local GOP in the region. While, as a registered Democrat, I have no problem with this fact — what troubles me most is that the East County Tea Party tries to hide its GOP ties. I would be more impressed with the group if they were open about the Republican connections and let the citizens decide whether to attend or not.
2) I am busy with our groups Tea Party event, which will be held on Feb. 27th at 11 am by the Star of India with AM 600’s Roger Hedgecock as keynote speaker. Our group strives to maintain an issue-oriented stance, and the focus of our organization is on propositions and legislation. We really keep it non-partisan, and 40% of our membership is non-Republican. Buy agreement, the only candidate the three co-founders talk about beyond private exchanges is Assemblyman Chuck Devore, who is running to replace Babs Boxer in the US Senate. This is because we view the Senate race as of national import and Devore has proven to be an avid and genuine Tea Party activist who is a savvy fiscal conservative that independents and rebel Democrats can support.
However, I talked with my close compatriot, Charles Caesar, about this event. He indicated that approximately 300 citizens were there (the San Diego Union Tribune reports 1,000, highlighting the continued challenges with crowd estimates). He said the event “was essentially candidates on parade”, and hopes to provide this website a few details. Of all the candidates he heard, Charles was most impressed by Rick Powell — a retired Army Colonel who also served as Federal agent in both Customs & BATF. Powell is challenging Mary Block for the 78th Assembly District position.
(Graphic by Charles: DooDooEconomics.com)
While the “speechifying” was going on, Chairman of the San Diego County Republican Party once again usurped the TV cameras from the citizens. The following clip, which shocked me as I viewed a report about the event on KUSI, shows that Chairman Tony Krvaric identified himself as merely a “concerned citizen”. (CLIP IS VIEWABLE BY CLICKING HERE).
My beloved husband, Horemheb, did not understand why I hit the roof when I saw that clip. It is because this is the kind of game-playing by party machine types that we citizens are rallying against! While Tony may be, indeed, a concerned citizen, does he honestly believe that engaged citizens would not either 1) identify who he was and/or 2) spread the word of his antics. He hurt the cause of the candidates at the event by not being straight-up.
Subsequently, the Shrine’s “inbox” was full of emails from REALLY concerned citizens, who are totally pissed at Tony. Furthermore, this action gives fodder to the detractors of the citizens movement me and my compatriots have poured our heart and souls into for the past year (if interested in this matter, you can read THIS or THIS.)
Again, there was absolutely no need for this to occur. If the East County Tea Party and Tony want to promote the Republican cause, then good on them! However, don’t try and dupe fellow Californians. We merely wish to be fully informed.
I have mixed feelings about Tony. He and I both were “ankhs”, the Egyptian symbol of life — and I have a soft spot for fellow Egyptophiles. And, as I am a registered Democrat, what Tony does as GOP local leader is the business of his party’s peeps — not mine. It seems there is no other person in the San Diego area who seems to be experienced or willing to take on the position of San Diego GOP Chair (this is California, so such work would be challenging). Furthermore, he has been nothing but kind to me during several Tea Party engagements
FULL DISCLOSURE: The local GOP also puts up notices about our group’s events — just not so enthusiastically. And as a Democrat, I have to note that I am still not feeling any love from my registered party. In fact, Sarah Bond makes the following report:
Looks like the San Diego area Progressives are trying to round up 100 counter protesters for the Anniversary Tea Party on the 17th. I’m curious to see if they actually pull it off since we’ve never had more than a dozen show up before. Our folks always enjoy the friendly banter, so this should add some color to the day! This is a funny article…especially the part where the author does not consider Obama left enough to be a real Progressive: Should Progressives Confront Up-Coming Tea Party Rally?.
However, the entire state GOP is dysfunctional in ways that weaken the economy, prosperity, and stability of California because there is no effective counter the the behemoth “Bi-umverate” ruling California: Democrats and State Employee Union Leadership. Subsequently, it has been on the Tea Party Groups to lift up Chuck Devore — who promises to be like Scott-Brown, but better. And, because the GOP used its old playbook, it looks like Californians will have to choose between two truly awful gubernatorial candidates should the Republican machine push-through Meg Whitman during the primary process.
I am reminded of a conversation I had at a Tea Party this July. A reader of this blog noted my reports on the local GOP head and said: “You know Tony will never let your run for office if you ever become interested in being elected.” My reply: “It’s a good thing I am a Democrat then, as I anticipate nothing but abuse so I won’t be disappointed”. Further information on the state of the California GOP can be found here:
(Graphic by Charles: DooDooEconomics.com)
BONUS FLAMING CAPITALIST PROMOTION: The Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition, which makes its event seed money from t-shirt sales, has a wonderful new design out in anticipation of another year of rallies, townhalls, and elections. Here is the t-shirt:
Please order your today! (CLICK HERE for order information) It looks like we will be back doing healthcare rallies shortly! Though, we may be too well dressed for real protesting — right Babs!