Dear Readers: Serendipity — attending mass today in preparation for coordinating the San Diego Tax Day Tea Party events of 2010, and hearing a homily that featured “civil disobedience” and “rendering onto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s”.
I am unhappy that Senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina is attempting to utilize the energy of the Tea Parties to boost her campaign, which is an uninspiring one for most Tea Party compatriots. Most of the well-informed Republican voters I chat with recall her position as the campaign manager for John McCain, and recognize that she will be as flexible on her “conservatism” as he is. One conservative friend referred to her as “McCain in a Bra”. Furthermore, I consider it the ultimate hubris to go after such a prestigious position as Senator when she has never campaigned for a political office in her life, has a poor record of actually acting on her civic responsibility to vote, and does so poorly during debates (i.e., Devore’s Golden-Voiced Take-Down of Fiorina and Campbell!)
(MUT Note: Devore is speaking at the Stop Taxing Us Oceanside rally today; A Rasmussen poll has these results: favorable view/unfavorable net: DeVore +13, Campbell +10, Fiorina)
I will point out that Fiorina was NOT invited to any of the Tax Day Tea Parties associated with the non-partisan Tea Party Patriots. Local Republican ones arranged for events in Pleasanton and Tuna Harbor. In part, this is because the GOP WRONGLY assumes that Chuck Devore does not appeal to Democrats. Actually, Devore is so appealing to Blue Dogs and independent Democrats that one of the savviest groups of Independent Democrats with tons of political experience and adroitness — HILLBUZZ — is backing him: OH MIGHTY ISIS! Independent Democrat Team Backs VET for BOXER’s CA Sentate SEAT!!!!!.
Sarah Bond, one of the most active coordinators in California, had this to say about Fiorina’s arranging a Tea Party for herself:
CARLY FIORINA THROWS HERSELF A TEA PARTY???
What is sadder than taking your own cousin to the prom? Being so outside the grassroots that you have to throw yourself a Tea Party. Now we here at So Cal TRC do not endorse candidates or throw tea parties for any of them. But many tea party groups do. And I guarantee that if Carly were a favorite amongst those groups, she would have multiple invites for April 15th. But alas, that isn’t the case. Instead she is going to hone in on San Diego that day and throw her own in Tuna Harbor at 10am. Clearly she misses the point of what a tea party actually is.
MEMO TO MS FIORINA: the Tea Party is a platform for the people to tell lawmakers what they want them to hear. And politicians and candidates have to EARN the PRIVILEGE of being INVITED to participate…not the other way around. Throw yourself a fundraiser, meet-n-greet, or bake sale…we don’t care. But don’t call it a Tea Party and pollute the meaning. And be warned, tea party organizers across the state are…well…how shall we put this politely…pissed off. Expect counter protesters…from the Right.
I would like to take a moment to share a disagreement I have with Tammy Bruce on the matter of Tea Party Express. I am a regular listener, as I appreciate Tammy’s independent opinions and passion. However, she talked about Tea Party Express yesterday — minimizing the importance of the Republican ties it has. She also noted that the Tea Party movement would benefit from the experience, monies, and media that the PAC and consulting firms can generate.
While the aspects about the “polish” may be true, I think that it misses an important point. It has become obvious to many Tea Party activists that the Republican party wants to thrust its positions and its desired candidates onto us — no matter what the opinions of the citizens. For example utilizing the Tea Party Express and deep Republic connects, Fox News Channel has been directed to cover the Pleasonton event — despite the fact San Diego was originally slated to be the state focus of the FNC reports. That deprives Californians and the rest of the country the opportunity to learn of Chuck Devore — who is really the “Tea Party Candidate”.
A Politico article reveals that TPE-GOP ties and reviews how the money is used; a secret memo reveals that TPE stole the tea party name and brand for its own profit. This weakens the entire effort, because it leaves our movement open to the “astro-turf” branding.
TPE is not forthcoming as to how deep and close the ties are with the GOP, so it is essentially diverting monies AWAY from causes and candidates that are truly important to conservative-minded Americans. I will never forget Amy Kremer, who is deeply rooted into classic GOP machine operations, shepherded a group of “Tea Party Leaders” to a meeting with Michael Steele. It behooves us citizen activists to be careful of slick advertising and marketing. The strength of our movement still lies in the many thousands of local tea citizen action organization. Follow these links for details:
Our California independent Tea Party groups were poorly treated by the Tea Party Express during a Sacamento rally, as TPE wanted the spotlight to be on them alone. Furthermore, I didn’t much care for the staging and messaging, as it didn’t seem as genuine or from-the-heart as I am use to from a true Tea Party rally. TPE is associated with Our Country Deserves better — and one of their egotistical leaders targeted us for a personal attack based on lies.
At the end of August, a political action committee called Our Country Deserves Better (“OCDB”) launched a bus tour to raise money for their PAC, and called it the Tea Party Express. The PAC has previously primarily raised money for Republican candidates. The real experience and political expertise behind the PAC is Russo, Marsh and Rogers, which is a political and media consulting firm out of Sacramento, California. Based on a review of its webpage, it’s easy to see that the firm primarily works for Republican candidates and causes (no Democrats are specifically listed on their website as of this statement; http://www.rmrwest.com/index.php/RMRWest/Experience/). While we have no problem with PACs and political and media consultants, we were concerned at the time that this organization was potentially using the tea party movement to further a partisan goal of raising money for Republicans. While we have no problem with any PAC doing so, we were concerned that they were just another organization who was attempting to jump on the tea party bandwagon to raise money for their own purposes. As you are no doubt aware, the Tea Party Patriots are a nationwide, non-partisan organization dedicated to the principles of fiscal responsibility, limited constitutional government and free markets. As an organization, we have worked hard to avoid even the appearance of partisanship, as we feel that the majority of politicians of both parties are to blame for our current state of affairs, and that our guiding principles appeal to Americans of all parties, not just Republicans.
While we were concerned about the actions of the Tea Party Express, and the fact that it was PAC based and tied to a firm that appears to consult primarily for Republican candidates, our initial approach was to simply sit back and let everyone co-exist within the tea party movement. The movement is made up of many groups, and our hope was that the Tea Party Express and it’s officers and spokespeople would be one more such group. However, the situation has now developed in such a way that we feel we must publicly distance the Tea Party Patriots from the Tea Party Express and OCDB.
On August 28, the Tea Party Patriots and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association hosted an event at the state capitol at which the Tea Party Express (“TPE”) team was present. There were many difficulties between the Tea Party Patriots and the TPE on that day. And without going into details, we can assure you it was a difficult situation for all concerned. But after the event was over, the Tea Party Patriot leaders from across the state who had organized the event made the decision to move on, and say nothing publicly about the difficulties between the organizations. Again, we believe that we all need to do our best to get along if the movement is to continue to thrive. Unfortunately, it seems that OCDB and the Tea Party Express folks don’t agree, and apparently, their National Spokesman, and Vice Chair was planning to do as much damage as possible to the Tea Party Patriots subsequent to the August 28 event.
On the morning of September 12, as the Tea Party Patriots began their historic march on Washington DC with many other groups, the Vice Chairman and National Spokesperson for OCDB, Mark Williams launched a blistering and completely false attack on the Tea Party Patriots through a blog post. Apparently timed to do maximum damage to the organization and the movement, among many other things, the blog post by Mark Williams alleged that the statewide tea party in Sacramento on August 28, organized by California Tea Party Patriots groups and their leaders from across the state was “astroturf,” and financed by government subsidized big business. It accused dedicated grassroots organizers of bussing in “non-English speaking, migrant farm workers” and providing them with pre-printed “astroturf” signs. Prior to posting his final post, Mr. Williams issued taunting emails indicating that he was about to make his post and that it was his intent to release his previously self “embargoed” story to media people traveling with him. When he received no response to his blog post or taunting, several days later he sent a second email to Tea Party Patriots leadership with the subject line “so sue me” and with the only text in the email being “I can’t wait to have you under oath.” Still, the leadership of the national and California organizations did not respond, hoping to work directly with OCDB behind the scenes to resolve difficulties and differences.
Full details available here: Tea Party Express is NOT the “face of the Tea Party”, either!!!!
It has been reported that the state GOP Chairman Ron Nerhing has indicated that he was ..and I am paraphrasing here.. “going to take over the Tea Party or destroy it.It seems California is not the only state with these issues: Bizziblog reports there are also similar situations arising in Ohio: ‘The ORP Is Trying to Co-Opt … The Tea Party Movement’ (Also: Vetting Party Crasher Bob McEwen)
I am a Blue Dog Democrat. It is not as if I am feeling a lot of love from my own party, as I note in my formal opinion place today: Filner tells Blue Dogs to go awayI don’t begrudge groups that want to organize to support Republican candidates either — as long as they are honest as to who they are and what they plan to do with the donations. However, don’t force me into voting for McCain in a bra when I can vote for a real, fiscally-savvy, Constitutionally-oriented conservative who is a true Tea Party candidate.
MUT’s News and Views:
Our thoughts and prayers are with all Tea Party activists today, especially in the “Show Me” state of Missouri!