My friend Melissa Clouthier has some good advice for the Tea Party folks, present and future.
“Thousands of people, many waving hand-painted signs and American flags, held tax day ‘tea parties’ Wednesday in Las Vegas and Carson City as part of a nationwide movement to protest what they consider excessive government spending. At Sunset Park (in Las Vegas), an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 people gathered to hear speakers and express their views. Demonstrators along Eastern Avenue and Sunset Road attracted a stream of honks from passing traffic throughout the afternoon.”
- Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/16/09
”…In Carson City, an angry crowd of 2,000 demanded that legislators not increase taxes…in a protest outside the Legislative Building. Legislative police and Carson City sheriff’s deputies said the gathering was the largest they had seen in more than 30 years in the state capital.”
- Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/16/09
”Sen. Maurice Washington, R-Sparks…said (the Carson City tea party) was the largest protest he has seen in his 16 years in Carson City. Estimates ranged from 2,000 to 3,000 people.”
- Reno Gazette-Journal, 4/16/09
”More than 1,500 people waved signs, tea bags and American flags in front of the Legislature (in Carson City) on Wednesday as part of the national Tax Day Tea Party to protest what they said was reckless federal government spending. . . . Organizers said the movement developed organically through online social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and through exposure on Fox News.”
- Nevada Appeal, 4/16/09
”(P)rotesters who attended a modern-day TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party at Sunset Park on Wednesday afternoon hope their actions in protesting high taxation, increased government spending embodied in the federal stimulus package and all things Obama will carry a similar message. Metro Police estimated the crowd at between 1,500 and 2,000 people and said there were no problems at the event, which was one of dozens held nationwide. Clark County Republican Party Executive Director Susane Crawford organized the event at Sunset Park. Speakers included officials of the Libertarian and Independent American Parties.”
- Las Vegas Sun, 4/16/09
”This isn’t a Republican event, this isn’t a Democratic event. This is an American event.”
- Las Vegas conservative talk-show host Casey Hendrickson, speaking at the Las Vegas Tea Party
”Americans from both (major) political parties turned out on Wednesday. From reports I received, some speakers were booed if they got too partisan. The point? The point is that we’ve seen both Republicans and Democrats turn their back on the American people. Spending, spending, spending, and taxes, taxes, taxes. It is too much, and we’ve all had enough.”
- Bobby Eberle, editor and publisher of GOPUSA.com, 4/16/09
“The modern-day Paul Reveres have had enough…. People have been venting their frustration since the global economy began its meltdown. Citizens are angry watching the government spend billions and billions of dollars with no constraints in place, while they must juggle household budgets and income and wonder if they’ll have a job the following day.”
- Lahontan Valley News editorial, 4/15/09
from Mark Krikorian @ The Corner:
A reader wrote me saying that at the Greenville, S.C., Tea Party, “They will be selling the ‘Obama burger’ — you pay for one and they cut it in half and give the rest to the guy behind you for free!!”
Our team needs more political theater and fewer marketing consultants.
My friend and fellow grassroots organizer, Eric Odom, debates a sarcastic and dismissive Bill Press about the TEA Parties – who started them, who’s funding them, and what they mean – on Fox News Channel. Here’s the video clip.
A few notes:
Bill’s opening quip – “I smell a rat” – made me roll my eyes. And his contention that the Tea Parties are “not genuine” and are “funded by big Republican groups” and that the “timing is politically suspicious”…are ill-informed, wrong, and frankly, silly.
The TEA Party movement was and is a grassroots thing. It started with a few small blogger-groups who organized some small demonstrations awhile back, and then the idea spread like wildfire online (“new media”) and on the “small” airwaves: via blogs, email forwards, BlogTalkRadio, RFC Radio, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Ning networking sites, message boards, and chat rooms.
The biggest evidence that this is a grassroots effort is the lack of funding and the lack of central control/planning. Here in Nevada, I’ve seen about a dozen different web pages posting 3 different locations and a dozen different time windows for the TEA (Taxed Enough Already!) Party events. People got wind of the idea, liked it, and started organizing their own mini-events among their own friends and networks. When they all show up today, it will be Big – but not because the mythical Vast Right Wing Consiracy and/or Big GOP is behind it.
Here in Las Vegas, there was/is NO BUDGET for our Tea Party event. A few dozen very committed leader-volunteers and about 800 local volunteer-helpers spread the word about the event/rally. The only money spent (that I’m aware of) was the $200 plunked down this past Friday by Chuck Muth of Citizen Outreach, for a picnic area at Sunset Park. Chuck offered to do this when he got wind that we (the organizers and volunteers) were being told that local radio station KXNT – which wanted/wants to cover the event – could not set up a broadcast table, nor could we set up a small podium, mic, and sound/speakers, on or near the sidewalks at the designated protest areas.
Most of the people I know who are attending here have NEVER participated in a protest or a picket line. General disgust and a wish to be heard has drawn them out.
Whatever the Snarkmeisters wish to say, the Tax Day TEA Parties are a grassroots, post-partisan/non-partisan thing. People are simply fed up with the endless bailouts, lack of accountability and transparency, ridiculous earmarks, huge deficits, frightening federal budget, and the like.
Not sure if you’ve heard that Tax Day Tea Party organizer and DontGo Movement leader Eric Odom said “thanks, but no thanks” to RNC chair Michael Steele’s request to speak at the Chicago Tea Party event? Instead, Eric invited chairman Steele to come and mingle and LISTEN. Which I thought was well-played and a great idea.
Now it seems the grassroots Tea Party effort is being portrayed as a project of the GOP. Here is Eric’s response - which, as a volunteer Tea Party organizer here in NV, and an associate and friend of Eric’s, I can verify as true and genuine:
Posted: 10 Apr 2009 11:43 AM PDT
Of course not.
In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is, the RNC has been about as effective as a lead balloon in actually engaging the free-market minded grassroots with regards to political action. The RNC, as well as all but two Republican members of Congress, have been eerily silent over the past few weeks.
RNC Chairman Steele’s office did reach out to me on Tuesday morning (although rumor has it that he is now denying such a conversation took place), and the person I spoke with asked if we would be interested in having him speak at the Chicago Tea Party. This request was…at the last minute and only after national media eyes became involved.
But that was the first time the RNC had really injected itself at the national level into any part of the Tea Party Movement.
Why do we use “Silent Majority” as our national brand?
Because the vast majority of those involved in the Tea Party effort are people who have sat at home yelling at their TV’s for the past few years. This is a group of folks who have gone on with their lives in attempt at the American dream, only to be shell-shocked by a sudden and bold surge towards full scale socialism… and we’ve had enough!
Most of those involved in the Tea Party Movement do not wish to see something with RNC or DNC involvement. We do not want the failed two party structure injecting itself into this movement for political gain.
That’s not to say that there aren’t Republicans or Democrats involved, because we have people identify themselves as both involved all across the country.
But there is no evidence whatsoever that the Tea Party Movement is some kind of orchestrated GOP effort disguising itself as non-partisan. In fact, the evidence suggests quite the opposite.
Take Chicago, for example. A handful of local young Republicans have been trolling and following me all over the web in an attempt to attack me at every opportunity. They hunt me down on Twitter and Facebook, lashing out at me because I refused to promote their REPUBLICAN sponsored event happening later in the day on April 15th.
Indeed, the FUNDED organizations and media outlets of the left are swinging at this movement from all angles, attempting to paint this as a GOP backed effort. But the reality is that thousands of free-market minded Americans don’t see it that way.
The DontGo Movement was attacked last year by these same groups who claimed that we were taking oil money (still waiting on those magical checks, BTW) and now they claim we’re under the spell of the Republican Party.
What part of “we’re just Americans and we’re mad as hell” do they not understand?
Just received (pass it on!):
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Chuck Muth
April 11, 2009
Citizen Outreach Joins Las Vegas Tax Day TEA
Party/Rally/Picnic to Be Held at Sunset Park
(Las Vegas, NV) – Citizen Outreach Foundation has teamed up with citizen-volunteer Tax Day TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party organizers for the rally being held this Wednesday, April 15th, at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. Citizens unhappy with local, state and federal government taxing, spending, borrowing and bailing-out public policies will gather to voice and show their displeasure. More than 500 similar rallies will be held nationwide on the same day.
Since the Clark County Department of Parks and Recreation wouldn’t allow TEA party organizers to use the park unless they were having a picnic and rented one of the picnic areas, Citizen Outreach President Chuck Muth stepped up to pay the rental fee and officially host a “picnic” for rally participants from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm.
“The government said we had to hold a picnic in order to use their park, so I decided to host a ‘pork’ roast!” Muth said. “What could be more appropriate? So bring your blanket, your kids, your folding chairs and a picnic basket and join our protest against higher taxation and pork-barrel spending. Forget about work; Obama has you covered!”
Keynote remarks will be delivered around 1:00 pm by special guest Herman Cain. Cain is a national motivational speaker, a FOX News business commentator, and host of “The Herman Cain Show” on WSB 750 AM out of Atlanta, Georgia. He’s the former chairman of Godfather’s Pizza, as well as a former president of the National Restaurant Association. Cain also ran for the United States Senate in Georgia in 2004.
Additional scheduled speakers include:
* Susane Crawford, Las Vegas Tax Day TEA Party director
* Casey Hendrickson and Heather Kydd, talk-show hosts for KXNT-840 AM
* Wayne Allyn Root, the Libertarian Party’s 2008 presidential candidate
* Chris Hansen, former state chairman of the Indpendent American Party
* Geoffrey Lawrence, Fiscal Policy Director for the Nevada Policy Research Institute
* Elizabeth Crum, award-winning blogger of “E!! The True Conservative Story”
Sunset Park is located at the southeast corner of Sunset and Eastern near the airport. Picnic Area F is located in the southwestern section of the park near the dog runs. Use the south entrance off Eastern into the huge parking area adjacent to Picnic Area F.
For additional information, contact Susane Crawford at (702) 374-7733 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org