Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eye Ball to Eye Ball

It is time to play hard ball.

Finally we are beginning to see local Tea Parties directing their attention to their local governments.

About as close as you can get to 'the home fire' is city and county government. At this rung of-the-ladder is where many of us grew up, went to school, had kids, etc. During those yesteryears little was expected of local government officials. They were known... Their family were known… Often they went to school with us… Local election victories were often based on how many friend you have…Elections loses often had to do with how many enemies you had…not much more. Few candidates had any experience running anything certainly not a micro government and that was just fine…..Very little was required…Little was wanted.

Shazam …Times changed… Population grew and costs grew... Towns and counties became complex with ever growing needs, demands, and growing right along with these changes came ever growing budgets. With this complexity our elected neighbors' short comings and lack of experience became blatant. All said, their names were still all that was on the ballots.

For years local taxes have gone up without any positive outcome. Our schools seem to be failing in their mission yet continuing to say it is because of lack of money…More money is allocated and they continue to fail… The schools financial demands (which this year accounts for two thirds of our personal property tax bill) along with ever greater expanding city, county, and state workers with their consistent financial demands along with social programs account for the largest budget increases. This has been such an going practice that it has become expected and the voters just roll over. Election cycle after election cycle.

Getting control over the majority of federal elected people will not accomplish our goals as the Tea Party…There is a old political adage, "All politics are local." Look around and see if this adage still holds today? If you local government isn't functioning well our districts won't function well and the state won't function well…Everything needs to start at home. This past election there was such a desperate need we had to look at the federal people first and we did. We have some breathing room the next federal election cycle which won't get in high gear for about a year….

What to do and where to start?

The article below, we send along without comment. The ideas that different Tea groups are coming up with are all good ideas but what we believe is the most important in the article is that Tea group are organizing. Without the underlying organization structure there really will never be real strength as a group or within the groups. We want to suggest, once again, we in Mississippi need to pull all our Tea groups together for some meetings. We think there has been and may well continue to be some who think if the groups get together there will be a pull to act like or be seen as a third party movement. That would not be a good thing… The down side is if we don't, it will be more difficult to work on local, city and state, government issues and the elected officials.

Twenty twelve will be harder than twenty ten. The Dems won't be in denial. The planning has started.(Rumor has it that Axelroad will be leaving the White house staff to head up Obama's run for president in 2012. So don't doubt they are getting their gears in motion.) We to must get our gears in motion and organize on a broader base.

Below are a couple of articles on some things Tea Parties are doing on their home fronts in different parts of the country.


The Harris County Tea Party near the Alabama border campaigned far and wide in this month's midterm elections. Donations were mailed to tea-party candidates in Nevada and Alaska. There were multiple overnight bus trips to rallies in Washington, D.C.

The next stop, however, is closer to home: the local school board.

"Don't get me wrong, we're still going to engage in Washington, but now we're going after what is here locally. Our focus is turning to our community," said Kathy Ropte, the group's founder, over coffee at a Blimpie sub shop, a popular local tea-party meeting spot off the town square. Aware that education consumes a big chunk of local property taxes, group members are combing through the salaries of every county school employee from the superintendent down.

After fighting for several months on the highest level of American politics, the leaders of many local tea-party activist groups now plan to take their agendas of limited government and penny pinching to their hometown governments.

Most say they'll stay involved in watching Congress, and dozens attended a recent Washington summit organized by national umbrella group Tea Party Patriots for newly elected members of Congress. But the local leaders say that to truly stem spending, they also must stage what Steven Vernon, vice president of the Tea Party Manatee on Florida's Gulf Coast, calls "a ground-level attack."

"We have to start at the lowest level and take our country back," Mr. Vernon said.

It's also more convenient for tea-party activists—typically volunteers with separate full-time jobs–to be local gadflies than national ones. "We can't go to every congressional hearing in D.C. but we can go to every school-board meeting in Manatee County," said Mr. Vernon, a technology-contracts negotiator.

Meanwhile, many recession-weary local officials are gearing up for a potential clash with tea partiers, saying they have already squeezed all they can out of their budgets.

Tea-party groups in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Michigan have recently voiced plans to have members run for local town boards in 2011—a bid to start a farm team of politicians who can move up to higher offices.
912 Patriots

"We hope to field candidates for the congressional race two years from now, but for 2011, our focus has shifted to the school boards," said Lee Ann Burkholder, spokeswoman for the York 912 Patriots, a tea-party-affiliated group in York, Penn.

The 912 Patriots last month drew some 300 people to an area hotel for a meeting by taking out a front-page ad in a local paper, asking: "Why are your property taxes so high? How is your school district spending your hard-earned dollars? You might be surprised."

"A lot of our members are upset that we have to pay for raises and fund pensions for teachers while many people in York County are out of work," Ms. Burkholder said.

Teachers' representatives warn against skimping on pay. "If you don't invest, you're not going to get the best and brightest and that will manifest itself in student performance," said Brian Koppenhaver, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the union that represents York County school employees.

On Election Day, Don and Diana Reimer, co-founders of the Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots, were in Washington, waving signs for Republican Pat Toomey, a fiscal conservative who won the Pennsylvania Senate race.

Now, the Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots plan to launch the "Watchman Project," in which members will be assigned to attend local government meetings, monitor meeting minutes and then report back to the group, Mr. Reimer said. "If there is a particular vote coming up that we support or oppose, we would all show up to hopefully influence what is going on," he said.

Already, tensions are brewing in some municipalities, with local officials saying they need new revenue to maintain public services, while tea-party activists say new taxes aren't an option.

Earlier this month in Troy, Mich., tea-party activists delivered a petition to city hall, seeking to force officials to keep the Troy Public Library open without a new tax. "We really are embroiled in a big controversy here in Troy," said Janice Daniels, co-founder of the Troy Area Tea Party. Local voters narrowly shot down a proposal for a library tax on the Nov. 2 ballot. Now, the library is scheduled to close in June.

Everything we do, from cooking dinner, to planting a garden, to sending our kids to college has an anticipated outcome. We buy the food, we hoe the garden weeds, and we prepare our kids and save for the cost of their college fees. If we burn the dinner, don't hoe the weeds, we suffer the loss. We learn from those mistakes and don't repeat them because it's our money and their future that’s on the line. This issue of loss and personal money is never the issue with elected officials at any level of government. If they fail they simply want more money to continue to do more of the same thing. They do not learn from their mistakes and there is no economic reason why they should. As well intended as some of them may be they need to be replaced.

How to replace them it is the sixty four dollar question and don't you wish it was only sixty four dollars at stake.




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