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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Is the Tea Party Movement Off Course?

Eric Odom, one of the first Tea Party orgainizers, and founder of, sent a poignant email to all who have become a part of this "movement", calling for everyone to reexamine the direction the Tea Party has been going. In his letter, he states many of the things that have been going through my head since the first Tea Party rallies on Feb 27. 

In his email, Eric points out how the movement is unfortunately being moved away from the "grassroots", and how some have tried to control it "from the top down". 
"Since day one, I've strongly held the opinion that there should never be an "official" coalition or group to "oversee" the Tea Party effort. In fact, my belief is that doing so is impossible.

This caused problems between myself and a couple other national organizers because some of us shared vastly different opinions on how this movement should function.

Yes, we had a website. And yes, our website had sponsors (some of which, by the way, I was not very happy about), but I believe our sponsors did help us get an early nudge that we needed for mass attention, and in turn, mass collaboration.

But to me that should have been the end of it. In my view, our goal should have always been to simply facilitate an environment where local organizers could take the lead in this movement."
That being said, why should we continue to move forward? Is there a point to continuing the Tea Party efforts? YES! I believe we still have a very important role to play in saving our country. I believe that role has to be LOCALLY focused! So does Eric
"And as a side note, we at some point need to understand the VITAL importance of regaining control of our LOCAL government. I get that fighting Federal battles is sexy and everyone is doing it, but I also get that we're losing our asses in our own back yards!

So I cringe when I see people claiming to be "leaders" in this movement make statements about the Federal government and how that is where all of our energy needs to be spent.

Here's a memo for you... the current administration as well as the current congress are doing a fantastic job of defeating themselves. Not to say we just ignore them, but if we devote all of our time to the Federal fight yet lose our states... we do so at our own peril."

To other words, we cannot win this war focusing on the Federal Government. We MUST become involved in our local government, City, County, and State, in order to actually make any real impact! 

Most of us have no idea how to get involved. We're just average Americans, who work for a living, and barely remember our high school Government classes. We wouldn't even know where to begin! 

That's where someone like the American Majority comes in! They do training for grassroots activists, to teach us how to be more effective at inluencing our local government. Also, for those that are interested in possibly running for local office, they have Candidate Training Seminars, where they give you the road map to how to run a compaign. To find out more, go to and sign up for more info. Also, if you are in the Tulsa area, you can RSVP with Anne Patterson (918)991-9026 or for one of the local seminars 

Tulsa Activist Training

Thursday, May 14th

Hardesty Regional Library,8316 East 93rd Street


FREE- Pizza and drinks provided


Tulsa Candidate Training
Saturday, May 16th

Holiday Inn Select, 5000 East Skelly Drive


$40 per candidate, $20 for volunteers/activists 

This is the first step in becoming active locally!  

Eric also suggests a plan of action that has a "two-pronged" approach.

"1) Federal

At the Federal level, we believe we're looking at three very significant fights coming up that our coalitions and networks should be heavily involved in. It is our opinion that these are fights that we can not only play a major role in, but we think we can actually influence the outcome.

--Socialized Healthcare
--Internet Taxation
--Union Card Check
(and a few other free-market related issues as well)

2) Local/State
Our goals at the local level are as follows (not limited to):
--Revitalize and strengthen the initiative & referandum process
--Heavily support and push through Term Limit legislation
--Identify candiates for school board, city council, county boards, state legislatures and state constitutional offices... and arm them with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed at running for office
--Develop a large scale fifty state network of independently operated grassroots networks/coalitions that can effectively combat extreme local taxation
--Identify potential leaders and groups within the movement and provide them with the tools needed to expand and become politically successful"
And all of this culminating with a national rally at the Capitol of all 50 states, on Tax Day of 2010. Let's all remember that the Tea Party started about Federal Government interference in the free market, and attempts to alter the very fabric from which this great nation was founded. Let's not lose site of the long term goals, which are to return America to it's roots as a Free Market Republic, and put a stop to the spread of the FAILED socialist agendas that the leftists are implemeting! 

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