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Saturday, January 23, 2010

There's Tea in Manistee

I know I go on and on about the Tea Party thing, but hear me out.
Tuesday (1/19/10) I blogged about 50 people showing up at the Ludington Tea Party I went to. I also blogged that Manistee was going to have their first meeting Thursday. I called the blog “Where’s the Grass Roots Excitement?”

Well Manistee had their Party, I couldn’t go; I had hoped they had enough people show up to keep it going. I then got an email from the people who put it on asking if I was interested in giving a talk about Precinct Delegates at their next meeting. I called them back and gladly said yes. You know me and my interest in PDs, I was geeked. But the fun stuff came out as we talked. The excitement it became apparent moved from Ludington and went to Manistee from what Eileen told me.

Eileen Iler was positively giddy about the Tea Party they had, and for good reason. She told me they had hoped for 25 but planned for 75 just in case. Well she was pleasantly shocked when nearly 150 people turned up. Eileen said there was standing room only and that there were 30 more people in the hall listening to Russ Harding talk about Cap and Trade.

30 people standing in the hall and listening through some hastily rigged wireless speakers. They couldn’t see him. I’d call that a heavy dose of seriousness to go along with the excitement.

Below is an article from the Manistee Advocate, I would of just given a link but I had to subscribe so I copied it for those of you who aren’t dues paying members. Somehow I wonder if the Muskegon Chronicle would be that generous.

-----Advocate article------
Manistee News Advocate > News > Local News

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High turn out at Tea Party

Staff Writer
Published: Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:13 AM EST
There were no crates of tea bobbing around in the river channel the morning after, but the Manistee Area Tea Party did have an overwhelming turn out at its meeting Thursday night.

Eileen Iler, an organizer for the group, said she would have been happy with 25 people in attendance.

Instead, the audience at the Dial-A-Ride building swelled to about 150 to hear speaker Russ Harding talk about cap and trade policy and private property rights.

“More came, but left when they saw that we did not have enough room," Iler said.
Those who filled the room were concerned about the direction of the country, according to member Tom Biggs.

“I was impressed by the size of the crowd,” said Tait Trussell, a retired journalist and periodic contributor to the Saturday Evening Post. “There’s a lot of discontent around the country. The Tea Party movement is trying to bring people together.”

Trussell, of Manistee, has worked with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, where Harding is the director of the Property Rights Network.

Harding, who was the head of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) from 1995 to 2002, has spoken at a half dozen Tea Party gatherings across the state.

He said those who attend aren’t necessarily Republican or Democrat.

“They don’t exactly fit a mold,” Harding added.

Thursday night’s main topics were property rights and cap and trade, a policy that would limit emissions companies would be allowed to put in the air and open up a system where they could trade emission credits.

“Cap and trade is incredibly bad,” Harding said, because the trading of emission credits would “lead to immense corruption.”

Trussell said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shouldn’t put carbon dioxide in the same category as something threatening like sulfur dioxide.

“It’s not really the most dangerous gas in the world. You exhale it,” he said.

Both Harding and Trussell hope the cap and trade bill that passed the federal House in June will stay stalled in the Senate.

“People have become more skeptical of the science,” Harding said.

Harding also spoke about property rights and eminent domain issues, echoing Tea Party sentiments that the government doesn’t have the right to unnecessarily take private land.

The Manistee Area Tea Party is part of a national conservative trend where “patriots” host “tea parties” like the revolutionary colonists who presided over the Boston Tea Party. Harding said the movement has much to do with Barack Obama’s presidency.

“We thought he was going to govern from the center,” Harding said. Instead, Obama has led from left of center in a right of center nation, according to Harding.

Regardless of political affiliation, members of the Manistee Area Tea Party are fed up with the way the country is being run.

"Many feel their elected officials are no longer representing the people,” Biggs said. “They see billions and billions of tax dollars being dished out to banks, auto companies and other special interest groups. They see a country with out-of-control federal spending in the face of a deficit of over $50 trillion. They see a government becoming increasingly intrusive on more and more aspects of their daily lives like what they should eat, what they should drive and what kind of health care they should have, to name a few. Many are concerned about the economic future of their children and grandchildren."

Biggs and the Tea Party “patriots” believe in a limited government, a free market and to return to the principles of the United States Constitution.

In fact, there were copies of the Constitution available at Thursday’s meeting.

“It’s critical to restore the country back to its constitutional roots,” Harding said.

This is one of the first meetings the fledgling group in Manistee has hosted, but according to Biggs, the area can expect more.

"We are still planning our future monthly meetings,” he said. “We hope to have presentations about local politics and host candidate forums. We hope to host expert speakers to inform Manistee citizens on issues affecting them. We need to investigate and understand how legislation will affect us before the laws get passed. One glaring example would be health care bills recently passed in the House and the Senate. Few, if any, Senators or Congressmen had even read the bills or had an understanding of what the costs are and how it will affect their constituencies.”


Wow is what I said. I am looking forward to going up there Feb 11th. Please see my calendar for what I have so far. The venue or place still needs to be found, I'll update the calendar as it becomes available.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

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