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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dumping Debbie

I received an email awhile ago asking if I as a leader of a Tea Party group could find another from our group to attend a state wide meeting of other Tea Party leaders. (2 from each group). I asked Tom our Co-Chair to come with me and he said he’d like to come. The meeting was yesterday in DeWitt near Lansing.
The purpose of the meeting was to see if there was enough interest within the Tea Parties in Mi. to unite for a specific purpose. That specific purpose was to defeat Debbie Stabenow. In my terms “Dump Debbie”.

You know I was Going to go.

This effort was to be patterned after what happened with the Tea Parties in Indiana which had banded together for one purpose and that was to de-throne Sen. Luger. It worked. The temporary group they formed was called “Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate”.

The email I mentioned earlier was from Cindy Gamrat who moved to Plainwell Mi. from Indiana where she was a part of that effort. Cindy organized a Tea Party in Plainwell and has set up a group called Michigan for a Conservative Senate. Her goal was to do what they did in Indiana here in Mi. She was bringing some of the leaders from Indiana to help and join with us.

I remember two of the greatest players in basketball; one from Indiana (Larry Bird) and the other from Michigan (Magic Johnson). ---- Can you imagine if they were on the same team ???

Tom and I went and were pleasantly surprised to see well over 100 people there 2 from each Tea Party Group from all over the state, from the East side, West side, South and North. One lady from the UP drove 9 hours to represent her Tea Party. The room was filled with a bunch of Alphas.

Cindy had risen to the occasion with a nice line up of speakers. After her brief outline she introduced two consecutive leaders of the Indiana effort who drove up here from Indiana to cheer us on. They did. It was really interesting/exciting to hear the inside scoop on how they battled the entrenched organization of a fixture in the Senate. They Won. We heard of a lot of little dirty tricks that were played on them and how they combatted them.

With that, the crowd was starting to warm up to the idea. Next a speaker from Freedom Works talked. It had been made clear by all the previous speakers that Freedom Works was there only to help, after we organized. They were not there to tell us what to do or how to do it, only that they were willing to help when it came to crunch time once we got going. They would/could be our allies, not our partners. The help they could provide would be financial and political as far as getting signs made, setting up the infrastructure for boots on the ground efforts (door knocking, lit drops etc), a phone bank system and later advertisements. He said what Freedom Works needed to see from us was unity behind a candidate that had a chance of winning.

The main thrust of the meeting was to see if we as individuals and individual Tea Party groups could unite under one candidate picked by us. We would do that by having our own State convention. This is already in the works and we are thinking of sometime in Jan. The problem of course is that there are 5 Republican candidates and some of us or most of us have already pretty much decided who we would like as a nominee to run against Stabenow and we are anything except united. As it now currently stands, come election we would split the Conservative vote, just as Indiana did previously before they united. We would lose and Debbie Stabenow would win.

The Speakers from Indiana told us they had the same situation in the election previous to the Luger election. There were 5 Republican Candidates and one of those was the Republican Party favorite and pretty middle of the road and the other 4 were Conservative. The result was the Conservatives split their vote and the Republican Party favorite won. The votes of the other Conservative Candidates together however would have easily beaten the Republican Party favorite. The Speakers from Indiana said they learned their lesson. They decided next time around they would, despite their personal preferences unite behind one Conservative Candidate. They did and they won. They were luckier the next time as they only had one candidate who was a Conservative and he was a great Candidate; so it was easier, but they were ready to swallow some pride if need be. They had already tasted a mouthful of humble pie from the last election and were ready to unite.

Our job was to decide if we could swallow our pride and do the same thing.

The meeting was of two parts, the first open to the press and the second a closed door working session. The security was tight. The first part was with all the speakers explaining what Michigan for a Conservative Senate (MI4CS) wanted to accomplish and the outline of how they did it in Indiana.

The second part was to figure out how to set the whole thing up in Michigan in a way that would work here and get it running. The Basic format was to split up according to the 14 Congressional Districts. Each district picked a liaison. Each district was to suggest a plan. The idea of having a Convention of those present in Jan seemed to be a done deal. The “leaders” of each Tea Party needed to go back to their groups and figure out which of the Senate candidates they were in favor of. Before that there was talk of setting up a debate with all the candidates to help us vet the candidates.

Remember it will be up to each Tea Party group to decide what candidate they want, then the 2 reps from each group will vote at the convention. I was told the vote will not be by district. Whoever wins at the convention will be the candidate behind which we will all then get behind. That will be the hard part. At the meeting Cindy asked whether we would be willing to do that even if it wasn’t our favorite candidate and I believe all 100+ raised their hands in support. I’m hopeful but it will probably be a struggle.

The problem will be in the time difference between our MI4Conservative Senate Convention in Jan. and the Republican Primary in Aug. I doubt many of the Senate candidates will drop out after our convention in Jan. and it will be hard for their backers to change allegiance. But at this meeting everyone there seemed to think they could.

They were united in their desire to “Dump Debbie”

Speaking of that, I brought a box of “Dump Debbie” buttons and probably gave away at least 500 of them. Tom and I made some friends there and I’m sure we will make use of those contacts in the future.

Our next Oceana Tea Party meeting is Dec. 7 same times same place. If you want to join us or want to get on our mailing list give me a call. 231-728-3455. Not only will we be talking all about this state wide Tea Party movement to Dump Debbie, but the second half will have former State Rep. and former US Senate Candidate Jack Hoogendyk telling us all about Michigan "Freedom to Work"!

Bring a Friend.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

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