On Tuesday, February 8th, the Tea Party Express and TeaPartyHD.com hosted a Tea Party Town Hall at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
This evening I was honored to be invited to speak at the Winter Haven 9/12 Project meeting in Winter Haven, FL. Bill Landes, the State Director for the Florida Minutemen, a genuine patriot and friend, invited me to discuss the importance of education and to demonstrate the US Constitution Coach Kit. The DVD Rom really is an incredible product with over 60,000 original source documents. I was so enthused by the group tonight as most of them had met the night before at a town hall with Congressman Dennis Ross. For concerned citizens to take time out of their busy lives and stay engaged night after night, warms my heart.
Congressman Dan Webster's (FL-8) local office contacted me a couple weeks ago inviting me to gather a few fellow patriots and meet with the congressman when he visits his congressional district office. First off, what an absolute joy it is having a respectable congressman. It was a sincere and determined focus of ours over the past two years to retire and replace the disgraceful Alan Grayson. On election night, we proudly hung a sign across from Grayson's Orlando office that read, "Mission Accomplished".
Congressman Webster's local office is located the City Hall building in Winter Garden, FL. One thing we noticed right away was that he doesn't have an office, per say. He said he doesn't like to sit behind a desk when talking with constituents and therefore designed a "living room" type of office arrangement where everyone can sit comfortably and relaxed and simply engage in a conversation without the feel of a cold corporate office. This is certainly a concept I'll incorporate into any future offices in which I work.
Today's visit was what we intend to be the first of many. I believe it's important to have a dialogue with your congressman, one based on respect and mutual recognition of principles. Everyone must first accept that the only person you'll agree with 100% of the time is yourself, and until you run for office, you must understand that there will be differences in opinion. Some may be high level differences while others may be mere nuances. A cordial conversation and open dialogue is certainly capable of nudging your congressman in the right direction while hostile dialogue will certainly get you nowhere while ruining opportunities for future dialogue.
One thing he mentioned was how impressed he is with the freshmen class. He said there are so many members that are simply new to politics. He talked about one congressman from IL that has 10 children and runs a pizza shop. He also said there's quite a few doctors that ran for congress for the first time so they could get to DC and tell everyone about what ObamaCare will do to the healthcare industry.
With that in mind, here are a few bullet points on today's discussion:
- He called the meeting, and I certainly appreciate that.
- He's not confident that High Speed Rail will move forward. He's against the government running it. He's okay with them building the infrastructure, like building a road, or building an airport, but he says the gov doesn't own the cars on the highway or the airplanes, so why would the gov want to own the trains and operate them. With that in mind, he doesn't see any private sector company or consortium entering a money losing proposition. He did speak as if the federal rail money was cash already set aside, which we didn't agree with that outlook.
- He's against raising the debt ceiling, which he explained is just an arbitrary number set by congress anyway, unless there's a major trade off. His preference for a trade off is full repeal of obamacare. Other's have other forms of major spending cuts, but he'll support it for a repeal of obamacare.
- He thinks we need to concentrate on cutting spending before talking balanced budget amendment.
We gave him a list of items that we're interested in him getting behind and seeing where he stands. The letter is copy/pasted below. - Audit the Fed. - Cut off money for private entities (planned parenthood, NPR, etc.) - Full review of foreign aid. - Balanced Budget Amendment. - Debt ceiling. - Immigration reform. - High Speed Rail.
Bottom line: We like the fact we have a congressman that is not Alan Grayson, that doesn't end up chasing us out when we visit, ...and one with which we can have an open dialogue. Congressman Dan Webster is a good man, and I don't think he'll get the DC bug. In fact, I think DC should get the Dan Webster bug.
DATE: February 3, 2011
TO: The Honorable Daniel Webster House Rules Committee & Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
FROM: Members of: The Central Florida Tea Party Council & West Orlando Tea Party
SUBJECT: Partial List of Issues of Interest
Dear Representative Webster:
Thank you for your gracious invitation to meet with you today. We look forward to hearing of your work in the early days of your term and learning more about your legislative goals in the months ahead.
Sir, as we did during your candidacy, we support you now in the hard work ahead. We know that the principles and values that you bring to this office are those that are the foundation of our Movement – Protecting The Constitution, Fiscal Responsibility and a Limited Federal Government.
If we can be of any assistance to you in your work, whether using our networks to communicate your messages, or in advancing your agenda through writing, faxing or calling campaigns, please call on us – “we have your back”. If you would like us to organize a monthly or quarterly conference call with our people so that you can address them directly, we would be happy to work with you on that.
Obviously, there are dozens of issues that are important to us, all of which need to eventually be addressed by Congress. However there are a few issues that we are thinking about at this time that we would like to bring to your attention, though we realize that these issues may already be on your radar: (not in order of priority, we feel that they are all worthy)
HR 459 - “AUDIT THE FEDERAL RESERVE” – To require a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve banks by the Comptroller General of the United States before the end of 2012. Currently there are 55 sponsors. Have you or will you co-sponsor and support this Bill?
ENDING OR LIMITING FEDERAL FUNDING OF PRIVATE ENTITIES – There are many, but a few examples are Planned Parenthood, National Public Radio, National Endowment for the Arts, and hundreds of other entities that the Federal Government has no business subsidizing with Federal tax dollars.
A FULL REVIEW OF FOREIGN AID COMMITMENTS – It appears that China is receiving $2.5 Billion in foreign aid. Why? 73% of Americans support scaling back foreign aid (Reuters) and we are among those that feel this way.
BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT – We believe that this is an important step in reining in our nation’s spending and finding true fiscal discipline.
RAISING THE DEBT CEILING - With discussions opening about raising debt ceiling, (apparently now in May) is possible to tie such an action to very deep and specific cuts, including, for example cuts in the EPA and Dept of Education and/or even a Balanced Budget Amendment?
IMMIGRATION REFORM – Most importantly, the securing of our borders. What is the difficulty, as you see it, in dealing with this important issue.
HIGH SPEED RAIL IN FLORIDA – We oppose any “borrowed” Federal money or any Florida Tax Payer money going into this boondoggle. Some politicians are arguing that if 90% of the money comes from the Federal government and the remaining 10% is provided by the private sector, that this would allow them to support “rail” in Florida. Where do they think that Federal money is coming from? We really don’t need HSR and the State and the Federal government simply does not have the money for this project. What role can you play from your position on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to help derail this effort by the “special interest groups” to push “rail” on Floridians?
Sir, there are many other issues that are worthy of attention, but these are just a few that we are thinking about at this time. Thank you again for inviting us to meet with you. We look forward to working with you in the future and wish you all the success possible in helping to save our nation and “fix what is broke in Washington”.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Representative Webster.
The Central Florida Tea Party & The West Orlando Tea Party
The following was posted on my blog site, MyAmericanism.com, on February 21, 2009. The site has since been taken down and I believe the blog post must be preserved: For those of you unaware, Rick Santelli from CNBC, on Thursday from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, ranted against President Obama's "stimulus" bill which seemed more like a piece of spending legislation than actual stimulus.
Rick commented that he'd be forming his very own Chicago Tea Party this July and asked if anyone wanted to join. Since then, conservatives nationwide have been uniting to plan their very own Tea Party in cities all across the country.
Orlando is no exception.
More to come....
The following was posted on my blog site, MyAmericanism.com, on April 15, 2009. The site has since been taken down and I believe the blog post must be preserved: The live webcast will begin at 6pm EST from downtown Orlando at City Hall.
But what's next after the party? Visit TeaPartyPatriots.com a few days after the event to find out.
The following was posted on my blog site, MyAmericanism.com, on March 21, 2009. The site has since been taken down and I believe the blog post must be preserved: On Saturday, March 21st, 2009, Lisa Feroli, a concerned citizen with the group Floridians Unite, teamed up with Bud Hedinger from 540WFLA News Radio to plan and promote the Great Orlando Tea Party.
I'd like to begin by saying congratulations to Lisa for a job well done!! You're a great American!! You and your team did an excellent job!
The following slideshow depicts only a portion of how exciting this event was. I don't know the crowd estimate as of yet, but when I asked a police officer if she knew how many people were in attendence, she said, "watch the news tonight, see what they say and double it."
Orlando Tea Party Declaration (2 videos)
Just to demonstrate how successful the event was, I broadcasted these videos live from my cell phone intermittently during the event. Again, these videos are from my cell phone with a low resolution. I'll be posting real video at a later date.
Presentation of Colors, Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.
Tom Gaitens from Freedomworks speaks from 11mins left in the video to 7mins left.
Walk-thru from the back of the crowd.
The following was posted on my blog site, MyAmericanism.com, on March 15, 2009. The site has since been taken down and I believe the blog post must be preserved: 9 PRINCIPLES
1. America Is Good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
God “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the external rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” from George Washington’s first Inaugural address.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
Honesty “I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” George Washington
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
Marriage/Family “It is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is know. By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.” Thomas Jefferson
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
Justice “I deem one of the essential principles of our government… equal and exact justice to all men of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political.” Thomas Jefferson
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
Life, Liberty, & The Pursuit of Happiness “Everyone has a natural right to choose that vocation in life which he thinks most likely to give him comfortable subsistence.” Thomas Jefferson
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
Charity “It is not everyone who asketh that deserveth charity; all however, are worth of the inquiry or the deserving may suffer.” George Washington
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
On your right to disagree “In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude; every man will speak as he thinks, or more properly without thinking.” George Washington
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
Who works for whom? “I consider the people who constitute a society or a nation as the source of all authority in that nation.” Thomas Jefferson
- Honesty - Reverence - Hope - Thrift - Humility - Charity - Sincerity - Moderation - Hard Work - Courage - Personal Responsibility - Gratitude
For more information, visit Glenn Beck's 9-12 Project at http://www.the912project.com/
The following was posted on my blog site, MyAmericanism.com, on March 2, 2009. The site has since been taken down and I believe the blog post must be preserved: It has begun.
On Friday, February 27, 2009, over 40 cities participated in simultaneous tea parties demonstrating against the rediculous spending spree and bailout programs being enacted in Washington, D.C. Citizens across the nation, many of whom never participated in a rally before, gathered around capitol buildings, parks, sidewalks and restaurants to ensure their voices were heard with one clear message:
Repeal or Retire.
Repeal the bank bailout, auto bailout, mortgage bailout and the porkulus stimulus bill,....or you'll be retired in 2010.
Here's a slideshow of photos from the Orlando Tea Party:
We had quite a bit of feedback as to why the movement chose a workday vs. a weekend, and why was it during a lunch hour vs. the evening.
Tea Parties in large cities were to be attended by the workers in those cities, who oftentimes travel from outside the city for work. They would already be there and able to attend during their lunch hour.
The fact remains that no date/time will be perfect for everyone, but the advantage of being a part of a nationwide movement is huge. In planning the first Orlando Tea Party, my main goal was to be included in that evening's news report with the words, "...and Orlando". If we had not planned our tea party for that day during that time, Orlando would have been left out. If we planned it for another day and another time, we would not have been included in the national news report.
With that in mind, I participated in the nationwide tea party conference call this evening to learn about future plans. The fact of the matter is this,...
It has begun.
#TCOT (Top Conservatives on Twitter link), along with the Don't Go Movement and Smart Girl Politics, are joining forces to keep planning these events.
To clear up misconceptions as provided by some in the liberal media, these events are not being funded by anyone. General, everyday citizen leaders are stepping forward and begging to help. We just want our voices to be heard!
Top Conservatives on Twitter was founded by Michael Patrick Leahy, author of the books, What Does Sarah Palin Believe? and What Does Barack Obama Believe ?. Michael P. Leahy really is at the forefront of social media and is working towards helping conservatives dominate social media tools such as Twitter.
Send the text message 'follow MyAmericanism' to 40404 on your cell phone (without the quotes), or visit our page and select 'FOLLOW'.
On the conference call this evening, they announced that they think of this as a 10 round fight, with 10 nationwide simultaneous tea parties:
1. Nationwide Tea Party, 2009 – Repeal or Retire (site)
2. Tax Day, 2009 – Reduce the Pork, Cut Taxes (site)
3. Independence Day Tea Party, 2009 – Reduce the Pork, Learn the Constitution
4. Labor Day, 2009
5. Election Day, 2009
6. President’s Day, 2010
7. Tax Day, 2010
8. Independence, 2010
9. Labor day, 2010
10. Election Day, 2010
One extraordinary aspect of Friday's Orlando Tea Party was that ordinary citizens, many of whom have never participated in a protest or a rally before, found a voice. With mounting frustration for months and months, culiminating with the largest spending bill this country has ever seen, then the passing of a budget with over 8,000 earmarks and a mortgage bailout program designed to reward irresponsibility and punish the responsible,....the silent majority is silent no more.
Please join our Group on this site for updates to future tea parties: Orlando Tea Party.