Florida Is Battleground for Tea Parties — Against Themselves

Editor’s Note – A relatively accurate depiction of the events taking place in district 8, when compared to the media standards generally at play across the country, with several huge exceptions! 

I commend Kendric Ward on one hand, as he does seem to go the extra mile in gathering his facts and ensuring he has a solid grasp on the story, however, it appears that he stops just short of that quest.

To classify this issue as “infighting” misses the mark completely.  It’s either an indication that Ward doesn’t quite understand what’s happening, or, it’s a tip of the hat toward his own political ideology, of which, has not been readily apparent up ’til now.

The Florida TEA Party is not part of the tea party movement in any way, shape or form.  That’s not opinion, it’s fact.  There are over 60 tea party groups in the state and not one supports the political party, nor is a single ‘leader’ in the state a part of it.  By claiming this is infighting plays into the hands of those who formed this party, giving them desperately sought after legitimacy. 

The TEA Party is closer to what the movement classifies it as, an opportunistic ploy on the part of a two or three individuals to take advantage of the hard work and effort of thousands of concerned citizens across the state.  It’s very intent is to confuse and mislead the voters.  I state this from a first hand conversation I had with Nick Egoroff, the TEA Communications Director, who doesn’t do very much communicating for the political party, of late. 

In this conversation, he stated that the average uninformed voter will go into the ballot box and see three choices; Democrat, Republican and TEA.  Being fed up with the actions of the two existing parties, which most of us are, many will opt for the TEA candidate based on a state of uncertainty about this new party.

I do give Ward credit for mentioning Alan Grayson in the same breath as the Florida TEA Party, however, he again falls short in offering the details of any of the reported connections between the two. 

The lastest connection is probably the most damning of them all.  Florida TEA candidate Raul Rodriquez bought radio ad time for the Grayson campaign, listing himself as the “treasurer” for the ‘Friends to Re-Elect Alan Grayson’.  http://www.clickorlando.com/video/24036623/index.html

Again, not opinion, fact.  It was reported by Local 6’s Tony Pipitone and I have an original source copy of the document.  How can this be omitted from the story?

However, the most egregious and disingenuous omission by Ward is to do an entire article on the Florida TEA Party without once mentioning Doug Guetzloe. 

It is becoming abundantly clear that this political party is a Guetzloe production.  Fred O’Neal, the  TEA Party’ chairman’ is Guetzloe’s personal attorney.  Guetzloe acknowledges that he is a ‘consultant’ to the party.  The TEA candidates can barely get a full sentence out without Guetzloe directing their comments.  Video supports this claim.

As for the lawsuit that was filed against the Florida TEA Party, this was a protective RESPONSE to an email Chairman Fred sent out to tea party groups around the state just after he filed the political party with the state, claiming rights to the name ‘tea party’.  He stated that the individual groups would have to have “permission” to use the term.  He also advised them “not to hold your breath” waiting for this permission.  Again, fact, not opinion.  I have seen the email and I have a copy.

As for the claims of intimidation, I could point out the wonderful adherence to Alinksy at play by detailing how Guetzloe, Chairman Fred, Dunmire and a couple of Tea Party goons crashed a press conference last week.  I could describe how Guetzloe stormed about like a bull in a china shop, hurling vile insults and baseless accusations against any tea party activist that had the unfortunate experience of crossing paths with him that day.  I could mention that he mocked a double hand amputee, calling him a miscreant and saying, “I’d shake your hand if you had any”.  But, this all get’s lost in the mix when one spends so much time and energy muddying the waters.

And that is the point…this political party has already been successful in some ways of disparaging the tea party movement with it’s contentious stance and negative tactics.  I’m sure that’s part of their strategy.  The greatest strength of the tea party movement, responding with emotion, is also it’s greatest weakness.  That emotion is what drives the determination to not allow our hard work and sacrifice to be taken advantage of, and certainly not to be beneficial to Alan Grayson. 

The tea party movement is united in the idea that we must do all that is necessary to educate the public on what is actually happening here, so that come Nov 2, the residents of district 8 enter the ballot box as informed voters.

Mr. Ward is correct in suggesting that this whole mess stands to benefit Alan Grayson.  Surprising?  With over $27,898 already linked between Grayson and the Florida TEA Party, does this shock anyone?  



Florida Is Battleground for Tea Parties — Against Themselves

By Kendrick Ward
Sunshine State News

Calls for candidate Peg Dunmire to quit the 8th Congressional District race have unleashed a new round of tea party infighting that threatens to dilute the movement’s political power across Florida.

The Central Florida Tea Party Council, an alliance of Orlando-area tea movement leaders, last week demanded that TEA Party candidate Dunmire withdraw her bid to unseat Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson.

Tea activists Tom Tillison and Jason Hoyt cited “financial connections” between Grayson and the Florida TEA (“Taxed Enough Already”) Party, which they branded “a tea party in name only.”

Both Dunmire and TEA Party Chairman Frederic O’Neal denied any financial links to Grayson, who has no primary opposition.

Dunmire, a former Republican and self-described conservative, said, “I have no intention of withdrawing. I find it appalling that these supposed patriots think their intimidation tactics will make me withdraw.”

O’Neal, whose party has been sued in federal court by 33 “tea” organizations and individuals over use of the name, said the attack on Dunmire is revealing.

“The way they’re acting, it seems they’re more afraid of Peg being elected than Grayson being elected,” O’Neal said.

The Orlando dustup may be unique in the United States. Where tea partiers have energized conservatives in races across the country, the tea-TEA clashes in Florida have badly splintered the right and left voters wondering what the “tea” brand really stands for.

Calls for candidate Peg Dunmire to quit the 8th Congressional District race have unleashed a new round of tea party infighting that threatens to dilute the movement’s political power across Florida.

Read More – http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/?1277824351


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