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Category: National

Waxman cancels witch hunt after being reminded of the Constitution

Posted by – 4/14/10

You read that title right. Apparently after a gentle reminder of the people’s right to free speech by Rep. Barton, Waxman canceled his intimidation hearings for next week.

As surprising as it was to find out that Waxman wanted to investigate companies merely for following the laws Congress itself had passed, this comes as an even bigger surprise. I’m actually stunned. Am I awake? Is this real life?

Surprise! We discover they didn't read the bill after all

Posted by – 4/13/10

So this…

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

…makes this all the sweeter:

As Allahpundit puts it on HotAir, “In other words, theoretically the law kicks them out of the federal health plan now in order to force them to join insurance exchanges … that don’t exist yet.”

It’s just so delicious to hear the Democrats enthusiastically lie about reading a bill that was not only humanly impossible to have read by that time but would so soon after provide them with a swift kick in the teeth. The unintended consequences of government meddling, indeed!

At some point, supporters of big government are going to have to get tired of being wrong. All. The. Time.

The Heartless Compassion of Big Government

Posted by – 3/21/10

Those of us on the liberty-loving side of things are often confused with the uncharitable, the enemy of those in need. It’s not so much that we hate the poor, though, as we’re disgusted by those who, against the clear advice of history, advocate passionately for the sake of their own conscience that someone else’s money should be confiscated and shoved through the gauntlet of wildly inefficient government bureaucracies with only a tiny portion left at the end for the truly needy. The poor deserve so much more than the heartless compassion of big government.

ALA's Eric Odom on Tea Party Nation Organizers: They Don't Know What's Going On & Haven't From Day One

Posted by – 1/31/10

No need for comment.

Another blow to the National Tea Party Convention

Posted by – 1/29/10

In another blow to the National Tea Party Convention, The Tea Party Express has now announced that they will no longer support the event. This comes after several waves of event sponsors and speakers pulled their support.

Phillips still claims the event is planned to provide training, networking, and inspirational speeches, but the ability to make good on that promise appears less and less likely with several speakers pulling out along with two of the sponsors who were to provide training dropping their support.

On a personal note, I should mention this: while Mr. Phillips has claimed that the press isn’t asking him for comment, absolutely every single one of the reporters I’ve spoken to has expressed frustration in their inability to get in contact with Mr. Phillips despite repeated attempts.

Judson can continue to use his tried excuse of “blame the liberals” all he wants, but he’s brought this debacle on himself. His zeal for personal gain unchecked by prudence has led him to all sorts of negligence, not the least of which includes an egregious violation of labor laws.

I suppose we’ll continue to watch this implosion to see how it all shakes down. His choices may well prove detrimental to the tea party movement, though I pray Americans see this for what it is: a movement with the purest of intentions attempting to oust the cancer that resides within. Perhaps Mr. Phillips will think about the gravity of his actions next time he attempts to assume the helm of something so much larger than himself.

Reps Blackburn and Bachmann pull out of the TPN Convention

Posted by – 1/28/10

From Post Politics, Blackburn’s out! Claude Chafin, her spokesman, released this statement:

After consulting with the Committee on Standards, Congressman Blackburn has decided not to participate in the Tea Party Nation Convention next week. Standards advised Congressman Blackburn not to participate in the event due to uncertainty about how any proceeds from the event may be used. Convention organizers have not been clear about how those funds will be put to use. We have every indication that any profit could be put to work to advance grass roots causes and some of those uses could make the Congressman’s participation improper after the fact.

And Blackburn herself had this to say:

“I spoke to Judson Phillips this morning and let him know that I could not participate in the convention. I told him frankly that Tea Party Nation’s for-profit status has put many of his speakers in an awkward position. I remain encouraged by the outpouring of energy from constitutionally minded grassroots organizations in Tennessee and around America. These groups are not made up of Republicans or Democrats but everyday Americans who are concerned about their freedom. They know that out-of-control spending and the expansion of government ultimately limits that freedom. I share their concerns and look forward to working with them in the future.”

Only a short time later, news broke that Rep. Bachmann pulled out for the same reasons:

Due to conflicting advice on whether Congresswoman Bachmann’s participation in the upcoming Tea Party Nation Convention would be in line with the Committee on Standards, Congresswoman Bachmann has decided not to participate in the event. There is uncertainty about how any proceeds from the event may be used, and we must err on the side of caution. Some will want to portray her withdrawal as a repudiation of the Tea Party Movement, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Congresswoman Bachmann remains encouraged by all Americans, regardless of political party, who are concerned about this nation’s future and dwindling prosperity, and continues to be inspired their passion.

As of now, Palin is still scheduled to speak. For a quick background on this story, see this post at Post Politics.

TPN Violates Labor Laws: "We don't ask anything from our members" … Except Uncompensated Labor

Posted by – 1/26/10

Tea Party Nation’s Judson Phillips took to the Fox Business Network tonight to downplay concerns over his for-profit enterprise putting on an expensive convention that many assumed was being planned by a non-profit organization. When asked about these concerns, he responded with confidence:

We don’t ask anything from any of our 12,000 members. We don’t ask people to pay dues. We don’t ask for donations. We use the capitalist system to go ahead and fund this particular organization so we can use the resources to help advance this cause. What’s wrong with that?

Contrast that with this statement released by Tea Party Nation only 12 days ago (emphasis mine):

Tea Party Nation is a C-Corp. We do not focus on donations, and provide a service and network for like-minded conservatives and TEA Party leadership. TEA Party Nation is operated entirely by volunteers.

Tea Party Nation has an Advisory Board made up of nine (9) individuals who have been with Tea Party Nation since its formation. This Advisory Board is instrumental in greeting new members, moderating the site, putting out our newsletter and making the policies and decisions for Tea Party Nation.

I wonder if Judson would you say that these Advisory Board members are routinely contributing to the benefit of Tea Party Nation Corporation? I would guess so, considering he saw fit to mention them in this press release. Certainly Tea Party Nation has had more than just board members working for the organization (event planners, security at the rallies, the sound engineers, etc…), but since he so explicitly mentioned the Advisory Board in the sentence immediately following his declaration that Tea Party Nation is operated entirely by volunteers, we’ll keep our focus here. I’ve been told by former Advisory Board members that they were never compensated for their work with an hourly wage, a salary, or company stock.

Now pay attention; this should be pretty straight-forward…

Using entirely his own words, we now know that Tea Party Nation is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by accepting volunteer labor for the benefit of a for-profit private sector enterprise. (It is important to note that according to the Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor, an employee is one who “follows the usual path of an employee.”)

So, Tea Party Nation asks nothing of its members… except free labor. More…

National Tea Party Convention loses a third sponsor

Posted by – 1/25/10

The national director of the National Precinct Alliance, Philip Glass, released a statement on Sunday night announcing that his organization would no longer support the convention.

We were under the impression that TPN was a non-profit organization like NPA, interested only in uniting and educating tea party activists on how to make a real difference in the political arena.

The entire NPA objective is to put the power of the precinct back in the hands of the people. Our organized effort to accomplish that goal is growing faster than we can keep up. So there is no benefit to wasting time and resources on meetings and conventions still hung up on defining the problem. It’s time for real action and real solutions. We are totally focused on the solutions.

The people will figure all of this stuff out on their own. National Precinct Alliance will continue to focus on putting the people in control of their own destiny. The people can take it from there.

Yet again, another organization was duped by Judson into thinking TPN is a non-profit. This clearly shows that Phillips is still not being forthright about the structure of his company. Sherry Phillips, Judson’s wife, even went so far as to tell Kate Zernike at the New York Times that TPN is a non-profit! Why on earth would she make such a statement when it is so easily contradicted with a glance at Tea Party Nation Corporation’s state filing?

Focus on Fiscal Conservatism

Posted by – 1/25/10

From Freeman Hunt:

You want a big tent? It’s fiscal conservatism. The people are overwhelmingly in favor of it.

[...]

Embrace fiscal conservatism. Leave the rest to federalism.

It’s easy. It’s a no-brainer. It’s even Constitutional. People are sick of the spending, sick of the debt, sick of the bailouts, sick of the handouts, sick of the back room deals, sick of the taxpayer funded bribes, sick of the bureaucrats. They want unyielding, unapologetic fiscal conservatism.

That’s what I’ve been saying all along! If the tea parties want to remain a relevant, powerful political force, we need to make sure we don’t create a platform that tries to encompass ever political or cultural belief. If we focus our energies on a value as widely held as fiscal responsibility, we’ll have the willing ear and passionate support of the vast majority of the country. Leave all the rest of it (good, bad, or otherwise) for another movement to champion.

Another Tea Partier in Tennessee Comments on the Convention

Posted by – 1/25/10

In an editorial for the Hendersonville Star News that was also published in the Tennessean this weekend, Matt Moynihan spoke up regarding his impressions of Judson and the National Tea Party Convention. I’d say his sentiment is pretty standard across the state. Given its brevity, I’ll just publish the whole thing below.

So, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the whole mess that graced the front page of the Sunday Tennessean with Judson Phillips, Tea Party Nation and his convention at the Gaylord Opryland next month.

I’ve probably got a perspective on this unlike most, because I was close to it from the beginning, though I’m thankful our Sumner County group was never tied to this group. Judson claims founder status of the Tea Party movement in Nashville. But he immediately tried to turn that into power and profit, so he broke off from Tennessee Tea Party and started what he hoped to be a for-profit national organization called Tea Party Nation. It’s never taken hold since there are dozens of other national organizations that operate similarly, but somehow he’s been tagged by liberals as some figurehead of the Tea Party movement.

Personally, I have not supported the Tea Party convention he’s holding. With a steep $549 price tag for admission, I don’t need someone else to tell me how to be a Tea Party activist, and I would imagine most in the movement feel the same. Though the story is damaging to Judson Phillips and his group, it will do nothing to deter the movement. Liberals will point and laugh nonetheless.

Moynihan is a founder of Sumner United for Responsible Government, and, as he notes above, one of the original observers of the fallout last year after Tennessee Tea Party split with Judson.