By Jesse Phillips
I love the tea party movement, but some people who call themselves tea partiers can be thoughtless.
Emailing a list of your congressional representatives personal cell phone numbers and email addresses, simply because they skipped out of a meeting you had planned to attend another with alleged lobbyists, is a fairly adolescent response that will do nothing to increase your influence in Congress.
Here’s a press release from the Central Florida Tea Party Council, which Citizen2Citizen is a proud member of, explaining what happened;
Florida Liberty Alliance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Tom Tillison
Grass Roots Florida Tea Party, 9/12 Project Members
Reject National “Tea Party Patriots” Methods
In an attempt to intimidate the Congressional Freshman Class, “leaders” of the national “Tea Party Patriots” group embarrass the grass roots Tea Party Movement by releasing the personal phone numbers of freshmen House Members with instructions to their email list to pressure Members into attending a private TPP Freshman Class Orientation.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – November 12, 2010 – A statement issued to its email list yesterday by the national “Tea Party Patriots” group leadership demands: “Let’s show them that you won’t tolerate politics as usual and show them the power of the Tea Party” – and then breaks with the most basic protocol of respect and reveals the private cell numbers of the entire Congressional Freshman Class to their list to ensure delivery of this message.
Was this grand call to arms justified because of an important piece of legislation under consideration? Were these freshmen legislators engaged in some act of fiscal irresponsibility or constitutional malfeasance? Not exactly. This demand involved a Freshman Class Orientation scheduling conflict with the conservative organization Claremont Institute, unjustifiably attacked by TPP leaders in its statement as a group comprised of nothing but “Washington Insiders”.
“The grass roots Tea Party Movement, where the volunteers on the ground do the real heavy lifting in the Movement, find the message in the TPP statement and the release of private contact information of Congressional Members inexcusable and an embarrassment for all of us,” says Jason Hoyt, co-founder of the Central Florida Tea Party Council.
Many in the Congressional Freshman class are angry about how poorly they have been treated. There are those who are also puzzled by such egregious and meritless behavior imposed on them before they have even been sworn into office.
The Florida Liberty Alliance strongly requests that the leaders of the “Tea Party Patriots” immediately move do all that they can to repair the damage that these actions have caused to the Movement’s relationship with these Congressional Freshmen and the good name of the Tea Party Movement.
# # #
Billie Tucker Founder, First Coast Tea Party
Carole McManus Leader, First Coast Tea Party
Jason Hoyt Co-Founder, Central FL Tea Party Council
Tom Tillison Co-Founder, Central FL Tea Party Council
Clyde Fabretti Leader, West Orlando Tea Party
Tom Gaitens FL State Director, Freedomworks
Robin Stublen Punta Gorda Tea Party
Paula Helton Leader, Gainesville Tea Party
Alan BerkelHammer Leader, Gainesville Tea Party
Don Hensarling FL State Director, 9/12 Project
Jesse Phillips Founder, Citizen2Citizen
Nancy Meinhardt Leader, Miami 9/12 Project
Karin Hoffman Founder, DC Works For Us
Pam Evans Leader, DC Works For Us
Sharon Taylor Leader, DC Works For Us
Sharon Calvert Leader, Tampa Tea Party
John Hendrix Leader, Tampa Tea Party
Tim Curtis Leader, Tampa 9/12 Project
Karen Jaroch Leader, Tampa 9/12 Project
Don Forward Leader, Titusville Patriots
Tina Woode Organizer, Lake Mary/Sanford 912 Project
Laurie Newsom Leader, Gainesville Tea Party
Rod Gonzolez Leader, Gainesville Tea Party
Pat Wayman Organizer, Venice area 912 Project
Bill Landes State Director, Florida Minuteman
Cindy Hofeditz Organizer, Polk City 912 Group
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