The 9-12 Project of Central PA

"You Are NOT Alone!"

Taking my own advice, I ask, “What could be the profit in having elected officials speak at out tea party?”

Some possible benefits of having elected officials speak might include:

• Their presence might lend some sense of credibility to our efforts
• They may be experienced speakers and thus bring an air if professionalism
• We may open doors with these elected officials who support our positions
• We may garner more news media coverage
• We may reach some individuals who recognize and accept a particular official
• They might provide us with valuable “insider” knowledge

Profit, however, must take into account not only the benefits that may be enjoyed, but also the costs -- the possible disadvantages. These might include:

• Our audience may, and, in my opinion probably will, perceive elected officials addressing our tea party as an endorsement of the officials and of their party
• The media might misrepresent statements by such officials as our policy
• Elected officials could later claim some implied endorsement or support by us
• Our enemies could later claim some implied endorsement or support by us of these officials
• Our opposition will be able to use such an association to undermine or attack us as partisan or as an extension or functionary of the right or the Republican Party
• Perhaps most important, it undermines the grassroots nature of our effort, that attribute which is essential if we are to grow and have real influence

Keeping in mind that this tea party is our group’s unveiling, our coming out party, our first impression on our friends and neighbors, it is essential that we communicate our message clearly. Repeating our 9 principals and 12 values is essential, because what we say counts. What we do counts, too. Saying we are nonpartisan and including elected officials, who by definition are partisan, sends a clearly different message.

I believe the dishonesty inherent in saying one thing and doing another will send a message that our neighbors will not fail to see: More of the same. Is this what we represent? Can we afford this? Can we afford to do this to ourselves?

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Congratulations, Karen. If each of us accomplishes this much in the next few months, it will be a huge step forward.

Karen Clark said:
We had unexpected house guest last night. Discussion turned to politics because I mentioned we had planned on hear a conservative lecture on campus. I know their politics were opposite mine. They said at least we were not part of that "Tea Party" movement. Smiling I said . . . "oh yes we are." They preceeded to tell me it was organized and funded by the Republican Party. Song story short . . . I cleared up their miss conception . . . we found some common ground AND . . . I think they may come to our Tea Party. SO . . . I do hope this is a We The People event and that there are no elected officials speaking to prove their point!
Hi Wayne. Back to basics; what is this tea party about? It is about defining ourselves in the eyes of our neighbors and about building membership essential to give us strength. The tea party is, after all, a publicity event, a marketing effort, and thus all about perceptions. If we compromise who we are and what we are, we will communicate that message. If we appear to embrace the establishment, then we will marginalize ourselves because Americans know the establishment is the problem.

Our success so far is clearly a result of the grassroots, nonpartisan nature of the movement. What can any politician bring to the table that that is worth compromising this? Do we need politicians to speak for us? I don't think so. Do we need elected officials and party functionaries on our podium to have credibility? Clearly not. Will the media and our neighbors fail to connect us with officials on our soap box? I not only doubt it, I believe the media will be ecstatic at the opportunity to exploit the opportunity.

Honestly, I cannot see the profit in associating with these folks. However, I do fear that we might sabotage ourselves by doing so. Why take the chance? Why not invite the good elected officials out there to join the tea party and respect our nonpartisan position by not mounting our soap box and by not addressing the crowd? What's wrong with that?
Hi Wayne - As someone who spends long days and long hours at the keyboard, I'm all for cutting out the typing, thanks!

I hope to see you ahead of the tea party today, and hope others who have something to share can join us and share their points of view.

Wayne Stottlar said:
We would not be marginalizing ourselves by letting ANY individual who embraces our ideals to speak, that is just it, let people see that WE the People are actually in charge, and that we have already had enough influence to make elected officials want to embrace our values and principles. I don't think it hurts us either way, as Karen already stated, someone who did not know what they were talking about, already had their perception. The mainstream has already poisoned the water, and will continue to whether we have any specific person speak or not. The big deal here is for us to remain in control, and for anyone who speaks to speak on the values and principles that bind us.
When Glenn first spoke of this movement, he said there would be folks who didn't always see eye to eye, but were bound by the principles and values. It is a grassroots movement, if elected officials, want to JOIN us, the more the merrier I think. You seem to have already taken out your wide paint brush for elected officials, they aren't all alike, and if they share our views, we should not disqualify them.

Greg, I hope maybe we can talk about this today, ( I hate typing :-) )
Wayne . . . I was able to change my friend's perspective on the Tea Party on a one to one basis. Had they just showed up at our Tea Party and saw that the speaker at the podium was a politician . . . in their eyes (and mine in their shoes) their view would have been proven right . . .

An electic official sitting at my table at our last meeting said we as a group woud be making a big mistake to have any "sitting" politician speak at our event . . . persception is reality and the new media loves to assit in that reality! I've said more then my two cents and this is enough!

I am excited, energized and I stay up to 2:30 AM making posters . . . this will be fun!!! Hopefully many more will join our ranks . . .
One problem with having elected officials at any event is the fact that they love the lime light and tooting their own horn too much. Instead let them hear from the common man. How taxation is effecting the common man.

Here in Centre County there are taxes upon taxes, fees and the like being charged on a daily basis...Like the $50 or so dollars a year to have a Job in State College... you pay even if you don't live in State College... you can't vote for any of the people who are spending your money... Sounds like Taxation with Representation... a common theme in the Revolution.... If any elected officals are there at all maybe they should be tied at a stake and being worried about tar and feathers.. and forced to confess their part in the mess we now call America....

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