On Dec 4 I went to a meeting in Columbia, SC for Tea Party Leaders statewide. The next day a brief quote by me appeared in The State newspaper:
<blockquote>“I have an appreciation of the integrity and reputation of the Tea Party Patriots,” said Karen Martin with the Spartanburg Tea Party, who left Saturday’s meeting optimistic about a statewide umbrella group. “So many groups have strayed and don’t have the pure activist intent. I was very suspicious.”</blockquote>
A few days later, having somehow seen the article, Adam Waldeck from Newt’s organization American Solutions got my email address and sent a nice email wanting to hear about our efforts in SC, and asking how “we” might be able to help us out or work with us in some way. How serendipitous! Cause Newt is going to be in Spartanburg this week at the County GOP Bronze Elephant Dinner. So … I sent this email back to Adam. We’ll see if we hear from them while they’re in town.
The Spartanburg Tea Party is focusing on providing Constitution Classes along with about six Upstate South Carolina counties through our Coalition of 20 tea party/liberty group organizations. Additionally, we will be working hard at precinct reorganization the first quarter of 2011. As for the past year, we were able to participating in several campaigns to get rid of some horrible legislators (Bob Inglis, John Spratt) and a few local statehouse folks who have overstayed their welcome, and worked to elect a reform minded governor, Nikki Haley. We also swept all nine Constitutional offices in SC.
I shared your outreach with my advisory board, and the Coalition leaders, not many fans of Newt here among the tea parties in Upstate SC. Quite serendipitous that your email arrived the week before Newt will be down here for our Spartanburg GOP Bronze Elephant dinner! I will not be attending. Consensus among my peers is that the most patriotic thing Newt can do is not run for President. We have spent 2 years of our time/energy/expenses forming new coalitions and newly engaged and educated citizens, and providing an avenue to bring the independent voters to the GOP/Conservative side. We’ve volunteered and donated to candidates of a new era, people “just like us” not career politicians to go to Columbia and Washington and make things right. We’re on the verge of being able to follow the victories of Nov 2010 with further victories in Nov 2012 to try to complete the repeal of bad legislation and bad legislators, and rescue our country from the abyss that the GOP has in some part led the way, in other parts been mighty complicit in driving us into. To have someone like Newt run for President drags us back into having to defend and explain and excuse the GOP to the newly awakened and newly won over voters who had GIVEN UP on our party. They will stay home in 2012 or worse because they … and rightly so … will be able to say “NOTHING’S CHANGED!”
Please pass along my sentiments to let us start fresh, with no past baggage, give us the opportunity to run someone FOR President, who we can support and champion and stand behind, who is not part of the same old same old, decades long stench of a GOP who compromised our country into the ground. Newt and American Solutions have a great opportunity to focus attention on issues, to champion conservativism using the many media platforms that Newt has access to. That is a great role for him and your organization, and he can do things to aid in taking back our country without him being a millstone round the necks of conservatives in the next Presidential race.
If Newt has some time next week while in Spartanburg and want to set a short meeting with our advisory board and a few other tea party group leaders who may travel to Spartanburg for the occasion to share some of these thoughts in person, let me know. It’ll be a tough crowd as you can probably tell! And we’d be videotaping.