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Tea Party meetings raise some questions …

By
November 2, 2010 | 12 Comments

EDITOR:

I’ve noticed a lot of publicity lately about meetings of the Tea Party at Union Mine School. Now I’m all for the peoples’ rights of free association as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, but it has occurred to me that public schools such as Union Mine may be an inappropriate forum for these meetings. Since our schools are publicly funded by our tax dollars, it seems appropriate for them to remain neutral in the expression of political views.

Of course I’m sure the school has been well compensated for the use of its facilities by the Tea Party as a way of distancing themselves from the organization, much as one would expect if, for example, the Nazis, Communists, KKK or atheists were to request use of the facilities of the public schools to promote their particular ideologies. Nevertheless, it remains an uncomfortable association that should be troubling to most tax paying citizens. I’m sure many of my concerns are unfounded and I welcome those who have permitted this to occur to provide their rationale for the apparent conflicts.

Maybe the easiest way to resolve this problem would be to move the Tea Party meetings to a site not directly supported by taxpayers, such as a local church. No, on second thought, that wouldn’t work since they are also subsidized by their tax exempt status. I guess the problem is tougher than I thought. How do you give voice to people who don’t want to pay taxes if anywhere they might gather is supported by taxpayers?

ROB PURDIE

Cameron Park

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 12 comments

  • Ken SteersNovember 02, 2010 - 10:17 am

    Mr Purdie, what if possibly these Tea Party People say actually pay their taxes? Shouldn't they be performing something in the old boring out of date Constitution thingy? Pretty sure it's called the 1st Ammendment. And more importantly who would be the arbiter that would preside over what organization that is worthy of using a public facility? Would that possibly be an elected politician or beaurocrat who would get to decide what organization is worthy based on his or her social and political points of view. Wouldn't that be really close to some sort of Facism or Socialism? I might be wrong but it seems to me you must have thought 19 had already passed before writing your letter...

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  • James LonghoferNovember 02, 2010 - 10:31 am

    Mr. Steers, now be nice. Mr. Purdie didn't claim that the Tea Party People were smoking pot because they must have thought Prop. 19 had already passed before their meeting at Union Mine School. You were doing semi-OK until that last sentence. Be nice.

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  • Angela DavidsonNovember 02, 2010 - 11:21 am

    "Thingy" A quote from Sarah Palin, retired half governess of Alaska. I love it when Teabaggers talk dirty.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieNovember 03, 2010 - 5:19 pm

    Mr Purdie -- I see NO conflict of interest here. Tea Party members do pay taxes, just like most of us. They don't want zero taxes, they just want our government to use our tax dollars wisely (read efficiently). I am not a member of the Tea Party, but I support their original goals of fiscal responsibility. Sure, they are current on a detour into some pretty lame issues, but the core issue still rings true. Besides, don't you find it ironic that they travel on socialist roads to meet at a socialist facility? Face it, we live in a hybrid system that doesn't allow this sort of thing, it guarantees it.

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  • Rob PurdieNovember 03, 2010 - 7:21 pm

    Thanks to all for your thoughtful comments. Yes, Mr. MacKenzie, I do find it ironic that Tea Partiers travel on socialist roads to meet in a socialist facility. That, in a nutshell, was kind of my point. As to Mr. Steers, of course I know Tea Party supporters pay taxes and have, as I stated in my letter, First Amendment rights to gather peaceably. It's the idea that they want to use publically supported facilities to promulgate their anti-tax agenda that I find hypocritical. It's not much of a stretch to imagine that one of the first institutions to suffer under the Tea Party's austerity will be the schools.

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  • Scott MartinNovember 03, 2010 - 8:24 pm

    Mr Purdie, You have got to be kidding, right? Comparing the Tea Party to the KKK, Nazis, and Communists, really? Let me guess; you have a higher degree from a prestigious university where you received a thorough liberal brainwashing from your "God like" professors? If so, you need to ask for you money back (or your parent's money). We (Tea Party members) will happily pay taxes, but not to support ILLEGAL ALIENS WHO HAVE OVERRUN OUR COUNTRY. Or, for third world Obama care, bank bailouts, or any other liberla borne social program. We are true Americans, Nationalists who understand that the only way we are going to retain this great country, built by our founding fathers and the greatest generation, is to close our borders, quit spending our children and grandchildren into huge debt paying for liberal 'feel good" social programs, and resist the current Marxist Obama Administration and his czars from killing the middle class in this country. If you want to live in the Obama dream so badly, I will happily pay for your one way plane ticket to Cuba, where you can experience exactly where we are headed without the Tea Party rising to stop it. The only string is that you can never come back. We will not allow the likes of you to take our country from us. Yesterday's election results are just the beginning. We bleed red, white, and, blue. We are not racist, we just insist that if you live here, you become an American first, including learning the language. If not, go back to where you came from. So, just let me know when you would like to take that flight to Cuba. It's on me. We won't miss you.

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  • Kendra UNovember 03, 2010 - 8:59 pm

    If you think the Tea Party is about people who "don't want to pay taxes" then I suggest you attend your first meeting. Fiscal responsibility does not equal "not wanting to pay taxes" no matter how hard you try to spin it. But I must say, it's nice to finally hear someone refer to the Tea Party correctly and not use the vulgar slang term popular with the left. How the Democrat allows that in it's letters is beyond me.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieNovember 03, 2010 - 9:04 pm

    Mr Purdie -- being ironic is not grounds for questioning their right to practice irony. As far as I understand them, the Tea Party is not "anti-tax", but anti-waste. I actually agree with their quest to improve efficiency in the public sector. Public education is an investment that you and I would fight dogedly to protect, but I expect there are many areas where you, I, and Tea Party members could easily agree need to be "improved". Tax code loopholes, corporate welfare, and excessive compensation for government contractors come to mind. Public eduction may be high on their list of talking points, but I bet they would listen to reason and go after better targets in this target rich environment.

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  • Rob PurdieNovember 03, 2010 - 10:12 pm

    Mr. Martin, I respectfully take back my statement about thoughtful comments.

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  • Scott MartinNovember 04, 2010 - 6:07 am

    You never started with thoughtful comments, only uninformed left-wing drivel. To state that Tea Partiers do not want to pay taxes and are akin to the KKK, Nazis, and Communists shows how out of touch with reality you really are. Like I said, Tuesday's election results are just the beginning. The El Dorado Tea Party movment started with two couples in their home. The meetings have outgrown every facility they have used since and I suspect they will soon outgrow Union Mine. There is a reason for that. A very good reason - to save America.

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  • John GaronNovember 07, 2010 - 6:33 pm

    Everyone ought to favor tea partyers attending meetings in a school. Judging from TP signs and speeches, thinking and learning facts were never a priority for TPyers. Now, even entering a school can only do them some good. Some knowledge, especially the historical kind, might conceivably rub off. We have nothing to lose.

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  • James LonghoferNovember 07, 2010 - 6:40 pm

    Looks like flaky Tea Party candidates caused the GOP to not take over the Senate. Thank you Tea Party.

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