Co-founder weathers rigorous grilling from reporters regarding GOP alliances
Declaring the Tea Party a “principled movement,” the board of the local sipping society refused to endorse individual candidates.
Tea Party activists have no ties to the GOP, according to the board of the Waco Tea Party.
“We often hear or read references to candidates as 'Tea Party Candidates;' (though) those remarks are misleading the public and often confuse voters, we are not a political party; we are a principled movement,” reads a prepared statement.
"I wouldn't call them Republican values," said Mike Simon, a co-founder. "They are the principles upon which this nation was founded."
Appearing on the lawn of Waco City Hall in crystalline shirt-sleeve weather, co-founder Michael Simon withstood detailed questions from television and print media reporters about the movement's preferences for conservative over liberal politicians and causes.
Many Tea Party-affiliated challengers have gained nomination over more traditional and incumbent Republican candidates during the primary season. Now it's time for the general election on November 2.
This presented a mixed signal that differed from an announcement of the 1 p.m. Thursday conference announced by the group's Treasurer, Carol Waddell.
“With the elections less than five weeks away, it is time to release our endorsements for the 2010 elections,” Ms. Waddell announced earlier in the week by e-mail and on the Tea Party's website.
He was at pains to explain that the limited government, strict construction and free market movement confines itself to endorsing or opposing only causes and conditions, not the personalities peripheral to them.
Mister Simon and his colleagues claimed no particular preference for Republican candidates, a reversal of and announcement by The McLennan County Blue Collar Republican Club, which shares an interlocking directorate with the Waco Tea Party made two weeks ago that instead of endorsing the Republican candidates, they would encourage voters to pull a straight ticket and just skip voting in races in which they disapprove of the Repubican candidate. This way, political experts can look at the races block by block, zip code by zip code and precinct by precinct and see where certain candidates are held in disfavor.
“This is a meeting of the Waco Tea Party,” Mr. Simon reminded the throng of about 50 people attending the photo op and news conference.
“Because the tea party movement was formed in America's grassroots and is guided and directed by the people in our local community, the Waco Tea Party endorses you, the voter, in 2010,” according to an information sheet handed to reporters.
He announced that all of the races and candidates that will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot are detailed on a voters guide available at www.WacoTeaParty.com There is nothing in the literature that indicates preference for one candidate over another, according to Mr. Simon.
He similarly announced:
A Saturday training seminar focusing on activist training and hosted by the Tea Party, American Majority and Americans for Prosperity will include a get-out-the-vote phone drive.
* A block walk to remind people to vote
* Ad campaign reminding folks of election day
* Heart of Texas Conservative Coalition Get Out the Vote Family picnic and BBQ.