Friday, August 21, 2009

Local Tea Party organization makes puzzling changes

The Shreveport-Bossier Tea Party is in the midst of some puzzling changes. They have changed their name to Red River Tea Party and put up a new website. The new website has a forum linked, but it is not the old SB Tea Party forum. The old forum was on a Ning format, which is very user-friendly; the new forum is awkward to say the least.
The SB Tea Party site is still up, but I don’t know for how long.
In the past I have offered some praise to Rob Gaudet for keeping the local tea party non-partisan. I wrote in July “My concern was that the local movement not turn into a cheering squad for one party over the other, that it truly remain non-partisan, and that it not turn into a forum for local politicians to gain votes. Gaudet has done a great job of keeping it party-neutral and has a policy of not inviting elected officials to speak. A lot of local Tea Party organizations have marginalized themselves by having politicians speak at their events. Gaudet has not made this mistake, and that is to his credit.
Unfortunately, Gaudet seems to be removed from the new organization and from what I can tell, although nothing is posted yet, Royal Alexander seems to be stepping to the forefront. The Times noted today that “A health care forum sponsored by the conservative Red River Tea Party organization Thursday night in Bossier City served more as a platform for reaffirming the group's views than a discussion of reform proposals.” The forum was emceed by Royal Alexander.
Alexander, a Republican, ran against current Attorney General “Buddy” Caldwell last year and lost. He is an attorney and was a congressional staffer for Rodney Alexander.
SB Tea Party is one of the only local organizations in the state that has taken a non-partisan stance. Other groups in the state have seriously limited themselves by having elected Republican officials speak at their events. Apparently they just don’t get it.
Statements like this on the new website don’t sound non-partisan: “If we are to meet the aggressive, forward momentum of this Administration, we must have in place a bold plan that will allow room for growth as we begin work to shape the outcome of the 2010 election.”
In Louisiana there are 1,513,644 registered Democrats, 742,032 registered Republicans and 647,670 people are registered as ‘other party’ (read independent). Although Louisiana has voted Republican in the last three national elections, that is only because they saw the Republican Party, rightly or wrongly, as the more conservative.
I hope the tea party people keep in mind that a full three-quarters of the voting population deliberately did not register as Republican, and will be turned away if the local events become a pep rally for the Republican Party.
Gaudet, a Republican himself, got it. I just hope Alexander and company do the same.


  1. Well I have never been to one of the tea parties. And I don't plan to attend. I think it is good that people can do that. Jim I never gave it much thought, but really considered them as a conservative/republican movement. I hadn't thought about it being for everyone. Maybe that is because the MSMs have pretty much labeled them as being for right wing wackos, kinda like me. If what you are saying turns out to be the case then the MSMs will have more of a case in dismissing the rallies as coming from one side instead of coming from all the american public. Interesting post.

  2. Darrell, so many people, myself included, are so turned off by either party. I think your can tell that by the voter registration numbers when 1/4 of the electorate is choosing 'other'. I hope they take heed.

  3. Tea Party shirts can be found at

  4. Jim, I am not saavy on politics. So maybe you know. The numbers of registered voters you stated. Is the trend of registered republican voters going up and democrat voters going down. And what is the trend in non party voters. I assume that the high number of democrats is because of the southern part of the state and because the older voters were democrats to start with?

  5. Darrell, good question. I looked back for a couple of years and found that there are fewer voters overall in 2009 than in 2008 and that is across the board, fewer of each designation.
    However, there are more Republicans, Democrats and 'other' than in 2007, so it's hard to see a pattern. I think it is pretty striking that 1/4 of registered voters choose not to affiliate with either major party, and I happen to agree with them. The parties are a scourge to our society.

  6. Interesting, I wander why there are less registered voters. Population decline, or lack of interest in voting? And yet with the higher number of democrats, La is voting Republican in presidential elections? Seems like to do that you would need to get all those non affiliated voters + all republicans to vote and many democrats to vote republican or not vote at all? Given the numbers you gave it just seems amazing that this state voted Republican in the last election.

  7. I've found that people in Louisiana are conservative, however conservative does not equal Republican. I honestly think that a majority of people are fed up with both parties, they only register as R or D so they can vote in primaries.
    Could be the decline is because there was a presidential election last year and some people have let their registration lapse.

  8. I agree for the most part. I liked the ning site better.

    Also, Republicans and Democrats alike can (and do) oppose the direction this Administration is pushing us, so I didn't find the statement you posted to be partisan.

    HOWEVER, the few meetings I have attended included quite a bit of rhetoric about those evil Democrats and cheering on the Republican party. While there is a vast difference in party platform and a tradition of values in each party, those of the Republican Party (not necessarily its members) do more closely reflect the sentiments of the Tea Party movement.

    That being said, the Olympia Snowes, (formerly Arlen Spectors), Bobby Jindals (I know I'm gonna catch a lot of heat for that one, but he's not a fiscal conservative) of the Republican Party need to be addressed and held accountable for their big government and big spending endeavors as well, not just the Democrats.

    For the record, in the stimulus bill, 60% of the pork was by Democrats, but 40% was still the Republicans' pork. For fiscal conservatives, that is unacceptable.

  9. I think you hit the nail on the head Matt. We can't excuse politicians of either party for excesses.

  10. So you guys are like the Main stream media that label people? How are you any different than MSnBc or Jeanne Garfallo? There are people involved in the tea party that have never been involved in politics before. But that isn't stated here.
    Just because I said that doesn't mean I am in on this tea party stuff... but I am glad I live in a country where folks are able to do this kind of stuff because they have the right and freedom to do so.
    And it looks like you Jim are voicing your opinion without getting all the facts. Have you actually talked to anyone from the other group? Sounds like all the tea parties across the country are making a big difference in people paying attention and not just being another mindless yoohoo.

  11. Jim, does lean a little left. This blog does have a mix of news sprinkled with his opinion. That is his right. But it is amazing to me that just because I choose to engage someone in an inteligent conversation to try to learn some things and possibly understand "the other side" so I can better try to convince people of the right side, I am suddenly labeled against tea parties, and the same as MSMs by someone who was against someone labeling people involved in Tea Parties. I never said they were wrong, in fact if you read you see that I think they are a good thing. I do want the tea parties to reflect something that the left can't point a finger at and say bad things about, like they are doing now. I want our side to look more civil than their side. Thanks for your opinion.

  12. Everything I have blogged has been in favor of the local tea party. I merely expressed my opinion that they should not label themselves with a partisan label, but CONTINUE to keep it non partisan.

  13. That wasn't aimed at you, Darrell.

  14. OK Jim, this is the third time I am posting this, something with the google accounts so I will try this using the anonymous thing. So if you see a bunch of the same posts you will know.

    First, Jim I don't know if you last post was talking about your next to last post or the post by Anonymous. I have never been offended or taken personally anything you have posted. I respect your opinions and views, though I may not agree with them and think we can discuss those in a respectful manner. If you were referring to the post by Anonymous, when the term "you guys" was used, I assumed I was inlcuded. I should have asked and clarified, to be sure.

    Secondly, I will stick by my statement. I tried to word it in such a manner so as not to call into question a persons, character or intelligence, but only to defend myself and your rights on this blog. If I came off in an offending manner I apologize to Anonymous and to you. And know that was not my intentions. Thanks


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