Tonight I received a response by the Tea Party of Louisiana in regards to an article titled “Tea Power of Louisiana“. They asked that the entire response be put in full and we posted it in the following block quote.
With your kind permission, I would like to address the issues you raised in your October 8 post entitled “Tea Power of Louisiana”. I am told that you are of sufficient integrity and are “fair and balanced” enough that you will print what I write as I have written it. I hope that this is the case and have every reason to believe that it is, but, as Ray Charles told Stevie Wonder, “We’ll see”. I started not to even bother, thinking that you enemies won’t be interested in the truth and your friends don’t need your explanations. That’s probably the case, and this is probably a wasted effort, but, here goes:
To make this simple, I will use numbered bullets to address each of these points.
1) You wrote that “The Tea Party of Louisiana (TPoL) initiated a power grab …. [aimed at] consolidating the entire Louisiana Tea Party organization into the hands of a few…..”
I think you have your facts wrong. The “power grab” is being attempted by the Louisiana Tea Party Federation (the FEDS); TPoL has NEVER attempted to co-opt, subjugate, or “boss” any other Tea Party group. TPoL has NEVER stated that it speaks for ANY group other than itself. The FEDS, on the other hand, has and is attempting to present itself as an umbrella group ruling and controlling all other Tea Parties in Louisiana.
I find it ironic that the FEDS are following the Saul Alinsky tactic of accusing their opponent of doing exactly the despicable thing that they themselves are doing so as to deflect criticism away from them and onto someone/thing that they fear and hate. This makes me ask the question: who’s the REAL enemy of freedom here?
2) You wrote that “This group (TPoL) was formed without the consent of any of the several more local Tea Parties…”
Since when does any group in America need any other similar group’s permission to establish itself? Who died and made you (or the FEDS) boss? This is a really arrogant point of view, don’t you think? Who’s consent do you think we should have obtained? Who’s consent did BRTP obtain before it was formed? Do you think Laura O’Halloran should have obtained BRTP’s consent (or ours) before forming LPTP? Last time I checked, as much as you and the FEDS may not like it, we still had freedom of association in this country
3) Your wrote that “Letters were sent out to the Tea Party organization with demands by TPoL”.
This is false and you know it. If there are letters, then produce them, but make sure they’re the genuine article when you do. Perhaps you’re thinking about the plan (scheme) that the FEDS “cooked up” last year to charge dues to all the Tea Parties they had under their “sway” so that certain people could get paid “staff” positions. Hmmm?
4) Your wrote that “I was there at the beginning of the concept and took great offense that an Obama voter was trying to take over the Tea Party…..” You also wrote that “TPoL was formed with the intentions of forcing all the Tea Parties, across the state, to adhere to this small group.”
This is a blatant misrepresentation. You were absolutely NOT present when TPoL was formed and you know it. The only people present at that meeting were the four original members: Bob Reid, Cecil Cavanaugh, Tom Barnard, and me; you weren’t there and neither was “the Obama voter”, Chris Comeaux.
The “concept beginning” that you were present for was orchestrated by Comeaux and Robin Edwards, when they were President and Vice President of BRTP, that “concept” produced what is now the FEDS. In addition, you have absolutely NO idea what the intentions were when TPoL was formed. I have three degrees (one in Chemical Engineering) and a Phi Beta Kappa key (Chemistry) and I can’t read minds, so I know you can’t either. This is simply another example of “Alinski-like behavior, because, once again, your attributing your own motives to your enemy.
5) Your wrote that “Neither the FEDS nor the Tea Parties around the state actually endorse candidates”.
Did you bother to tell this to Tea Party of Lafayette? They endorse candidates? If the FEDS and their subordinate groups choose not to, that’s their business. Neither TPoL nor TP-Lafayette has attacked them for this position; what fears are the FEDS feeling that causes them to attack TPoL for its position. Could it be out-of-control jealousy over the fact that TPoL is actually effective in helping to elect conservative candidates while groups who choose not to endorse devolve into nothing more than “complainer’s clubs”? Our Lord told us in James 2:17 that “Faith without works is dead”. I would suggest to you that activism without endorsing is a fruitless waste of time.
6) Your wrote that “Many of the Tea Party activists who have chosen to run for office have felt slighted by TPoL…..”, and then you go on to name several people; there’s no point in boring the reader with the list of names that you offer.
Of all the people you listed, NONE of them, except for one has ANY complaint coming, because NONE of them, except for one ever asked TPoL for an endorsement. It would be arrogantly presumptuous for TPoL to endorse someone who has not asked for it. As evidence of this, note that, although TPoL is good friends with him and he has hosted events for TPoL at the governor’s mansion, we have not endorsed Governor Jindal’s re-election effort, because, to-date, he has not asked for it. Should he ask for it, we would be happy to do so, but, just as with all the other Tea Party groups in the state, TPoL isn’t going to force itself on anyone.
The one and ONLY person who has a complaint coming about the TPoL endorsement process is Laura O’Halloran, and I will be big enough to admit that almost everything you wrote in your post about this “debacle” is true. Laura should have gotten TPoL’s endorsement, and it’s a travesty that this didn’t happen. While I have nothing against Gillis Windham, Laura was clearly the candidate whose values most closely align with Tea Party goals, and I am proud to personally endorse Laura, and I hope she wins her race.
With that said, however, all the other “clap-trap” you wrote about TPoL trying to “split the vote so Schexnayder could win” is foolish “conspiracy theory” dribble, although, unfortunately, this may end up being the unintended consequence of a bad endorsement decision.
7) You wrote that “Surely Senator Vitter is being mislead…..”
How incredibly arrogant for a “blog-meister” to pontificate that a sitting US Senator, one of the most powerful men in the world, isn’t TOTALLY cognizant of exactly who TPoL is, how many Tea Parties there are in Louisiana, etc. This statement is an insult to Senator Vitter’s intelligence and you, sir, owe him a public apology.
8. ) Finally, you wrote that about the “cyber bullying” that took place against Robin Edwards on TPoL’s Facebook page this past weekend.
Without out regard to the truthfulness of what was said (campaign finance reports speak for themselves), I want to take this opportunity to condemn these actions and publically apologize to Robin Edwards. She and I disagree about almost everything, but, she’s a human being and she deserves to be treated with respect. She did not deserve to be anonymously attacked by a coward, hiding behind the TPoL name. This attack was perpetrated without TPoL’s knowledge and consent by a former TPoL member whose relationship with TPoL has been now been completely and permanently severed, and he will never embarrass TPoL in this, or any other manner ever again.
Let me close by saying that all of these attacks came about as the result of a personal vendetta between Robin Edwards and Chris Comeaux, that goes back to their days at BRTP and has its origins in the meetings that resulted in the formation of the FEDS. These two people just don’t like each other and are extremely jealous of any successes the other may have. Chris Comeaux is no longer, in any way, a part of TPoL. That being the case, perhaps the unwarranted and specious attacks will cease, although I doubt it, since the FEDS need an enemy to deflect attention on to and away from them and their true motives.
Comeaux is no longer part of TPoL. Perhaps the day will comes that the FEDS can say the same thing about Robin and her little crew. As Mercy Me said in the song, “I can only imagine”…..