Copyright 2011-3011 By Chase Kyla Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
Updated on 1.21.2011
I was right again. But I am NOT happy to be right about this.
It’s horrendous and the implications are horrendous.
Last week I wrote the post below and my intuition was screaming that the death of John P. Wheeler had something to do with the cascade of dead bird reports out of Arkansas. This week it’s confirmed:
“[…] Remember John P. Wheeler III who was Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force in Washington DC from 2005 to 200, whose body was found dumped in a landfill in Wilmington, Delaware end of December 2010. The article below details the reasons for his murder implicating the accidental malfunctioning of an aerosol spraying plane carrying potent phosgene gas (chemical and biological weapon) which was flying over the areas of Arkansas where the dead blackbirds fell from the sky with the gas also poisoning and killing over 100,000 fish in the Arkansas River. Poor Mr. Wheeler had a conscience and for that he paid the ultimate price.”
John P. Wheeler died a great American patriot in my opinion.
May God‘s angels treat him with special grace and care in Heaven. He was a whistle-blower, and he was trying to tell the American people what was taking place regarding secret poison gas tests that killed the birds. See: http://aircrap.org/top-us-official-murdered-after-arkansas-weapons-test-causes-mass-death/33150/
In the past two or three days I have been practically glued to my laptop trying to stay abreast of the number of new accounts of dead birds and fish all over the world.
Add to that, the recent murder of John P. Wheeler lll, his body dumped cruelly in a Delaware landfill, and the odd rumors of HAARP testing and activity in the New Madrid earthquake fault region, and you have the raw elements for a potentially much larger, much uglier story, potentially.
Truth researchers everywhere, including radio celebrity and super right wing patriot Michael Savage, are trying to understand who killed John Wheeler and why. Now we may be on the trail. There may actually be a connection to all these apparently unrelated bizarre events, which all burst forth in the same week his body was found. Other researchers are warning that an electromagnetic anomaly, such as a pre-pole shift rip in the earth’s electronmagnetic fields, may have been responsible for the bird kill in Beebe Arkansas. Speculation flies, videos are everywhere, and here are a few that I thought were especially interesting. I am still trying to connect dots here, but the video below seems to offer a HUGE clue about one popssibility. Have a look:
Others who are following the trail…
- BREAKING: HAARP Testing in New Madrid Fault Zone Could Be Related to Certain Bird Deaths in the South (alligatorfarm.wordpress.com)
- Counting Dead Blackbirds: Conspiracy Theories Abound In Arkansas (politicsdaily.com)
- New Madrid Earthquake Zone – Maybe? (authoron.wordpress.com)
- More Dead Birds in Kentucky, HAARP Project to Blame? (VIDEO) (blippitt.com)
- Kirk Cameron: Dead Bird Expert — Or Not (Video) (thegreengirls.com)
- The Aflockalypse (merovee.wordpress.com)
- Dead Birds and Fish? (lewrockwell.com)
- Mass Animal Deaths Around the World: Dead Birds Fall from Sky, Millions of Fish & Crabs Wash Ashore (treehugger.com)
- Mass animal deaths… what’s going on? (gadling.com)
- Fish and Birds Dying and it is Goodbye Bumblebees: Not Because of Fireworks and Cold Weather (grantlawrence.blogspot.com)
- “Millions of dead fish to go with the dead birds” and related posts (personalmoneystore.com)
- Apocalypse Watch (ultragrrrl.blogspot.com)
- Mass Deaths Expand to Worldwide Animal Apocalypse (therightofthepeople.wordpress.com)
- “Puzzling bird, fish kills drive some humans batty” and related posts (weblogs.baltimoresun.com)
- Dead Fish, Birds Stoke Conspiracy Theories (patspapers.com)
- Millions of Fish, Thousands of Birds Dead, HAARP Projects? Speculation Abounds Online (alligatorfarm.wordpress.com)
- 6 Disaster Movie Explanations For All These Dead Birds (huffingtonpost.com)
- Wildlife experts: No worries on falling birds, floating fish – that’s just nature (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
[ In 2008 I started collecting videos which I thought were indicative of disturbing “trends” in 21st century America. Below are the first few I posted and commented on. – Chase Kyla Hunter ]
Oprah’s religious Agenda, Reptilian Activities, Exposing NWO Truth, Looking at D.U.M.B. Deep Underground Military Bunkers for the Global Elite (hell on earth for the rest of us), RFID Chips, Maitreya, Barack Obama, 2012 Pole Shift Science, 4th Dimensional Explorations, Surfing The Photon Belt, 9-11 False Flag Event Known of By Bush Crime Family, Predictions, Prophecy, Sublime, Sordid & Everything in Between: Alligator Farm’s First Video Collection
Wondering what Oprah has been up to lately? She has founded a church, “The Church of the New Earth” which now boasts more than 5 million members. Just get a load of what they are selling. You just can’t make this stuff up folks. – CKH
This video below came out about a year ago, right around the time that I figured out beyond all shadow of a doubt that Obama had something to do with the rise of the Antichrist. The Holy Spirit was moving then, and it is moving now. I don’t usually like rap, but this is just damn eloquent.
Here is another one similar to it.
Just in case you did not know, CIA and NSA black ops in the US have now siphoned off more than 50 trillion dollars from usa taxpayers and CIA drug cartel operations since 1970 and have used the wicked black cash to build an elaborate underground tunnel and city system for the use of the Washington DC elites and military families when the 2012 pole shift hits the fan. The pentagon knows all about it. Oh by the way Russia is also building entire underground cities for their elites, as is Norway. Norway is also storing seeds. Hmmm. Gosh. Seems like our governments forgot to tell us something. Hmm. Gosh. Wonder why all the major governments of the world now have telescopes pointed at the same spot in space. Wow. Even the Vatican has an observatory with it’s scopes pointed at the same spot. Gee. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you better read this web page and all it’s links from top to bottom. Then start praying like your life depended on it. Cause it does. – CKH
Here’s video footage of Norway’s underground tunnel system, which they are building in secret. A few hardy souls with intestinal fortitude have posted news and videos about this on the web, I laud their courage. Pray for the people of this world.
Here is another real alligator for you to gawk at: Now we all know by now that 9-11 was a false flag event carried out by New World Order operatives with the full knowledge and consent of the Bush crime family. But did you know that George W. Bush was such a loose cannon in front of Tv cameras when he was speaking “unscripted” that he actually mentioned the bombs in the twin towers, where they had been placed, and accidentally admitted the whole thing in front of cameras, then just kept right on talking, too stupid to even realize what he had done? Well see it here first folks in the main pond of my new Alligator Farm. Listen to George speak below, then tell me what you think he just said.
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By Chase K. Hunter
Rage run loose is never a good thing, and right now the Tea Party movement is shooting an enormous hole in it’s own foot by outright bad public behavior. I am keeping a very wide distance between myself, and anything “tea party” since Sunday’s embarrassing shout-outs of “nigger” and “faggot” from people in the D. C. tea party crowds toward the objects of their ire.
I’m beginning to think that maybe I have been wrong all along. Maybe America has become such a routinely “redneck nation” that most people from any political party are now just quite incapable of proper decorum in public, in private, on live video [ “a f—king big deal!”, quote VP Biden to Obama, RE: healthcare passage] or anywhere else.
At any rate, the Tea Party meltdown aka nervous breakdown continues, and here is text and a repost link from a related story about the ongoing public tea party boil over. I do really wonder why I bothered. What good is a gay American, even a brilliant one, in a movement that can so easily deteriorate into sheer stupidity, and a frightening amount of bigotry, under pressure?
What will they do next? Begin dragging the queers, niggers and jews out of their homes to lynch them? How far will right wing madness go?
I’ve been had. All this time I actually thought the Tea Party was a noble spiritual movement of independent free thinking spiritual people from all walks of life. What I have discovered is that the Tea Party could just as well become the neo-nazi party if they don’t calm down, grow up, and collect their scattered marbles, which have been lost in plain view of a watching and very judgmental American nation.
[Oh, by the way: MSM outlets are having a “field day” covering the embarrassing public meltdown of prominent tea party folks. Get a grip people.]
As Joe noted earlier, reports of ugly incidents in the wake of the health-care vote keep trickling in. As the Kansas City Star reports (h/t Ben Smith), Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita were vandalized over the weekend; assailants allegedly hurled a brick inscribed with anti-Obama rhetoric through a plate-glass window. A former militia leader took responsibility for the attack, which mirrored another, on a Democratic committee headquarters in Rochester. Democratic Reps. Louise Slaughter (an obvious target because of the controvery over the so-called Slaughter Solution) and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona also had their offices vandalized.
Yesterday I spoke with Mark Williams, the Sacramento-based chair of the Tea Party Express, and Eric Odom, chairman of Liberty First PAC, a “committee of tea party organizers, activists and liberty minded bloggers.” Unsurprisingly, both told me their peers been galvanized by the health-care vote. Williams’ group is launching another bus tour with a March 27 stop in Searchlight, Nev., home of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, while Odom told me he planned to redirect his focus to “electoral activism” by targeting 45 different House and Senate races.
Williams and Odom both dismissed the argument that incidents of racism, homophobia and vandalism threaten to tarnish the movement. Williams said charges that Tea Party protesters hurled epithets at Democrats like John Lewis and Barney Frank were unproven, then suggested it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility that lefty infiltrator seeking to sully the Tea Partyers had been the real culprit. “There’s a fringe element in every movement and every group in history,” Odom says. This is true, and I agree that it’s unfair to lump in the passionate and civil members of the movement with the increasingly voluble fringe. But as reports of repugnant behavior keep accruing, marginalizing them by attributing them to outliers will become a harder sell. Over the past few days, Bart Stupak has faced death threats, while Tea Partyers in Virginia’s Fifth District – a group I recently wrote about – mistakenly posted the home address of Democrat Tom Perriello’s brother in an attempt to help angry constituents who wished to confront the freshman Congressman. (UPDATE: Politico reports the FBI is investigating a severed gas line at Perriello’s brother’s home. ) It’s hard to imagine independent voters won’t cringe at this sort of intimidation. For a while now, pundits have argued that the Tea Party could emerge as a threat to the GOP if it cannibalizes the conservative vote by backing third-party candidates. But if this sort of behavior continues, it could be that the real threat Republicans face from the Tea Partyers is if voters disgusted with the vitriol begin to conflate the two.
Also: Thanks, Adam, for the generous welcome. I’m looking forward to pitching in around here.
Read more: http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/03/24/more-right-wing-backlash/?xid=rss-topstories#ixzz0jAGpH9nQ
Earlier on 3.22.10 I wrote:
As you now know, Sunday’s vote did not go the way of what 67% majority of Americans had hoped for. Opposition to Obamacare was strident, vocal, very active, but was tragicly also peppered with hard line right wing extremists, who displayed racial slurs and gay hatred in their vocalizations, horrifying other tea party members who do not feel that way at all.
Issues of race and sexual preference HAVE NOTHING TO DO with not wanting socialized medicine in America, and not consenting to eventual uses of RFID technology which violate human rights, human privacy and the sanctity of the human body itself.
I am deeply disgusted with the present state of affairs in my nation, and with certain of my tea party peers who conducted themselves more like animals than civilized human beings during the protests over the weekend. Unfortunately, the instant that some in the tea party movement began using words like “nigger” and “faggot” to aim their ire at lawmakers on the hill, the movement collapsed in my opinion. The disintegration into expressing illogical hatred of minority groups during this weekend’s protests will now only continue, and I will have no part of it. It represents a malignant cancer on the tea party movement, which will result in the death of the movement, if not removed from it.
Because of what was shouted at some lawmakers by tea party protestors this past weekend, I have decided to disengage from reporting on tea party movement activities altogether. As a gay American citizen, I feel it’s the only reasonable thing left to do. I no longer wish to be affiliated with anything that the official tea party movement is doing, planning organizing, and I wont use any more precious space on this high traffic blog in the future to promote their events. I will leave this page up as a record and archive of the last page I posted which helped the tea party to get their message out.
What a sad and tragic ending to a movement that began so nobly. America still has not learned the fundamental grade school lessons about not choosing to hate those who are different. What befalls the Tea Party movement now is in God’s hands, and if any part of that includes a continued slide into real right wing extremism, then the roots of the tea part movement’s self destruction and eventual demise are in that slide.
You can follow the activities of the tea party movement at http://teapartyexpress.org
- Human RFID Chipping Is the Most Evil Technology in the History of the Human Race – Educate Yourself! (2012poleshift.wetpaint.com)
- RFID Human Lab Rats Are Unaware of the Dire Consequences of Being Chipped (2012poleshift.wetpaint.com)
- RFID Microchips Everywhere Could Mean Total Loss of Privacy (alligatorfarm.wordpress.com)
- Social Security to Start Cashing Uncle Sam’s Ious (federaljack.com)
- Social Security needs Uncle Sam’s IOUs (msnbc.msn.com)
- Another No to Yes: Betsy Marky of ColoradoFoxNews Says Count Is 214-217 (minx.cc)
- U.S. Debt and the China Situation (seekingalpha.com)
- Health Care Vote: Latest Developments (cbsnews.com)
- Fox ‘News’ cheerleads for Tea Party protesters. (thinkprogress.org)
- Taxpayer march on Washington: Saturday high noon (michellemalkin.com)
- Show-Me States: Dems Face Time Crunch in Final Health Care Push (blogs.abcnews.com)
- Will Right-Wing Threats Against Dems Hurt the Tea Party — and GOP? (swampland.blogs.time.com)
- Tell the Republican Party to Stop Inciting Tea Party Racism (bravenewfilms.org)
- Kaine: GOP Is ‘Going To Own’ Tea Party’s Rhetoric (huffingtonpost.com)
- Robert Greenwald: The Tea Party Knows It’s Not Over. Do You? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Latino Group Pushes Petition To End Tea Party Hate-Spewing (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Some Republicans dub Nevada Tea Party candidate a fake (cnn.com)
- Q Poll: Tea Party movement leans waaay Republican (timesunion.com)
- Palin Tea Party Convention Speaking Fee Sparks $500,000 Lawsuit Between Wealthy Donor, Organizer (huffingtonpost.com)
3.20. 2010 By Chase Kyla Hunter
I began writing about the emerging tea party national coalition last July 2009. You, know during the “we were all astro-turf” period. I’m glad to see that one year later the rest of the nation’s [ahem, so called] journalists have now awakened from their political Rip Van Winkle nap and many news desks have now begun covering this highly significant American grassroots spiritual and political movement with some modicum of respect and accuracy, instead of just fearfully flinging racist pooh, and name calling the movement from behind their fake news desks.
Isn’t it so true, we fear what we fail to comprehend in America? I think, just a hunch, that mainstream America is beginning to awaken to the dire and urgent spiritual and political imperative for the Tea Party Movement to survive and grow in this country. The stakes could not be higher. [Code phrase: “mandatory RFID chips under Obamacare ]
And I DO hate to always say, “see… I told you so…” but I knew last summer that just as soon as the fledgling American Tea Party movement would find it’s sea legs that the listless and now practically impotent and leaderless GOP would try to “lay claim to it” in a desperate attempt to save itself politically, and that because of such a move by the GOP leaders, that all hell would eventually break loose between the two groups.
We’re not quite yet at the “all hell” moment yet, but it’s coming.
There is deep, abiding and justified resentment of the corrupt and misguided GOP by millions of middle Americans, for a multitude of damn good reasons. George W.‘s so called presidency deteriorated into a veritable “lame duck soup” of corrupt Washington D.C. insider misery during his second term, the war dragged on, we all learned the bitter terrible truth about the “WMD” stories, a high level CIA operative’s career was ruined, and one scandal after the next rocked the Bush White House while he played golf, avoided Cindy Sheehan, chortled and made funny faces at CNN cameras. We grew to hate the man we had stood behind right after 9-11.
As for 9-11, don’t get me started. Something deeply wicked and utterly iniquitous was done to the American people that day, by their own government, we all know it and the evidence continues to pile up against the second Bush administration. The subject has been addressed repeatedly by other prominent researchers, investigators, scientists and I believe the operative smoking gun word of the last decade would be “nano thermite.” Google it.
Now come a courting: the GOP seeking to steal some righteous kundalini flame from the first real and genuine grassroots American uprising since the students died and spilled their blood all over the concrete at Kent State University in the 1960s. I wrote about this last summer in an extended and prophetic piece called:
“Eyes Wide Open Is A State of Mind”
I predicted what would take place as the nascent American Tea party uprising matured, and every single thing I predicted has now come to pass. My message to my Tea Party compatriots is the same one year later as it was last summer 2009: Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, and Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT get in bed with the Republican Party. I cannot say this loud enough. My soul is screaming it. Please hear me.
Can the Tea Party survive on it’s own? Absolutely.
Will the Tea Party movement ultimately prevail in spite of being reviled by the left, wooed and courted for a sleazy “shot gun wedding” by the right, and mocked and ridiculed by everyone else who’s clueless in the middle? Yep. It sure will. We are literally in a Divine intervention scenario here, and the very heart and soul of the country is now at stake. This is no longer about any of the silly “I’m gonna weep over it” antics of TV “clown for hire” Glenn Beck, but now runs more along the lines of the thinking of Michael Savage, Sarah Palin and Andrew Breitbart. Obamacare’s national ID cards will lead us straight into the “stand in line to get your mandatory RFID chip” George Orwell reality, and that reality is NOT God’s Will for this nation. Her citizens know it too.
The Holy Spirit and the worldwide Spirit of Truth are the underlying spiritual currents prodding the American Tea Party movement, and no one, I repeat NO ONE second guesses the hidden hand of God when the soul of a great nation is at stake. This is no more about “organized religion” than a trout represents a stump in the road.
This now goes deeper than religion and higher than any preacher in his pulpit, with all his well intended misunderstandings. This is about what God’s Will Is for America in the next 10 years, and in the next 1,000 years. Let he/she who has eyes, see what I am saying here.
Listen to the deep deep instincts, en masse, that are prompting you to stand aside and turn down the GOP shotgun wedding.
Let God show the Tea Party movement which way the wind needs to blow next. He will show you how to proceed.
Chase Kyla Hunter
Read Related article:
MANISTEE, Mich./WACO, Texas/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some Tea Partiers say they can pinpoint the precise moment when they made it clear to the Republican Party they had no intention of being its lapdog.
On a bright, brisk afternoon in mid-February, with snow still thick on the ground from storms that had battered Washington the week before, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele met with more than 50 members of the Tea Party, the Twitter Age conservative movement that is reshaping the U.S. political landscape.
Steele, RNC chairman since January 2009, had invited them to the plush Capitol Hill Club, built as a clubhouse for the party’s top brass next door to RNC headquarters.
According to several accounts, not long into the meeting JoAnn Abbott, an activist from Virginia who calls herself the ‘Tea Party Grandma,’ raised her hand to ask a question.
She asked about a web page on the RNC site where visitors could send their member of Congress a postcard with a tea bag. On the tag at the end of the string were the letters ‘RNC.’
“Respectfully, sir, while we do not have a trademark on the tea bag, you are well aware that people associate it with the Tea Party movement,” Abbott, 50, recalls saying to Steele. “If you co-opt that image, you damage our brand and weaken our movement.”
Lest there was any confusion, she added: “It does not belong to you, it belongs to us as an independent movement.”
Abbott said within an hour of the end of the meeting the page (www.teaparty.gop.com) was gone — and the Grand Old Party was finally aware of conservative frustrations she and others felt with Republican leadership.
“The GOP now knows we’re not asleep anymore,” Abbott told Reuters. “The giant has been awakened.”
RNC officials said Steele, who according to Abbott and others agreed at the time to hold regional meetings with Tea Party groups around the country, was traveling and unable to comment for this story.
But on Fox News the day after the meeting, Steele described the meeting as part of a “healing process” with people disaffected with Republican leaders. Part of the process includes “acknowledging where we have gone wrong, where we have made the mistakes in spending, in growing the size of government, in stepping away from those very constitutional principles and values that have certainly defined this party,” he said.
Accounts of that February 16 meeting challenge a common perception that the Tea Party movement was founded, funded and dominated by the Republican Party. Most of them are current or former Republicans — up to 80 percent or more, with the rest split between Democrats, independents and Libertarians. And the movement has received help from conservative groups like FreedomWorks, which has provided training and logistical support to Tea Party groups and hopes the movement will boost fiscal conservatives in congressional midterm elections.
But Tea Partiers insist that they are not beholden to the GOP and warn that Republican candidates counting on an endorsement from them in November may well be disappointed.
Interviews with Tea Partiers across the country paint a picture of a genuine, amorphous, conservative grassroots movement united by three core principles: constitutionally limited government, free market ideology and low taxes. The American Constitution is a rallying cry and many now dub themselves “constitutional conservatives.”
They are angry not just at what they describe as the socialist policies of U.S. President Barack Obama. They also feel Republican politicians have betrayed the party’s ideals. For many in the movement, purging the party of moderate Republicans is a major goal.
“I used to be a dyed-in-the-wool Republican. Now if we have a Republican lined up to come to our meetings, I don’t even want to go,” said Nate Friedl, 41, a member of the Rock River Patriots, a Tea Party group in southern Wisconsin.
Following a first year marked by protests, the movement is evolving. The political novices of a year ago are forming coalitions and learning how to change things from the ground up.
After rallying against government bailouts and Obama’s healthcare reforms, as well as mobilizing the vote for key electoral races such as Republican Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts in January, many Tea Partiers feel empowered.
“Tea Party people have realized that you cannot change the system by protesting on the outside,” said Richard Viguerie, author of ‘Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause.’
The movement is also debating whether to remain independent — or stage a conservative takeover of the Republican Party. And some, a tiny minority, favor becoming a third party.
“The two-party system is too ingrained in America,” said Rod Merrill, head of the Ludington Tea Party in western Michigan. “Every time someone has tried to form a third party, it has failed.”
An Ipsos/Reuters poll shows that although a majority of Democrats and a plurality of independents voters would support Tea Party candidates, less than one third of Republicans would support them as a third party.
Regardless of the debate’s outcome, Tea Partiers are targeting not just prominent Democrats in the midterms but also key moderate Republicans like Charlie Crist in Florida and former presidential candidate John McCain in Arizona. United as never before by the internet and weekly conference calls, conservatives are eyeing a few “national” primary races.
“The Tea Party movement needs champions,” said Larry Sabato, a professor of politics at the University of Virginia. “They have to be able to say ‘We’re the reason they got elected.’ Otherwise the movement may dissipate.”
The Tea Party movement has resonated with many Americans, as demonstrated by a March 15 Rasmussen Reports poll putting Tea Party candidates in third place with 21 percent approval among voters behind the Republicans at 27 percent and the Democrats at 34 percent. A December poll had put the movement in second place ahead of the Republicans.
Some Republican politicians have actively courted Tea Partiers, whose fiscal conservative focus is close to the Republicans’ stated principles. Democrat politicians have largely shunned the movement.
“This year the momentum is away from the Democrats as they’re the party in power, so Republican candidates espousing Tea Party views in general have a better chance in the midterms,” Sabato said. “But movements like this have come and gone before, so it’s still too early to say if the movement will survive long term.”
In the near term, the mostly white movement faces a possible showdown with the religious right over divisive social issues. But its biggest challenge lies in tackling its extremist fringe, including those who equate Obama with Hitler and the “birther” movement that doubts Obama’s U.S. citizenship and the legitimacy of his presidency.
“The majority of Americans can agree with the core principles of the Tea Party movement,” said Ned Ryun, president of American Majority, a conservative group that has provided training programs for Tea Party groups. “But if it allows itself to be defined by its extremist fringe, then it’s lost.”
THIS REVOLUTION WILL BE TELEVISED
Around 11pm local time on November 4, 2008, America’s first black president-elect strode out onto a stage in Grant Park in downtown Chicago and told a cheering crowd of about 250,000 that “change has come to America.”
Some 40 miles away in the suburb of Grayslake, local businesswoman Janelle Nagy sat up in bed watching Obama’s victory speech in horror, her bedcovers tucked tightly under her chin.
“I told my husband how afraid I was for America,” she said, her hands held close to her face as if still clutching a blanket like a scared child. “Obama said he wants to fundamentally change America. But I don’t want to fundamentally change this country.”
“I love America the way it is,” added Nagy, now a leader of the Northern Illinois Patriots.
Tea Partiers across the country recall a growing sense of anger well before presidential election night in 2008, as outgoing President George W. Bush helped prop up the teetering U.S. financial sector amid the worst downturn since the 1930s and issued emergency loans to struggling automakers General Motors and Chrysler. Under Obama, the government took stakes in both companies.
“I remember just screaming at the TV,” said Tanya Bachand, 35, a trial lawyer and Connecticut state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots. “I was frustrated long before Obama came along because of how much the government grew under Bush. To me Obama was like Bush, only much worse.”
The moment that launched the Tea Party came a shortly after Obama took office. On cable business channel CNBC, on February 19, host Rick Santelli launched into an impromptu tirade from his regular slot at the Chicago Board of Trade against plans to help struggling homeowners. Santelli proposed a tea party in Chicago in July to protest government bailouts.
This was a reference to the Boston Tea Party, an act of protest against the British government over taxation in 1773, a moment that has resonated throughout American history.
“The Rant,” as Santelli’s monologue has become known, struck a chord with conservatives.
“If we hadn’t had all of those bailouts the economy would be back on track by now,” said Tina Dupont, a founding member of the Tea Party of West Michigan. “The jobs would be back, companies would be coming back. If they’d let the banks and others collapse, we would have had a short, sharp downturn.”
The consensus among economists is that had the U.S. government and Federal Reserve not propped up the markets, a global depression would likely have ensued. Yet Dupont and others profess an unshakable belief in the power of the free market. To them, government intervention makes crises only worse. They argue runaway government spending threatens America’s future.
Tea Partiers say Santelli spoke to a deep-seated anger among conservatives who felt betrayed by the Republican politicians they had believed in. Many want big government spending programs like social security scrapped.
“Social security is socialism,” said Jim Chase, 80, a retiree on social security, who is a member of the Ludington Tea Party. “If we don’t stop all this spending, we won’t have anything left for our grandchildren.”
Chase said he would rather have a system where Americans were able to invest their social security payments themselves, an idea not unlike President Bush’s proposal to privatize social security. So when Santelli let rip, fiscal conservatives were eager to answer the call.
“It wasn’t like all of a sudden we woke up and said we need a Tea Party,” said Amy Kremer, 49, one of the founders of the Atlanta Tea Party. “This came after years of rumblings through the conservative world. The fuel was already there and he (Santelli) just lit the fuse.”
A small group of conservatives on Twitter instantly took up the Tea Party theme and in a conference call on February 20 they planned tea parties for the following week. On Friday February 27, 2009, a total of 48 tea parties were held around the country and coordinators estimated turnout at 35,000 people.
Mark Meckler, 48, a lawyer in Sacramento and independent who was a Republican until eight years ago, threw a party on February 27 thinking he would have six attendees. Instead, 150 people showed up.
“That inspired me to keep going,” he said.
Jenny Beth Martin, a former Republican activist in Atlanta, was on the original conference call and said after the surprising success of February 27, a second round was planned for April 15, the day American’s taxes are due. Activists used Facebook to spread the word.
“It went viral,” said Brendan Steinhauser, director of federal and state campaigns at FreedomWorks. “It was a beautiful moment for us because it’s not like you could create that if you wanted to.”
FreedomWorks, which is in frequent contact with up to 2,000 local leaders, estimates 3 million to 5 million people have participated in Tea Party meetings or donated money.
Martin said according to local organizers, on April 15 some 1.2 million people attended 850 tea parties. Martin and Meckler are now national coordinators of the Tea Party Patriots, a grouping of more than 1,200 local Tea Party groups.
Following the early rallies, the Tea Party movement evolved quickly, cheered on avidly by right wing commentators, above all Glenn Beck on cable channel Fox News.
“The past year has been like drinking out of a fire hydrant,” Martin said. “Everything has moved so fast.”
Early on Tea Partiers found an enduring target in the Obama administration’s attempts to reform the healthcare system.
Highly publicized and frequently angry confrontations with members of Congress at “town hall” meetings in the summer became a hallmark of the Tea Party’s first year.
“I WAS NOT ALONE”
A common thread to tales of Tea Partiers is that in the early months they discovered others felt the same and, all of a sudden, they felt empowered.
Tanya Bachand traveled to New York for the February 27 Tea Party event in New York and was surprised at how many conservatives there were in a liberal city. “I didn’t even vote in the last midterm elections because I felt so disillusioned,” she said. “But all of a sudden I felt I was not alone.”
Bachand returned to Connecticut and started her own Tea Party group. She recalls an early meeting where a biker, a preacher and a businessman in a suit sat together on her living room couch.
“They had absolutely nothing in common, except they wanted to do what’s right for this country,” she said.
Bachand’s group teamed up with others in the state — from gun rights to anti-abortion groups — to form the Connecticut Patriot Alliance. “Everybody in the alliance has their own particular bugaboo,” she said. “But we all agree on the Constitution, so we work together on the big issues.”
They focused on local Senator Chris Dodd, the Democrat chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. “Every time Chris Dodd set foot in the state, between us we had 50 to 100 people waiting to protest,” Bachand said. “We made a real statement.”
In Waco, Texas, the town’s Tea Party group blocked a local bailout. According to local media reports, in October the Waco City council approved a $700,000 loan to keep a local high-tech firm afloat under new ownership. But when the Waco Tea Party got wind of the decision, they mobilized to prevent it.
“It made me mad,” recalled leadership council member Lisa Dickison, a mild-mannered woman who looks incapable of anger.
Waco Tea Party head Toby Marie Walker said five or six members went to a county commissioner meeting, where the bailout was due to be approved. Walker said their presence alone led the commissioners to stop the bail out.
“We just had to show up and they knew why we were there,” she said.
The healthcare debate is where conservative Tea Partiers feel they have had most impact. They are convinced they forced Republicans into opposing the reform and felt they were a crucial factor in getting Scott Brown elected to the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Ted Kennedy.
“On a conference call in December someone said maybe Brown could win and that we should get behind him,” Meckler of the Tea Party Patriots said. “The idea gained momentum from there.”
People like retirees Calvin and Linda Dykstra wanted to eliminate the Democrats’ 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority that helped healthcare reform pass a vote in late December. They drove from western Michigan to Massachusetts in January and spent a week campaigning for Brown.
Speaking at a Tea Party meeting in Manistee, Michigan, the two beamed and blushed like newlyweds, despite being in their mid-60s. “Not everyone had the time or the money to do what we did, but we felt we had to stop the socialist government takeover of healthcare,” said Calvin, a former physician.
As the movement has grown, coalitions have formed. In Michigan, Tea Party groups have formed the Michigan Tea Party Alliance with supporters of Glenn Beck’s 9.12 Project — a conservative group that wants America to resume the spirit of unity of September 12, 2001, the day after the September 11 attacks.
“The movement is beginning to coalesce around a core set of principles — constitutionally limited government, free market ideology and low taxes,” said Tony Raymond, who was laid off at consulting company Accenture in March 2009 and is now a leader of the Northern Illinois Patriots.
The Tea Party Patriots now have two paid national coordinators — Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler — whose salaries come from member contributions. “I only started getting paid last month,” Meckler said. “I went through my life savings to get to this point and my family has really suffered.”
“I was working for the movement 100 hours a week and they either had to start paying me or I’d have to go back to work.”
There is a mentoring program to teach novice local leaders how to organize, as more than 200 new groups have joined them since the beginning of 2010.
Staff at FreedomWorks believe the movement’s expansion is largely behind it, but American Majority’s Ryun said “the Tea Party is going to continue to grow until the country gets back on the right track.”
Other volunteer groups have stepped in to aid conservatives in their quest for ideological purity. Utah-based Independence Caucus, for instance, vets conservative candidates using a questionnaire containing 80 questions based on the U.S. Constitution. Candidates who answer yes to at least 70 percent of those questions are interviewed by local conservatives.
If they pass muster, Independence Caucus backs their candidacy. “But if we find someone is a chameleon and was lying, our policy is we’ll work twice as hard to remove them from office as we did to get them elected,” said Donald Jakel, the group’s coordinator for Ohio and Michigan.
Independence Caucus has vetted at least one candidate in half the state and national seats up for grabs in Michigan.
The efforts of Tea Party movement have also been backed by some well-funded conservative groups.
FreedomWorks, headed by former Republican House Majority leader Dick Armey, says it was involved from the outset. It helped political novices navigate the bureaucratic requirements of holding a protest, including insurance issues and permits.
The group has provided training for television interview, on meeting congressmen and public relations.
Spokesman Adam Brandon said FreedomWorks’ budget in 2009 was $7 million, up to 70 percent from individual donations, up to 25 percent from foundations and the rest from corporations. The group does not name donors but said the foundations were those that typically give to conservative libertarian causes.
In 2006 to 2007 FreedomWorks had zero online donations; in 2009 they had 19,000 individual online donors who contributed more than $500,000 in total.
The group hopes to add up to 15 fiscal conservatives in the House of Representatives this year, plus four in the Senate.
Purcellville, Virginia-based group American Majority has also provided training. It was founded in 2008 with financial backing from the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance, which promotes free market principles. Individual conservatives have given as much as $25,000 or as little as $100 each.
The group’s president Ryun said conservative donors are taking a fresh look at the RNC and wondering if their money would be better spent on grassroots conservative groups.
“The Republican grassroots operation is pretty much defunct,” he said. “Conservatives are looking for a better bang for their buck. There is going to be more competition for money that has traditionally gone to the RNC and I for one am going to go after that money, hard.”
FreedomWorks and Our Country Deserves Better, a political action committee that has formed Tea Party Express, have been accused of being GOP operatives, including by other Tea Party groups. But both groups say their money comes from conservatives. Tea Party Express is staffed by people from Russo, Marsh & Associates, founded by Sal Russo, who began his political career as an assistant to Ronald Reagan when he was governor of California. A review of the Federal Election Commission filings from Our Country Deserves Better shows mostly small donations of a few hundred dollars, many of them from retirees.
Joe Wierzbicki of Russo, Marsh & Associates said the GOP was hostile to the Tea Party movement at first. “The response from the party establishment was that this was bad, that this would look like sour grapes and paint conservatives in a poor light,” he said.
More recently, Wierzbicki said the Republican Party has belatedly tried to woo Tea Partiers.
Some Republicans have openly courted the movement, especially Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate in 2008. She gave the keynote speech at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville in early February. Organized by Tea Party Nation, the event was derided by some other Tea Party groups as being a GOP front.
“We like Sarah Palin, she’s one of us and she speaks to us,” said Tina Dupont of the Tea Party of West Michigan. “But she does not speak for us.” Her views were echoed by many.
Most Republicans are not so popular. “The Republican Party would like to take over the Tea Party and use it to gain power,” Tanya Bachand said. “It’s the other way around and they don’t know what’s coming.”
“Their reckoning is coming.”
The GOP and individual Republican candidates are actively seeking Tea Party endorsements and votes. “At every meeting we have, we see local and state representatives of the Republican Party counting heads and trying to drum up support from our members,” said Nighta Davis, organizer of the North Georgia Patriots. “For six years the Republicans controlled Congress and the White House under Bush and they could have solved this country’s problems. But they did nothing of the kind.”
“Now they want to co-opt us,” she added. “But they just don’t get it.”
Ray Franz, a local Republican politician in western Michigan for three decades, is running for state representative for the 101st district, which includes Manistee.
“The Republicans and the Tea Party movement are on the same page on most issues,” he said at a local Tea Party meeting. “The party has lost its brand and these conservatives are right to want to hold our feet to the fire and make sure we represent them properly.”
Adam Kinzinger won the Republican primary to run for Illinois’ 11th district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a blog in early January Eric Odom, executive director of the American Liberty Alliance, described Kinzinger as a “strong” Tea Party candidate and recommended readers consider donating to his campaign.
Kinzinger said his campaign saw a major spike in small donations between $10 and $20 following that blog. “I’m a conservative Republican, and Tea Party people believe in the same things that we do,” he said. “The movement has helped remind the party that it lost track of the Republican principles that I believe in.”
The polarization of U.S. politics may explain why moderate Republicans are in trouble. According to the Pew Research Center, as recently as 2004, 30 percent of Americans were Republicans, but that fell to 23 percent in 2009. Conservatives made up 37 percent in 2004 and ended 2009 at the same level.
According to Gallup, conservatives went from 36 percent of the population in 1992 to 40 percent in 2009, while moderates slid from 43 percent to 36 percent.
Conservatives derisively call moderate Republicans RINOs — Republican In Name Only. They are angry at moderates over issues like immigration and the cap and trade climate bill.
Joe Walsh, a Tea Party Republican who won the Republican primary for 8th U.S. congressional district in Illinois, said conservatives in his district are furious. “The biggest applause I get from audiences comes when I whack the Republicans over the head for doing the same thing as the Democrats,” he said. “This year, party establishment support could be the kiss of death. What will matter this year is the support of the rank and file.”
Ted Schendel, 53, a semi-retired police officer and a Tea Party Republican, is running against “four millionaires” to be the Republican candidate for the 2nd district of Michigan.
“Just before Christmas I was watching Glenn Beck when I realized that Glenn alone cannot take our country back,” he said, speaking at the Manistee Tea party meeting. “So instead of just shouting at the TV, I decided to run for office.”
“I’m not stupid, I know I’ve got one almighty mountain to climb,” he said. “The only way I can do it is if I can get the common man behind me.”
Tea Party Democrats are a rarer breed. Tim Curtis, 53, is a former U.S. Marine who owns a UPS Store franchise and is a member of the Tampa 9.12 Project. He is running as a Democrat for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 11th district.
“There are those who believe in bigger, more costly and more intrusive government,” he said. “That’s not what this country was intended to be. The Tea Party movement cuts across party lines, as there’s more uniting us than separating us.”
According to the Ipsos/Reuters poll, while 49 percent of Republicans said they identify with the Tea Party movement only 11 percent of Democrats said the same.
While there appear to be Tea Party-inspired candidates running as Republicans across the country, there is not yet a clear picture of just how many are out there.
“We’ve heard from a lot of them from around the country, but I don’t think anyone has counted them yet,” said JB Williams, who runs conservative web site www.freedomforce.us. “But we’ll see more of them as the year goes on.”
“This is a movement that is determined to enact change peacefully,” he added. “But if someone tries to stop them, don’t be surprised if they resort to other means.”
Many others are getting involved in local politics to push fiscal conservatism, including at the precinct delegate level. Called a number of different things in different states, this is the lowest elected unit in both political parties. The average precinct represents 1,100 voters. They get out the vote and can influence candidate selection.
Selected in primaries, few people vote in these races.
“In some counties up to 60 percent of these slots are vacant,” said Philip Glass, a commercial mortgage banker and national director of the National Precinct Alliance. This volunteer group is mapping the rules nationwide for becoming a precinct delegate to aid conservatives take these seats. “The tools for taking over both parties are just lying there waiting to be picked up,” he said.
In Connecticut both parties use a town committee system. As a registered Republican, Tanya Bachand went to her Republican town committee and asked how to run. She was told three of the committee’s 12 spots were vacant and was asked to take a seat.
“We have heard the same story many times from across the state,” she said. “This is the way to take over the Republican party from the ground up.”
Tea party conservatives are also paying attention to key races in other states. “Any race in the country can become a national race,” said Tea Party Patriots’ Meckler.
The movement has its sights set on a number of RINOs in this year’s Senate races. They are backing Marco Rubio against Charlie Crist in Florida, Rand Paul (the son of Republican Congressman Ron Paul) against Trey Grayson in Kentucky, Mike Lee in Utah against incumbent Robert Bennett, Chuck DeVore against former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in California and, last but not least, J.D. Hayworth against McCain.
“Many people in Arizona feel that John McCain has leaned across the aisle,” said Kathy Boatman, a member of the East Valley Tea Party in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert. “But the only problem is that when he leans across the aisle … they pull him down, and sometimes flat on his face.”
At a Tea Party event in south Miami, everyone favored Rubio, who has a substantial lead over Crist in the polls.
“Charlie Crist is exactly what we don’t want,” said Nancy Meinhardt, a paralegal and a leading light in the Florida Tea Party movement. “He’s a Republican in name only, he’s not a conservative. It’s all a facade.”
While some Tea Party groups endorse candidates, others steadfastly do not. “We leave that to individual groups to decide on a local level whether to endorse someone,” Tea Party Patriots’ Meckler said.
Tea Party candidates did not fare well in the Texas primaries in early March, though James Henson, a politics professor at the University of Texas, said the state is a “low tax, low service, small government environment.”
“Texas is already Tea Party country,” he said. “You’d have to represent some fairly extreme views to push Republicans here further to the right.”
“In the midterms I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tea Party voters hold their noses and vote for the Republican candidates who won the primaries.”
In the primaries in Illinois in early February, with the exception of Joe Walsh, Tea Party candidates fared badly. Tony Raymond of the Northern Illinois Patriots said Tea Partiers were kicking themselves for not getting involved sooner.
“We missed the boat and are now stuck with some candidates we’d rather not vote for,” he said.
Chris Merrill, a conservative radio host in Kansas City, said even if candidates are not running specifically as Tea Party candidates many are running on fiscal conservative platforms. “In some years the Tea Party message would not have resonated like it does this year,” he said. “It’s hard to say how many Tea Party candidates will get elected, but we will see more fiscal conservatives.”
“We’ll have to wait and see whether that will still be the case in 2012.”
Of the possible challenges ahead for the Tea Party movement the two main ones are not from the left, but from the right.
The first comes from social conservatives, or the religious right. The Tea Party movement is dominated by fiscal conservatives and leaders like Eric Odom of the American Liberty Alliance say social issues like abortion and gay marriage should be avoided.
When asked about abortion, for instance, Tina Dupont of the Tea Party of West Michigan says the group does not discuss it. “Most of us are probably pro-lifers,” she said. “But we avoid the topic because it is so divisive.”
This has been noted by some on the religious right. “At the national level you have people saying it is all about fiscal issues and not about social issues because they say they are divisive,” said Tony Perkins, president of Christian lobby group the Family Research Council.
Chris Merrill said while Tea Partiers can avoid divisive issues at meetings, they cannot if they run for office. “Running a campaign is different,” he said. “At some point they have to take a stand on social issues.”
Some say a showdown between social and fiscal conservative groups may be inevitable. “Fiscal conservatives want to limit the size of government, social conservatives want to use government to further their agenda,” Henson said. “That will likely cause problems.”
The other problem is the extreme fringe of the Tea Party movement, which was evident at a demonstration outside the Detroit auto show on a snowy day in January. More than half of the 20 or so protesters held signs protesting government bailouts. The rest held placards with black and white pictures of President Obama’s face, with a Hitler mustache added.
Within minutes, both groups had moved to opposite corners of their allotted patch of concrete. Andrew Moylan of the National Taxpayers Union said with evident discomfort he had tried unsuccessfully to get rid of the Obama-as-Hitler posters. “I oppose Obama’s policies vehemently, I don’t agree with what he is trying to do,” he said. “But I believe that he is well-intentioned, even if he is dead wrong.”
“Comparing him to Hitler is not only wrong on so many levels, it also reflects badly on us because all the pictures in the papers and on TV will be of them,” he added. “Our message will get lost in that.”
Those who argued here that Obama is like Hitler say that healthcare reform would grant doctors the power of life and death over patients, as under the Nazi regime.
The movement has also attracted members of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which supports some white supremacist causes, and from the John Birch Society and the LaRouchies. In a February 19 column in the Wall Street Journal, former Bush adviser Karl Rove described both as “fringe groups.”
“If tea party groups are to maximize their influence on policy, they must now begin the difficult task of disassociating themselves from cranks and conspiracy nuts,” Rove wrote. “This includes 9/11 deniers, ‘birthers’ who insist Barack Obama was not born in the United States, and militia supporters espousing something vaguely close to armed rebellion.”
(Additional Reporting by Tim Gaynor, editing by Jim Impoco and Claudia Parsons)
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3.11.2010 By Chase K. Hunter
CODE RED ALERT:
Are you a TEA PARTY Patriot? Heads up!
The national Tea Party Movement is having a march on Washington DC 3.16.10 to protest the FEDERAL Obama takeover of healthcare. Even if you can’t attend, you can help! Just re-send, share, or re-tweet this msg with the link below – everything is on the blog front page pertaininig to the protest. Help me get the word out! Thanks – here it is: Please re-tweeet:
CODE RED 3.16.10 TEA PARTY MARCH on DC protest FED healthcare takeover,
Retweet for me? http://americanpatriotdaily.wordpress.com
Code Red, Red Alert, OPERATION URGENT CARE:
Takeover of Healthcare
Code Red, Red Alert,
March 16th March on Washington to Oppose FED
Government Takeover of Healthcare
Tea Party by robertkgaudet
Thanks so much and God bless you for taking 30 seconds
to email your lists, re-post, and re-tweet this msg. – Chase
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