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Tea Party America Refounding Principles

  By George Edwards, GIAC2002.org

Goal: Elect U.S. Congress Members who support Tea Party America Refounding objectives and stands:

Tea Party America Refounding Objectives: Return American government to core principles including:

The U.S. Government –

  1. will be governed by its existing constitution and amendments as reasonably interpreted from their words including the following explicit interpretations and emphases:

  2. will have no power except those enumerated. The remainder are reserved for the people and their elected state and local representatives,
  3. will make no law restricting freedom of speech, press, radio, television or communication in any form,
  4. will not establish a state religion nor will it interfere with religious expression involving any established religion that does not advocate the taking of life, liberty or the forcible taking of property,
  5. will not bar any mentally competent adult citizen not convicted of a felony from bearing arms,
  6. will not tax nor otherwise raise money beyond that necessary to perform its duties – protect its citizens from any foreign enemy, ensure the validity of national elections and enforce its laws,
  7. will ensure that all votes except those of governing bodies will be cast by secret ballot and that no coercion nor payments are made for any votes,
  8. will ensure that all votes in national elections are valid and made by the living person registered in the precinct registered,
  9. will ensure peaceable public assembly is allowed--except on private property--without public or private intimidation or where traffic would be substantially blocked,
  10. will not allow the taking of property by eminent domain for use by private interests regardless of the compensation and
  11. will require all people to prove their U.S. citizenship before taking elected public office.

Tea Party America Refounding Stands:

  1. Oppose final passage of any healthcare or other special bill, such as cap and trade, by the irredeemably proven irresponsible 2009/2010 U.S. Congress
  2. Support repeal of any healthcare or other special bill, such as cap and trade, passed by the irredeemably proven irresponsible. 2009/2010 U.S. Congress
  3. Support any law passed by congress to be equally applicable to members of congress, states and organizations.
  4. Support twelve year limits on every person’s total allowed time in national elected public office.
  5. Support the right of citizens to recall any national elected official from public office by special election.
  6. Support an effort to require congress to not specify states, groups of states, regions, organizations or individuals for taxation or disbursement of federal funds (taxes).
  7. Support restraining the power of  “czars” generally and the EPA as to rules affecting alleged pollutants.
  8. Oppose restrictions on development of cheaper energy or increased taxes on energy consumers.
  9. Support tapping and using resources that can immediately increase energy supply such as natural gas and coal.
  10. Support drilling in ANWR and the outer-continental shelf, extracting oil from shale including that on federal lands, streamlining the refinery process, use of atomic energy and accelerating tax depreciation for investments in technologies like solar, wind and geothermal.

Overall Tea Party America Refounding Plan

  1. Not start a third political party nor support third party candidates
  2. Have membership select its favored national primary candidates for the Democrat and Republican party
  3. Strive to peacefully persuade Republican and Democrat leaders to support tea party favored candidates for national election
  4. Support tea party memberships’ selected candidates in the primaries
  5. In a national election, support the candidate that the membership selects from the Republican or Democrat party that it feels is the more likely of the two to vote in accordance with Tea Party America Refounding objectives.

 ­­­­­­­­­­­-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tea Party America Refounding Organization Guidelines

  1. Set up as a 501(c)(4)* organization and incorporate or become a LLC as legally required or as otherwise adequate so as to limit the organization and its officers' liability.
  2. Seek a knowledgeable professional for its treasurer who is aware or becomes aware of the requirements for and how to properly implement and administer the above.
  3. Restrict officers and board members from speaking in the name of the organization without explicit membership votes in favor of such positions.
  4. Require its secretary to record the agreed-to text of all motions passed by the TPAR membership and the votes for and against unless there is a voice vote majority agreed to by the membership.
  5. Conform with Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised or other parliamentary rules selected by the membership except for explicitly listed special rules its membership chooses and have a manual of the selected rules available at all meetings for consultation in the event of a dispute

Suggestions:

  1. Major elective officers named chairman and vice-chairman as opposed to president and vice-president to emphasize their functions as leaders of meetings rather than having any independent authority other than that the membership explicitly authorizes.
  2. The presiding officer of any meeting may freely express his or her opinion on an issue before the body but will have no vote except in case of a tie.
  3. Whenever a membership vote is not a clear majority, the number of votes on each side shall be made public.
  4. Secretary might be assigned to prepare and submit press releases approved by the chairman or board.
  5. A parliamentarian could be desirable to aid in establishing a parliamentary point of order as the chairman may request

*Very briefly, a 501(c)(4) is a voluntary organization that can involve itself in politics. It has an unlimited ability to lobby for legislation and the ability to participate in political campaigns and elections. The major trade-off being that contributions to it are not tax deductible to donors as they are in a 501(c)(3).

 "Congressional Election Committee" Roadmap Discussion Items

(e-mail, telephone, meeting)

Discuss Roadmap

Get agreement within group

 

Discuss TPAR or other principles

Get agreement(s)

Publicize principles and organizations agreeing:

Web, Town hall, e-mail, phone, media

Investigate if teaming up with other groups: local, state, national is useful

Google, word of mouth

If useful, contact, see how we could work together and perhaps mutually publicize association

Winnow out people willing to run for U.S. congress and who will vote in accordance with tea party principles – through personal contacts, contacts/information with/from other groups or voter registration*

  • Present information to tea party membership(s), perhaps including potential candidates’ speaking at town hall meetings
  • Select candidates to promote by tea party membership(s) votes

Publicize choices:

Web, Town hall, e-mail, phone, media

Promote selected candidates for each the Republican and Democrat party

Perhaps meet with party leaders or party activists

Publicize promotion:

Web, Town hall, e-mail, phone, media

Keep pot boiling

 

Provide updated information:

Web, Town hall, e-mail, phone, media

Investigate if teaming up with other groups: local, state, national is useful

Google, word of mouth

If useful, contact, see how we could work together and perhaps mutually publicize association

After primaries, get further information if and as required on the two winning major party candidates

  • Present information to tea party membership(s), perhaps including potential candidates’ speaking at town hall meetings
  • Select candidates to promote by tea party membership(s) votes

 

Keep pot boiling

 

If useful, coordinate with other local, state or national groups.

Provide updated information:

Web, Town hall, e-mail, phone, media

*This is the trickiest line item in which a separate group (or a committee within a group, such as a "congressional election committee.") or groups of people would put their heads together to somehow assemble reliable information on people who have filed or would consider running for all congressional offices, perhaps except incumbents who did not vote for the health care bills, and figure out how to get that information to those voting for those offices in a way that would persuade those voters to accept as valid.

_______________________________________

 

Rationale for Tea Party America Refounding Documents

 

General

It is desirable to articulate and document Tea Party America Refounding (TPAR) principles. Hopefully, the Tea Party America Refounding principles here document the objectives that all Tea Partiers share and include stands that articulate those shared by them. Any tea party or similar organization in formally adopting a set of Tea Party America Refounding principles sets forth its views for others to judge and to use as a "score card" for congressional candidates.

The Tea Party America Refounding Organization Guidelines are recommendations from experience gained within volunteer organizations. They could be applicable to brand new organizations espousing TPAR principles or for organizational modification to groups who have already been outstandingly successful in the difficult tasks, remarkable achievements and results of getting sizable groups together many times and in many places for mass  meetings and demonstrations, but now want to organize more specifically to also put into elected office congressional candidates whose votes will best reflect tea party principles.

 

Town halls are very important to disseminate information effectively and crowds to get politicians' attention. If it were not for Tea Parties, we would have had even worse health care bills last August. The effectiveness of crowd protests is to get politicians' attention with concern that they may not be re-elected if they defy the people’s wishes. To be ultimately effective though the people's votes are what counts. I would say that this year is so important that the impact of supporting a few candidates without success and so losing some credibility as a political force is secondary to getting the current congress reconstituted in accordance with tea party principles.

NOW it is time to urgently move into another phase—somehow determine what potential candidates can most likely be counted on to vote in congress in accordance with tea party principles. Then to coalesce around a particular candidate to promote within each of the two major party organizations

Not Start a third party nor support a third party candidate

Some might argue that a third party is a good idea. But a Rasmussen poll indicates that it would put the Democrat party candidate in office. Click Tea Party Movement Evolves Into Political Force With Eye Toward 2010 : “The Rasmussen poll spelled out the kind of vote-splitting trouble the tea party movement could stir if it forms a third party. It showed that 23 percent of people would pick a ‘Tea Party’ candidate on a congressional ballot without knowing who that candidate is, while just 18 percent would pick the Republican. Thirty-six percent would pick a Democrat.” 

In the words of Rush Limbaugh: this “means that the Democrats win.” This also supports the idea that either party would be well advised to nominate a tea party supported candidate.*

Republican principles favor the same objective as those of the tea parties. Read the Republican Creed. In googling I could not find a Democrat creed.

Not a single Republican Senator supported its socialistic health care bill. Every single Democrat Senator did. Most Republican House Members did not support its socialist bill. Given that incumbents generally win, it could be reasonably argued that tea parties should support the Republican incumbent when there is one who did not vote for the "health care" bills.

*The poll indicates--Democrats 36%, Tea Parry 23%, Republicans 18% -- Democrats unquestionably win!

What happens if we consider that the undecided are split between the Democrats and the GOP in the same proportion as the split among the non-affiliated? The easiest but rational way to look at this is just to think of the percentages as the votes among 100 delegates. Then the generic vote 36+23+18+22 = 99 is a close enough approximation to 100 for our discussion. Now assume that the democrat/republican split among the undecided is the same as that split among the unaffiliated--that is, 25/37 (democrats divided by the total of the unaffiliated democrat plus republican votes) times the 22 undecided = 14.86 of the 22 undecided votes would be for Democrats, 12/37 times the 22 undecided votes = 7.135 would be for Republicans (the sum equal 22 total votes as a cross-check.

Now the total Democrat votes including the hypothetical undecided would be 50.86 while the total Republican plus Tea Party votes would be 48.15. The Democrats still win given the postulated split among undecided. But the vote is close enough if Tea Party and Republicans unite that the
tea party/ Republicans might win!

Moral: Decide on the favored tea party candidate for each party--especially the Republican, as ideologically the Tea Party and the Republicans are closest, convince the party leaders that they would be best served to go with the tea party preferred candidate. Then, regardless of who wins the primaries, vote for the candidate who can be reasonably expected to best support tea party principles.

It has been said that Republicans will win in 2010 if there is simply no tea party third party candidate. That’s now before ACORN, the Democrat’s taxpayer supported slush funds, George Soros, other moneys and time get in the act. Innumerable ad campaigns are foreseeable that will extol virtues of the nationally elected Democrat’s passed Health Care Plan and gloss over the overall disaster that any likely passed socialistic Democrat plan will be. Why should the Republicans take a chance other than go along with tea party supported candidates and win as many races as they possibly can? And why should the tea parties not do their best to assure that Republican and Democrat candidates are ones that support TPAR principles?

Form organizations or re-form tea party organizations focused on national politics

--To get those elected to congress who are most aligned with tea party principles.

I recommend that tea party organizations’ very next step be to approve a motion to limit its political activity to national politics or set up a specific committee to focus on this--to get those elected who are most aligned with tea party principles. This is what the tea party movement is all about--stopping the national government's movement towards socialism. We will have our hands full with this and should focus on it--in my mind, exclusively. I believe that tea parties and similar organizations should support, not necessarily endorse particular candidates.

My dream would be to see these organizations get behind candidates who support tea party principles in the primaries, but stay positive beyond informing everyone of a candidate's voting record when applicable, special interest associations, financial contributors and background that could reasonably influence his or her actual performance in office. In the event, one of the two major parties does not select their preferred candidate, tea parties would not want to destroy his or her chances if it should believe the candidate selected is more likely to pursue tea party objectives than the chosen opposing candidate. 

Organizations conform with Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised or other parliamentary rules they select except for explicitly listed special rules its membership chooses

Some may feel that common sense ad hoc rulings are adequate when voting on organizational motions. Such may work well in making decisions in situations involving congenial groups in discussions such as those setting up public meetings. Some may be surprised to learn that parliamentary rules include relaxed procedures to “consider informally,” committee meetings  or “committees of the whole.”

Mine and general experience support the belief that making ad hoc rulings is really the hard approach as opposed to conforming to established parliamentary rules that have been honed over the centuries.

Some may feel that pleading ignorance of parliamentary rules is appealing to members. A more conservatively oriented approach is to yield to the experience of centuries of experience rather than the individual, even though highly intelligent, on-the-spot judgments. Knowledgeable people respect leadership that adheres to established parliamentary procedures where at all appropriate.

Legitimate differences of opinion exist and parliamentary rules allow their orderly expression by both those with opinions which may end up being supported by a majority or only a minority of a body.

Some may be concerned that those who are parliamentarily knowledgeable may take advantage of their superior knowledge to thwart the wishes of the majority. However, the basics of parliamentary procedure are easy to understand and their knowledge by a chairman and, if chosen, assisting parliamentarian, deserves the respect of the membership--especially with the assistance of a parliamentary authority manual--and can minimize the likelihood of procedural rules thwarting the wishes of the majority. For instance, anyone can “appeal the ruling of the chair” and if the motion is seconded, overturn a chairman’s ruling with a simple majority vote.

Parliamentary Rule Basics*

1.      One person at a time

2.      One subject at a time [if a motion can be reasonably divided, for separate votes on divided portions, the formal motion is for “division of the question” or to “divide the question.” As in all cases the intent not the exact wording of a motion is what counts. A majority vote is all that is required.]

3.      As a general rule a majority vote decides a “question” = a motion moved and seconded by two members after debate by the assembly..

4.      A salient exception to a majority vote is a move to stop debate on a primary motion or amendment = “call the question” or “call for the previous question.” This requires a two-thirds vote.

5.       The basic procedure is for a member to make a motion, another member to second it (otherwise the chair’s standard ruling is  “the motion fails for lack of a second”), the chair to state the motion and open it for discussion, after a reasonable amount of discussion (or a two-thirds majority vote to “call the question”), the chair to call for the votes for the motion moved and, without objection, the votes are taken and counted first for those in agreement with the motion and then the votes opposed.

6.      In what seems, at first blush, to defy common sense, any other motion (such as motions to amend the original motion) takes precedence of over the initial (“main”) motion. The precedence of subsidiary motions (which ones are debated and voted on before others) are matters that the chair may rule upon (at its discretion asking help from a parliamentarian) barring motions to appeal the decision of the chair.

7.      For those who care to have more information: standard subsidiary motions include, in their order of decreased precedence, after “call the previous question;”  “lay on the table, ” that is, set aside for possible further discussion later; “limit or extend limits of debate;” “postpone to a certain time” or “postpone indefinitely;” postpone a vote for its subject matter to be further worked upon by a committee before a vote = “commit,”  “refer,” “remand;” “amend” and finally “postpone indefinitely.” Only the first three are undebatable = subject to immediate vote. Privileged motions are undebatable and take precedence over all of the above; in order of highest to lowest precedence: “fix the time to adjourn” [when privileged as detailed elsewhere outside this discussion].  “adjourn [when privileged as detailed elsewhere outside this discussion],” “recess” [when moved while a question is pending], “raise a question of privilege” [for instances when a pressing situation is affecting a right or privilege of the assembly or individual member, e.g. noise, inadequate ventilation, introduction of a confidential subject in the presence of guests], and “call for orders of the day”= that an item of business comply to the stated agenda, program or order of business.

*Specifically taken from Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, but believed to be in general correspondence with all parliamentary authorities.

Other Information 

Multi-state groups on the Web that appear be in accord with tea party principles and could be desirable to further look into and consider joining with are Tea Party Patriots, Liberty Works, Freedom WorksAmericans for Prosperity, Independence Caucus. The clubforgrowth.org Web site provides valuable information on national government office-holder's voting records.And don't forget giac2002.org as a conservative information source.