Elections 2010: Tea Party going sour? 'Wuss Party' name change suggested
ELLIS COUNTY - The Ellis County Tea Party seems to be brewing sour tea. At least one candidate is claiming to be having trouble reaching out to the non-partisan group.
After a forum with Congressman Joe Barton, R- Ennis, was hosted by Ellis County Tea Party President Gary Bennett on Monday, Aug. 30 at the Texas Theatre in Waxahachie, questions arouse if the party was endorsing the candidate seeking re-election Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Letters from Ben-nett and Neighborhood Coordinator Linda Bounds sent and published in the Sept. 9, 2010 edition of The Ellis County Press stated otherwise.
"The Ellis County Tea Party’s objective is to provide opportunities for the members to educate themselves on the various issues and candidates in order to make an informed decision at the polls, to inform their friends and neighbors of what they have learned, and encourage each person to exercise their responsibility to vote intelligently at the polls," stated Bennett.
"The forum with Congressman Barton, hosted for our members and the public, was just such an opportunity."
David Cozad, D-Arlington, running against Barton, was refused "such an opportunity."
According to the ECTP Web site they : are a group affiliated with the Dallas Tea Party Movement, and are seeking like minded people of all political affiliations.
Dallas County Tea Party Chairperson Ken Emanuelson sent the following information about their party taken from the Dallas County Tea Party Web site : Dallas Tea Party will not organize or co-sponsor any public rally event directed, in whole or in part, to support for any political party, political candidate or candidate-specific campaign or which includes an appeal for votes, donations or other campaign support for any political party or candidate.
Dallas Tea Party will not host political party officials, holders of elected public office, or filed or declared candidates for elected public office as speakers at public rally events organized by the Dallas Tea Party-except as generally-acknowledged, issue-specific experts having unique expertise, speaking at an issue-related rally outside of a campaign season solely in their capacity as issue-specific experts, and not as political candidates or party officials.
The Dallas Tea Party is, and will continue to be, an expressly non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to citizen education, empowerment and engagement.Our Code of Conduct doesn’t bar politicians from speaking at all meetings, but we don’t allow them to speak at our public rallies," stated Emanuelson via email.
Cozad, a former Marine, was more than upset about the ECTP open door policy.
"I am disappointed to learn the high principles and goals listed on the Ellis County Tea Party’s Web site are not in agreement with the principles they live by, as evidenced by their rejection of my request to speak to their membership," said Cozad.
"I was hoping their principles, ideas, and ideals were strong enough to contend with my principles, ideas, and ideals.
However, their rejection of a discussion of what we can agree and not agree on, indicates I was wrong in having that hope. I fear they will have to change the name of their organization from Tea Party, to Wuss Party."
According to Bounds, she agrees the Republican Party is a better home for their movement.
"I agree that the Republican Party may be the more natural home for conservative thinking than the Democratic Party.
And since the Tea Party movement is a conservative movement (not a far right movement, but a constitutional center movement), it stands to reason that we will support candidates or representatives who stand by, believe in, and will fight for the Constitution of the United States of America. "
" Just because there is an ‘R’ behind their name does not mean that they will not have to prove to us that they are worthy of our support," stated Bounds.
Congressional District 6 covers Ellis, Houston, Navarro, Freestone, Leon, Trinity and parts of Tarrant and Limestone counties.