A Proposal for Tea Party Unity in New Jersey

As indicated by the paucity of activity on this site for the past few days, I’ve been busy fleshing out a concept for Tea Party unity that I mentioned in a previous post. I’m pleased to announce that I completed the first draft of a proposed Charter for the Conservative Tea Party Congress of New Jersey and I present it to all the Tea Parties of the Garden State for their consideration.

In my previous post, I observed that these are perilous times for the Tea Party movement. The heady days of protest rallies and marches on Washington are now the stuff of happy memory and the past year and a half has been spent rolling up our sleeves and getting down to the nitty-gritty business of involving ourselves in the political process. Unfortunately, the very nature of the movement makes this, at best, a touch-and-go proposition: although most Tea Party organizations share the same basic ideology of limited government, lower taxes, less spending and greater liberty, they exist as localized entities whose effective reach does not go very far beyond the county in which they are headquartered. In this divided state of existence, each can be isolated and marginalized by an Establishment all too eager to see them become extinct. They are also a tempting target for cynical, pseudo-conservative opportunists anxious to build a power base.

The time has come for those Tea Party organizations throughout the Garden State that have no intention of bending their knee to a power-hungry Cabal or its Establishment puppet masters to take the next step in the evolution of the Tea Party movement: unite. To effect that end,  I have drawn up a Charter for a Tea Party “congress” comprised of, operated by and dedicated to the mutual support, promotion and defense of the constituent Tea Party groups.

This Charter embodies a concept for Tea Party unity that I believe is superior to anything that has been attempted so far because it does what has not, to my knowledge, ever been done before: it puts the constituent Tea Party groups in complete control of an organization that, for all practical purposes, is their agent. The Director, Chairman and other officers of the CTPC serve entirely at the pleasure of a Board comprised of Representatives from each of the member Tea Party groups. The officers of the CTPC do what the Board tells them to do – not the other way around.

Moreover, the design obliges both Representatives and their constituent organizations to build super-majorities for every vote – a feature that effectively prevents a rogue individual or group from taking over the entire organization.

Another feature of this arrangement is the safeguard against conflicts of interest: no serving officer of a member Tea Party group may become a Representative unless and until that person resigns from office. Moreover, no Officer of the CTPC may simultaneously be a member of any Tea Party organization.

Permit me to paraphrase a recent commentator’s opinion of the proposal:

A united coalition of Tea Parties can help determine the fates of candidates throughout New Jersey. In the case of state and federal candidates, a vote from one candidate affects everyone in the State. A vote from my Congresscritter has the same effect on you as it does me. Therefore, it makes sense to join forces to help affect as many races throughout the State as is possible.

Candidates need our help. We exist to help promote those who advocate our causes. If our candidates lose, we lose. It’s as simple as that. They need boots on the ground and we can easily provide that for any and all candidates that we support. Tea Party members in Bergen County can help make phone calls for a candidate in Atlantic City as easily as they can for a candidate in Hackensack. And when it comes to knocking on doors, those close enough should gladly do so. As with all organizations, about 20% of the organization does any real work. Imagine what a powerful engine for political change we’d have if we could combine and focus those efforts.

Suppose the coalition were geared to generating cash. As we know, money is what greases the campaign wheel. We don’t have to overpower the opposition with cash, but we do need to be able to offer our candidates something – even if we do so with in-kind donations, like canvassing and phone banking. Perhaps, we run radio ads or paper ads or mailers. We will be able to offer our candidates weapons other than just cash or boots on the ground.

Imagine being bullied with no help around. Now imagine being bullied and a powerful ally comes to your rescue. This is what the CTPC can do for individual Tea Party groups that find themselves bullied by anyone – be it the GOP Establishment, the Democrats or even Jacobins and Pseudo-Conservative sell-outs.

Before you dive in and start kvetching about this or that, please be mindful of the fact that this is not a finished piece of work: IT IS A DRAFT DOCUMENT – as indicated by the bold gray watermark on every page that spells the word DRAFT. By design, this document is meant to be a work in progress, one that will likely undergo many revisions before a satisfactory version emerges.

I will be happy to facilitate a meeting of any Tea Party organizations that are seriously interested in this concept and answer any questions they have about specific aspects of the proposal. I will be even happier if at least three of them consent to join together and ratify a final version of this Charter as the founding members of a powerful new force in New Jersey politics – one the Establishment will not be able to ignore or marginalize.

Click on the image below to open up a PDF of the draft Charter. This post will remain at the top of the page from today until Monday morning; please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

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8 Responses to A Proposal for Tea Party Unity in New Jersey

  1. Dana Pearson says:

    The NJ Tea Parties are the real grass roots for NJ conservatives.

    The #1 danger to the Tea Parties is Steve Lonegan and the out of state money that he may be able to bring to corrupt the movement. Lonegan is about Lonegan first and conservatism for him is far down the list. His past with regard to hiring illegals and losing first amendment civil suits and his statements on his campaing disclosure form a few years ago about his involvement in NJ Americans for Prosperity will come back to haunt him. The Tea Parties should not touch this sorry excuse for a conservative with a ten-foot pole. The next time I hear about Lonegan being “self-made”, I’ll puke. His dad was a succesfull real-estate owner — and Lonegan (unlike say Trump or Turner) has not been able to take what his dad gave him and really do something with it.

    CNJ.com is nothing but a bunch of lackeys that do nothing but figuratively carry around Lonegan’s jock strap.

  2. dloosend says:

    The Tea Party is not a physical entity but an ideology expressed at the ballot box. There is NO nor should there be leaders, groups, etc rather a loose collection of citizens with the same goals. 9/12/09 was the coming together which will never be repeated and to think we would unite or rally around ANYONE is a foolish concept meant to feed egos.

  3. dloosend says:

    and in Monmouth County if you got all the “tea parties” together you couldn’t fill a jury.

  4. Barb says:

    And once again, a comment from someone who “gave up”. Just because everything doesn’t go the way YOU think it should Brian, all you do is knock everyone down. Some people are really trying to do something effective. All the time you take to post insults and negativity can perhaps be put to good use??
    Bulldog, I appreciate this proposal you have put forth. This has been a busy weekend, but I definitely appreciate the time you put into it and will look at it. That is my own personal opinion and not that of the BTPG…..(before I get accused of being the empress, queen, wizard..whatever).
    Thanks for taking the time to think of a possible direction for the tea party. As long as all groups keep their sovereignty, it’s worth a look over.

  5. kenny says:

    I believe that this is a wonderful idea. Not crazy about some of the numbers, but that can all be worked out and I’m sure, whatever the end result is, will be the right thing to be doing.

    If done right, this can be a wonderful and powerful organization. Coalition may be a better term to use. In any case, it provides for the defense as well as the offense for the Tea Party movement. It magnifies the ability of all Tea Partys put together. When united, the power becomes the single most powerful entity in the State of New Jersey, outside of the established parties themselves. Both parties will need to take the Tea Party’s seriously lest they be rolled over.

    What unites the Tea Partys? Usually, conservative ideas. And as we have found, it is the Tea Partys that adhere to these ideals – the politicians play the “who can win” game while the Tea Party goes out and votes for their personal ideals. We can be small individual voices, or, we can be one large voice – a strong voice with the ability to sway votes. Let’s face it, we need to force the Mike Doherty’s of this world, to vote their ideals and not their political agenda. (That also goes for the Alison McHose’s, Oroho’s and Patrick Carroll’s of this world as well). No longer should they dare to endorse RINO’s without having to face some sort of consequence. Right now, there is NO consequence. That can change, if they want Tea Party support in the future.

    How else, can you make this happen? What can we do, individually, that will get them to take us more seriously?

    The only way, is to unite. And then, unite in such a way, that the organization can not be co-opted all while allowing the individual tea party to remain sovereign unto themselves. They by-laws need to be written in such a way, as to prevent war between individual tea party’s. Take for instance, the battle between Anna Little and Ernesto Cullari – how will the organization handle itself in this type of situation? We must ensure that we are not self-defeating. At the same time, if a candidate is clearly, a better candidate – the organization may want to weigh in. If the organization can find ways to avoid self-defeat – the sky will then be the limit. Large or small, you will have a REAL voice in the State of New Jersey. What a wonderful thing, that would be.

  6. BillsRights says:

    Let’s do it.

    This is something that has been tried, but the factions within the movement have stymied the effort because their fiefdom’s may be threatened. There are people in the NJ TPs that have an ascendancy issue, in other words they believe that they deserve to be a leader because of the “who” they believe themselves to be.

    Right now, the TPs are splintered and cannot agree on what issues or candidates to back. The leadership selected must come from the ranks of those who do not want to serve as leaders. They will be more effective than anyone who has an ego axe. And there are quite a few of us who carry that axe publicly and proudly high above our heads.

    I would like to offer a couple of names as candidates: Mark Kalinowski, Brenda Roames, Connie Sherwood, Susan Lord, Michele Talamo, Doug Salters.

    Let’s get this off the ground. The idea is not new, but this is one of the few times that we have had an opportunity for an open discussion.

  7. Nora Brower says:

    BillsRights and others are correct, that we need to avoid egotistical axe grinders, we’ve got plenty of those in the two major parties, last thing we need are more crackpots. This election is too big, and our country too precious, to let crazies or egomaniacs in any party ruin it. Real people, real lives are at stake here. We need to demand and develop giants of integrity and public service, like George Washington, to be our leaders. We should use men like him as the yardstick all must measure up to….

    As for the Little-Cullari race, the solution was a no-brainer for anyone who connected all the dots. As Jefferson said, when the people have all the information they need, they cannot fail to make the right choice, and that is exactly what happened. IN SPADES.

    Over the last three years, it looks like the Tea Parties for the most part have learned to keep the egotists at bay, to not let them muddy the waters with their disinformation, to weed out the crackpots from the truly passionate and informed. Now we need to network and work together, and not let ourselves be co-opted and strangled in the cradle like Hands Across NJ was. Thank you Gene for starting the conversation and caring enough to give us a real proposal (instead of an order to “jump” and waiting for us to say “how high,” like a certain lackey to whom an earlier comment made reference.) And a safe forum to discuss it. God bless you.