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.