The Post-Bulletin published a story about a health care meeting staged by Congressman Walz in their Wednesday, August 12 edition on page B-3. It included, twice, references to the Rochester Tea Party Patriots as the same thing as the Republican Party. They have repeated the mistake at least once before, in an editorial published in April that discussed the Tax Day Tea Party. The Post-Bulletin is wrong to do this because the Tea Party Patriots are not and were not a creation of the Republican Party. I explained that to their political scene writer, Heather Carlson, just last week. It is her byline on the Walz story. The Post-Bulletin persists in their fantasy and, I suppose, thinks themselves insightful. I called Heather to try to understand why they persist in this fiction but I had to leave a voicemail. I sent editors Jay Furst and Greg Sellnow a note about it, below. As of 4:26 pm on August 13, I’ve received no response. Here’s the note.
Your story on page B3 of August 12’s paper mentions, twice, that the Tea Party folks and the Republican Party are the same thing. Big letters over the blue “Post-It note” mention REPUBLICAN MEETING for a Tea Party event. The article ended with a similar mention.
Gentlemen, as Co-Chair of the Republican Party of Olmsted County at the time the Tea Party movement took off I KNOW the GOP did not form it. In fact, at their formation, in some parts of the country, there were complaints from the Tea Parties that they could not get assistance or cooperation from their local Republican parties with whom they believed they shared some philosophy (which they do).
In Rochester, the Tea Party Patriots DID find cooperation from the local Republican party. Still, we did not form them.
In an editorial you ran in April, you labeled the local Tea Party as a political event staged by Republicans. You based it on fiction or, at best, the circumstantial evidence of the event’s emcee being me. The Tea Party leaders asked me to be emcee. I turned them down the first time, recommending they find someone else. A few days later they asked me again and I agreed.
Hey, guess what? I made dinner for my family last night. Do you think the Republican Party is responsible for my family’s dinner?
Hey, guess what? The Olmsted GOP’s event calendar includes Tea Party events. It includes city council meetings and monthly WWII history meetings, too. Do you think the Republican Party is responsible for those things?
A dribble of circumstantial evidence and, perhaps, your own inability to imagine new citizen activism, has allowed you to draw incorrect conclusions. An inability to consider same is a sign of your own personal foolishness or, perhaps, an insincere effort to paint the Tea Partiers as artificial.
Unlike you, I KNOW the majority of Tea Party activists are non-partisan citizens alarmed by the uninformed and dangerous leftist tilt of our current Congress and president. As a believer in classical Republican principles — the rule of law, fiscal responsibility, free markets, personal freedom and responsibility, and national security — as the only guarantee of the future success of our great nation, I am pleased to see the zeal with which new activists are becoming involved in the political arena. Yes, some of them are Republicans. As we saw at Rochester’s Tax Day Tea Party, some of them are Democrats, too.
You continue your mistake at the shame of yourselves and of your publication.
I encourage you to contact Cindy Maves, the Chair of the Rochester Tea Party Patriots. Her email is [omitted here]. Her home phone is [omitted here].
I expect you to publish a mea culpa. Publishing this note would suffice.
Co-Chair, Republican Party of Olmsted County
Tea Party Patriot Sympathizer