Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tea Party Leader Pretends Prop A Didn't Happen

St. Louis Tea Party leader Bill Hennessy had an strange post yesterday. He referred to McGraw Millhaven of KTRS criticizing the Tea Party for not actively opposing the MO legislature bill that would require insurance companies to cover children with Autism (though Hennessy said he is against the bill) . He then said other people had criticized the local tea party for not working more on the Missouri Healthcare "Free Choice" Act.

What was really interesting about all of this is that Hennessy's response to the criticisms was to say:
In spite of our work on state and local projects, the Tea Party movement didn’t come about to address Autism or state referenda. The Tea Party was born, according to my records and memory, to change the federal government, first by resistance, then by changing Congress.
He also quotes himself in a different article saying:
While many local tea party organizations involve themselves in local or state issues and races, the movement’s primary interest lies in Washington.
Hmmm, really? So the St. Louis Tea Party is and has been from the start focused only on federal elections? That's funny, because I seem to recall a small group of the tea party leadership (Hennessy, Loesch, John and Gina Loudon, and John Burns) getting together in Nashville and decided to push the local membership, largely against their wishes, to lead the opposition to the Proposition A sales tax increase for Metro. They were quite proud of their involvement and were claiming that they would win even on the day before the election (they lost 63%-37%). In fact, check out this quote from John Burns, who Bill Hennessy hailed as a "star" for his role in the tea party's anti-transit effort:
"What happens on the local level is often a microcosm of what is happening nationally,'' Burns said. "The Tea Party will be meaningless unless they get involved on a local level."
Sure seems to me like this is the exact opposite of only being focused on federal elections. The tea party has an extremely selective memory. But I suppose if I led a campaign where I could only get 37% of St. Louis County voters to vote against a new tax, I'd probably try to block it out of my memory as well.

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