May 22, 2009
Republicans put the con in Convention
Apparently, the misnamed and misguided “tea parties” organized by rightwing Republicans and extremist hate groups allegedly to protest government spending and taxation has spawned a convention and a political party.
The gatherings were organized primarily by a pair of conservative Washington, D.C.-based lobbying groups and Republicans last month as so-called “grassroots efforts" turned out to be nothing more than an anti-President Obama rallies and a fundraiser. It has been claimed they are nonpartisan efforts, despite Republican elected officials who spoke at and helped organize the rallies.
Something called the “Michigan Tea Party State Convention” is set for June 13, and organizers claim the farce “isn't about party politics- it is about We the People.” That is simply not the case; this is just another Republican rally. My friend, ka_Dargo, discovered it was Wendy Day who registered the Tea Party Convention domain name.
Day is a member of the Howell School Board, a founding member of the anti-gay hate group LOVE (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) and a member of the Livingston County Republican Party executive committee.
The so-called convention will be held at the Capitol City Baptist Church in Holt, south of Lansing, and it will feature “general sessions,” “break-out sessions” and “winning ballot initiatives.” The fact is that 5013C non-profit groups, such as churches, are not permitted to do anything to help or hinder the election of any candidate to public office, and this clearly violates that rule.
A look at the panels for the breakout sessions further dispels the myth that this is a nonpartisan event, and it clearly proves it’s a GOP rally.
One of the breakout sessions is called “Welcome to the Underground! New media panel on blogging and social networking.” That is an area the Republicans have had trouble with, and the decision to include this in the convention is so surprise. One of the panelists is Nick De Leeuw, a former DeVos for Governor staffer who now runs the official unofficial GOP blog “Right Michigan.”
Another session called “Headlines and Interviews- Working with Media” features Detroit News reporter Dawson Bell, named one of the most biased reporters in the conservative media, and it will be moderated by former Republican state Representative and Macomb County Commissioner Leon Drolet, who is also a candidate for Michigan Senate in the 11th District.
The session on ballot proposals will be moderated by Scott Hagerstrom, the director of the extremist rightwing group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) of Michigan, one of the two lobbyist groups that organized the “tea party.” He was also a staffer for former right wing Republican Rep. Jack Hoogendyk.
The session on the state of the economy features panelists Jack McHugh, a senior legislative analyst for the rightwing think tank Mackinac Center for Public Policy; Paul Kersey, the director of labor policy at the same rightwing think tank; and moderated by Ken Braun, a policy analyst for, you guessed it; the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.