Tuesday, December 6, 2011

JATP calls on George Allen Campaign for Retraction and Apology for False Claim of Endorsement

The George Allen for U.S. Senate campaign issued a press release on November 22 claiming the endorsement of over 100 Tea Party activists and leaders throughout the Commonwealth.  The release also stated that the "Virginia Tea Party Patriots" endorsed George Allen for election to the Senate. (See release here: http://www.georgeallen.com/2011/11/6732/)

We have confirmed that a number of people identified in the release did not give an endorsement to George Allen.  Among this group were two members of the JATP.  Because each person's name had the name its Tea Party affiliation printed beneath it, we are concerned this could be misinterpreted as our direct or de-facto endorsement of George Allen.  The JATP does not endorse political candidates.

Also, the press release was titled "Virginia Tea Party Patriots Endorse George Allen for U.S. Senate".  The name the Allen campaign gave to the collective group is highly coincidental because it is name of the Virginia federation to which the JATP and over 40 other Tea Party groups belong as members.  That federation is the Virginia Tea Party Patriots.

Numerous and repeated efforts by the JATP to get a retraction and a public apology from the George Allen campaign have failed to yield results.  While the JATP name and the names of our two members have been deleted from the current online version of the release (still posted on the Allen campaign web site), this internal action by itself is unacceptable.  

The JATP calls for a statement from the Allen campaign to include a retraction of all incorrect endorsements, a clarification about the Virginia Tea Party Patriots, and a public apology to our group and all others that have been adversely affected by this incident.

The JATP maintains its firm policy to not issue candidate endorsements.  Instead, we choose to empower the voter with information about our core principles, provide education about the issues and access to the candidates, and encourage the voter to formulate his or her own opinion.  We are justifiably dismayed at the confusion caused by the George Allen for U.S. Senate campaign, and we expect full and immediate action by them to set the record straight.
Carole Thorpe, Chairwoman of the Jefferson Area Tea Party

JATP Calls for the Inclusion of all Candidates in Upcoming VA Senate Debate - Press Release

The Jefferson Area Tea Party opposes and denounces the attempt by the Virginia Associated Press Managing Editors and the Virginia Capitol  Correspondents Association (VCCA) to effectively pre-empt the Virginia Senate primary process by hosting a general election debate on Wednesday, December 7 in Richmond.  The debate will be part of Associated Press Day at the Capitol and moderated by Bob Gibson, executive director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at UVA.
Seven of the nine candidates did not meet the sponsors' qualifications of averaging at least 15 percent in published, non-candidate primary polls and amassing an amount of money equal to at least 20 percent of the candidate's associated party front runner.  In our opinion, the bar was set exceptionally high for a December 2011 debate that is scheduled prior to any primary debates.
It is obvious that the "marquee billing" of the two current front runners, George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D), gives VAP and VCCA a sense of power and inflated self-importance.  And it is equally obvious to see why Allen and Kaine are all too willing to risk a call of un-sportsmanlike conduct by failing to protest the lockout of their primary opponents.  This is precisely the business-as-usual political high jinx that has contributed to the crisis in America today.  But all of these parties involved, including moderator Bob Gibson, are doing a blatant disservice to Virginia voters and the candidates left on the outside looking in.  It seems to us that it is certainly early enough in the process for an all-inclusive debate.    
May we remind the Virginia AP and the VCCA is the right of the voters to choose the general election candidates and not theirs?  To them, the primary process may seem like a pesky inconvenience but it is a vital step for We the People.   
The JATP calls for the inclusion of Kevin Chisholm (I), Tim Donner (R), Bishop E.W. Jackson (R), Courtney Lynch (D), David McCormick (R), Julien Modica (D), and Jaime Radtke (R) in the name of fair civic process. 
And if the debate sponsors cannot bring themselves to refrain from imposing undue influence on the voters, we call on George Allen and Tim Kaine to rise above and do the unselfish act of refusing to debate without all of their competitors present.
Issued 12/6/2011 
Carole Thorpe, Chairwoman of the Jefferson Area Tea Party

JATP Stands in Support of Richmond Tea Party - Press Release

The Jefferson Area Tea Party stands in support of the Richmond Tea Party's efforts to recoup thousands of dollars it spent in compliance with City of Richmond event ordinances, due to the double-standard of favoritism applied by city government to Occupy Richmond.
In Charlottesville, we recently witnessed the similar actions of a government gone wild that gave unprecedented waivers and accommodations to a single group with whom it shared political kinship.  This failure of equal protection under the law is playing out in cities all across America - and perhaps most heinously in Richmond, where an incredibly coincidental tax audit was imposed on the Tea Party shortly following its request for an $8,000.00 rebate of fees and expenses it had to pay for its events that were waived for Occupy Richmond.
While the JATP opted to pay its bills and to not ask for a rebate of past expenses (nominal by comparison to those of the RTP), we support the effort of any Tea Party group in a similar circumstance that chooses to seek reimbursement and stand for principle. 
We condemn the blatantly heavy-handed, punitive tactics of Mayor Dwight C. Jones and the City of Richmond government, and call on them to cease abusing their power in contradiction to their sworn duty to equally administer the law and represent all of its citizens in a fair manner.
Issued 12/6/2011 
Carole Thorpe, Chairwoman of the Jefferson Area Tea Party