This is in response the article “Tea Party Turmoil” in the May 31 edition of The Union.
As a member of the Tea Party, I attended the February meeting where Mike Walker was introduced as the interim president and then proceeded to present a very long conservative discourse, not seeming to realize he was “preaching to the choir,” but seemed quite happy to hear himself talk. The meeting lasted much longer than planned because of this. That happened again at the March meeting and, likewise, at the April meeting, where he arbitrarily declared himself CEO. I have not returned because of Mike Walker.
From his recent rant, it’s apparent that he is a bitter, vindictive man with a bad case of sour grapes. That should have been more than apparent to The Union staff writer who had privy to all four pages of Mr. Walker’s incendiary and slanderous diatribe. Mr. Walker claims the local Tea Party “tarnished my professional reputation and standing in the local business community” when it was he, not the Tea Party, who chose to present this irrational tirade to The Union.
The apparent controversy over whether he was a “real” president or an “interim” president is a moot point since the Nevada County Tea Party bylaws state that any president can be removed with consensus of the board.
What organization wouldn’t desire and employ such a rule, if necessary, to eliminate a leader who was either ineffective or offensive? If the Tea Party carries any guilt in this, it is in not vetting Mr. Walker adequately.
Though I’m not a member of the NCTP board, I am the treasurer for another 501(c)4 organization and can say that, while I know my way around a 1040 A & B, the paperwork required for this filing status is daunting. I am required to file three forms every year, each with its own voluminous publication. One form is filed twice in odd years and four times in even — up to six filings a year for an organization with assets under $13,000. We are required to send everything certified mail because if we don’t, they “lose” it. My predecessor spent days trying to establish our filing requirements and twice had to file a congressional inquiry just to get the IRS to cooperate with her. Knowing the timing on that makes me wonder if it was not a part of this administration’s IRS scheme to make life difficult for conservative groups. And yes, I said “this administration’s” because I would be naïve to believe that the IRS acted independently.
I’m not a Tea Party board member but have, on several occasions, had the opportunity to interact with those who are. They have always behaved professionally and with integrity. Nancy Garcia is one of the finest ladies I’ve ever known.
As a group, the Tea Party does hold some pretty radical views — like belief in the Constitution, free enterprise and limited government. If you can get past that, though, you’ll find they are just a bunch of honest, hardworking folks who are fighting for “liberty for all” — even for the liberals who seem ever so willing to forfeit theirs to King Barry.
Sue Jeffrey lives in Grass Valley.