An Open Letter to Wisconsin Tea Partiers

April 27, 2010

Dear Tea Partier,

Thank you.

I think it is important for those of us who have been engaged in conservative public policy battles for decades to thank you and give credit where credit is due.

While your opponents try to belittle you…smear you…ridicule or ignore you, it is evident to anyone who is paying attention that your efforts are already being felt all across the state.

Despite the story line your detractors are attempting to forward through the mainstream media, it is clear that your interest in politics and policy is informed, deep and goes far beyond attending public rallies every few months.

Because of your continued engagement, legislators in Madison are receiving record levels of contacts from their constituents. Because of your continued engagement, legislative and Congressional town hall meetings across Wisconsin are packed to the brim.

Finally, let me make the following point as clearly as I can.

Because of your continued engagement, three awful pieces of legislation were derailed last week during the waning hours of the final regular floor period of the Wisconsin Legislature. 

As I wrote in the current installment of ‘That’

s Debatable,’ exchange on

Scot, for months the left, you and the Alinsky Brigade over at OWN have been trumpeting the virtues of efforts to address global warming, the election deform bill and the creation of regional taxing authorities for transit. The governor and both houses of the Legislature are controlled by Democrats. These bills should have been a slam dunk for passage. But, thankfully, like those who attempted to foist New Coke on us a quarter century ago, your side failed. “Epic Fail,” as the kids say these days. Let me save your side the cost of conducting post-implosion focus groups. I have a two-word answer for why the Democrats caved this week: Tea Parties. You see, the growing number of people who keep showing up at events across Wisconsin are smarter, more determined and more active than you give them credit for being. They also called their legislators and encouraged others to call when the left fringe of the Democratic Party tried to choke off the remaining manufacturing jobs in the state, attempted to facilitate greater election fraud, and tried to push a pro-tax, pro-train agenda down their throats. So, thank you, tea partiers. Keep it up. It helps Wisconsin on her road to recovery and it drives Scot and his buddies crazy! Cheers to sweet TEA.

There is no doubt that the defenders of job providers like WMC were diligent in their efforts and helped focus the public debate in opposition to the global warming bill. Similarly, local election officials and established anti-tax groups helped derail the election fraud and RTA bills. But your engagement provided the extra effort that was required to win those battles. You have become the ultimate variable in the political equation in Wisconsin.

The pundits who wondered if the Tea Party movement would amount to anything more than occasional pep rallies do not have to wait until November to find out. They got their answer last week, right here in Wisconsin.

I’ve said it before and will say it again and again: Despite the left’s attempt to paint you as a bunch of toothless, Fox News-brainwashed, GED-correspondence school dropouts who dance to the tune of your Big-Oil and GOP puppet masters, I’ve found you to be informed, skeptical and frustrated at the ever-expanding cost and reach of government. You are not going away, and you are growing in numbers everyday.

I know you don’t do this for adulation or publicity. But again, thanks, and keep up the fantastic work.

Lord knows, there is a lot more to do!



By Brian Fraley
A MacIver Institute Perspective