Why the Tea Party has failed in Sacramento!

For all the hype and all the politicians that where elected across the country, it appears the  two largest Tea Party organizations had no impact in California and in Sacramento.  That would be the Tea Party Express (TPE) and Tea Party Patriots (TPP).  In Sacramento there is not one chapter of the TPP.  I will explain why they have failed and what they need to do to turn things around. (Note; I have been to every Sacramento area Tea Party function).

The top two groups, Tea Party Express, headed by Sal Russo and Tea Party Patriots headed by Mark Meckler, failed to influence any Congressional or top state races in November. Why? 


Let’s start with the Tea Party Express.  Headquartered in the 5th Congressional District (Sacramento), the 5th CD is  held by one of thee most liberal and do-nothing Congresswomen, Doris Matsui,  that exists.  She wins awards for voting the party line she is so liberal!  So when a staunch conservative (me) ran against her two times, you might think the Tea Party Express might at least endorse me/the candidate for election and give me some credibility.

But when I questioned Sal Russo on why he endorsed Tom McClintock in the 4th, and Dan Lungren in the 3rd, (both neighboring districts) and not me in the 5th, here is his basic reasoning.  “We cherry pick races.”  I kid you not!  Basically, they want someone to win first in the 5th and other races, before they will even endorse a candidate.  With that attitude, no conservative candidate will ever gain the credibility to defeat anyone in the 5th and other races across California. 

And make no mistake about it, in some areas, we need organizations like the TPE to help candidates gain the credibility with the media and the voters.  In California, the Republicans lost every single races of importance and gave back a seat in the Legislature.  Clearly, conservative groups need to re-evaluate as well as the California Republican Party, on who and how they are getting the message out.  Unless they get behind up and coming candidates that are conservative, Sacramento will be a bastion of liberalism forever.

Based on the stunning losses of Sharon Aingle in Nevada and Joe Miller in Alaska, I’d say their reputation is no better than any other group in the country.  So much for the ideal of being the 800 pound gorilla in the endorsement wars!

Conservative groups should endorse conservative candidates across the state not just cherry pick candidates.  What’s the point of having an organization that claims to support conservatism, when they turn their own backs on candidates in the very city they are headquartered?  Without a candidate to rally around, a face or a name to follow,  the Tea Party movement in Sacramento becomes rudderless and irrelevant.  Is it any wonder we have just about zero support in Sacramento for any Tea Party groups?


Let’s look at the Tea Party Patriots.  With the TPE, they have held elaborate rallies at the Capitol (2) and last year at McClellan Park in Sacramento.  Let me break down the problems people have with these rallies, the issues that Meckler continues to ignore, and some solutions for making inroads into Sacramento.  Remember not one chapter of the TPP exists in the Capitol City of California.  A place where many conservative staff members serve in the legislature.  Most would consider that to be a target rich environment.  With over a million residents in the Sacramento area, how is it, that no one TPP group exists in Sacramento?

Let me explain.  And note when I had these discussions with Meckler, he didn’t want to hear or even consider that a change of approach might be warranted in Sacramento.

The first big rally at the Capitol was attended by about 8,000 folks.  Second by maybe 6,000 and last years rally at McClellan by about 4,000.

Why the declining numbers?  Simple.  Sacramento is one of the most diverse ethnic areas in California.  But who is the face of the TPP?  Angry white men screaming to the point of losing their voices about their rights being taken away!  Stalking the stage like a caged animal!  You expect any first or second generation Latino’s or Asians to feel your pain Tea Party Leaders?  You got to be kidding me!  When these ethnic groups wake up every day, they have more rights than they ever could have imagined had they stayed in their own country.  They look at screaming white guys complaining about their “rights” granted to them under the constitution and think those folks are from Mars!

And the black community. 

You think any black individual wants to come and fight your battle when just 50 years ago they couldn’t even drink out of the same water fountain? Come on Tea party organizers!  Wake up.   They don’t want to hear about how white folks are losing their rights?  Fully 1/6 of adult black males age 18-34 are in jail in this country. Do you think they want to be lectured to by some out-of-control white guys from out of town about the the deficit or tax legislation?

But they might want to hear about how and why the conservative message will be how their kids will find a job, move up the social and economic scale, avoid jail, and  preached to them by a fellow community leader that has done it!  Not by some old guy that wants to talk about a tax proposal in the legislature.  Do you think your average minority voter even knows who any of these speakers are?

You want to make the Tea Party relevant in Sacramento?  Stop the ranting and raving about losing the American way of life.  We get that already.  Start bringing in local community leaders that will stay in the community, be relevant and make a difference.  Start building them up instead of holding Angry White Men Rants!

Angry White Men

But then the Tea Party folks go one step further in shooting themselves in the foot.  They say no politicians allowed to speak, but for the last three functions they have brought Congressman Tom McClintock on stage to give his tired “Agitate” speech.  Hell, his district runs clear to Nevada and Oregon.  Why would anyone in Sacramento want to listen to him?  There is no local or central candidate or conservative leader for the local Sacramento area folks to bond with or recognize.  You shoot yourself in the foot when you bring out of the area speakers in and leave the local people with nothing.  Hence not one local TPP chapter.

At last years function, after McClintock got done speaking half the crowd up and left!  If it weren’t for the folks that drove down from the hills, there wouldn’t have been enough folks to field a football team!  And who attended the last function?  Anywhere from 90-95% white-folks!  50% age 60 and up!  Does that even remotely sound like the diversified ethnicity of Sacramento?  And what was the stunning call to action from Meckler after McClintock’s speech?

“Go to the tent and buy a T-shirt!” 

I kid you not!  Nothing about rallying around a local candidate, or forming a group in Sacramento, or any serious instructions on how to make in-roads here. It was to go buy a frigg-in T-shirt!

When I suggested to Meckler about holding events in Sacramento, like maybe you might want to hire a salsa band, or a R&B group, instead of some tired white 60’s rock and roll  band, or get some ethnic food vendors, or have a well known local Black or Hispanic pastor speak, Meckler blew me off and said I basically didn’t know what I was talking about.  Well let’s see, I have lived in Sacramento for 25 years, sold Real Estate for 20 and ran for Congress two times.  I think I am very well suited to comment on what would be desirable to bring in.  And that includes anyone but angry white men to speak at big rally!  How about featuring an Asian that believes in the principles espoused by the TPP?  A Croatian or Hmong? 

Where is the diversity?

Instead we get angry white guys and maybe one or two speakers with ethnicity.  Angry white guys need to take their act somewhere else.  It doesn’t work in Sacramento!  When there are no chapters in Sacramento, it’s time to change the message and the messengers!  Hell I am tired of hearing how hard it is on Meckler’s  family!  Then quit the job!  The pity party routine has gotten old.  Asians, Latinos and Blacks don’t respond to shrieking white guys complaining about their raaahts!

How about bring the actual conservative leaders in Sacramento to the stage and ask them to bring their organizations with them?  You ain’t winning any new members at your current pace!  Here’s a newsflash.  Most of these diverse groups do not listen to KFBK or KTKZ AM radio either.  They listen to Spanish stations, or Russian and watch Univision.  Advertising on these conservative white stations does nothing to get the rest of the community to show up.  You will get 90-95% of the white folks to tune in and totally bypass by the rest of the community that isn’t white and,  OH BY THE WAY… WHO ARE THE MAJORITY!

Evil Mark Williams

Recently, the teachers and the teamsters held two protests at the Capitol in sympathy with the Wisconsin union members.  I organized the first couter-protest.  At  first, the TPP where instructed to attend.  Then they found out ex-leader Mark Williams was going to attend and then the leadership pulled the request to have their folks attend and told their group to stay home.  When we had a chance to stand up to the unions in Sacramento, TPP ran and hid!  No wonder they don’t have an organization in Sacramento.  They have no spine!  Shame on the TPP for ducking their responsibilities to fight the opposition when it showed up!  Why even have an organization?  Does Mark Williams instill that much fear in the TPP?  When every other Tea Party in country turned out for counter-protest in America, those in the Sacramento area where told to stay home because of one individual.

On the second counter-protest we had ex-TPP come from LA to help led by Laura Boatright.  But where was the leadership of the local TPP?  Not at that protest.  Why?

I interviewed several past members and here is the consensus.  If it’s not a function that can be controlled by Meckler’s group, where they can charge parking and sell T-shirts, they aren’t interested.  Hence the reason they went to McClellan and now this year to Cal Expo.  It’s a money making machine!  Its no longer a grassroots conservative movement that shows up to face the liberals and state our cause.  If it was, they would have shown up in huge numbers to counter the teachers and teamster rallies at the Capitol last month.  Even the TV reporters asked me where was all our support?  Hell they all stayed home thanks to the spineless leadership of the Tea Party!

And what did Meckler try and do to help?  Sent me an email and tried to warn me about how evil Mark Williams was and how much he wanted to make sure I was ok.  Oh come on… cry me a river!  I need Meckler to protect me from Mark Williams?  Hey Meckler, when you have a thriving TPP chapter in Sacramento, maybe you will have some credibility to counsel me on my political career.  But until then, take your advice and shove it, I can take care of myself.  How arrogant!

Suspicious accounting

The TPP and probably the TPE will be holding their anti-tax rally on April 16th at Cal Expo.  Expect to pay for parking and be asked to buy T-shirts so they can afford to hold more rallies that do nothing to help change the minds and hearts of Sacramentans.  Ask yourself one question.  Have you ever seen any reports on the finances of the TPP?  How much have they raised and who’s getting paid?  Any group that claims to represent the fiscally conservative voter in the country should be as transparent and accountable as the message they espouse.  Where are the tax returns?  Three years into an organization of this size and no one has seen the books?  Why?

This year I will not be attending their Tax Rally at Cal Expo.  I don’t need to watch and hear the Angry White Man Rant Part IV with voters from out of the area.  Instead I will be in the community meeting voters from all ethnicity’s and discussing issues that are important to them.  And they won’t be pressured to buy a T-shirt either.

The Tea Party started out with good intentions three years ago.  Sadly, it has turned into a money making machine that has lost its ability to reach out the very people it was designed to encompass… the common patriot of America.  Instead it has turned into a white man’s only club, that couldn’t care less about standing up for the little guy or reaching out to the ethnic diversity in the Sacramento area. 

Let’s hope their function on the 16th isn’t another “Whiteout!”

What a shame that will be after 3+ years of rallies in Sacramento.

Paul Smith Owner:  WWW.SmithHeggumReport.com 

Delegate to the Republican Party

Taking our Government back, one day at a time.

Short URL: http://www.smithheggumreport.com/?p=1767

Posted by on Apr 4 2011. Filed under Current, Paul Smith, Political, Republican, Sacramento, United States. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “Why the Tea Party has failed in Sacramento!”

  1. From Tony Lacy in Sacramento. Reprinted with permission.

    I think most can’t see the forest for the trees. Fighting to save a few races when the state has been lost is most certainly futile. As California has gone more liberal, we still fight for the crumbs on the table in a district here or the…re as if that gives us representation in the State House. This has created ” well take what we can get” mentality that has spread all over the state and now no one wants to stand up and fight to bring balance to California. Add in the in-fighting, political expediency and the ” I have to save my ass so I can’t stand up for you” mentality and we are where we are. Honor is no longer a valid priciple or value and people ofeten think first of themselves and not the greater good.

    There is no race, no district, no seat not worth fighting for if it gives us the chance to get honorable people who champion our cause into office. If we continue to “cherry pick” our races we will have hollow victories that mean nothing because they have no impact in the state. I never walked away from a baseball game happy I lost becuase I hit a home run. We still lost and that’s all that mattered. (Well said…editor)

    As for the Tea party, I choose to stay away becuase I saw all this coming. It was a great flaovor of the month, but I knew the money and who would get it would be the driving force of who went where and why. The average Joe doesn’t think beyond the tip of thier nose so it was a great call to get involved and most never bothered to lift their head to see what was actually happening. When TPP needed jet and high salaries for Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, the alarm should have went off. When they need eveyones contact list, alarms should have went off. When they said they would not be endorsing candidates, alams should have went off. but they didn’t. Same with the TPE. Why would they only endorse certain candidates on a national scale. Lots of local candidates needed support too. They ceratinly took local money. I am not sayitng the Tea Party is all bad or all the people, or even most of the people are bad, but the Tea Party go hijacked by the money makers and just like our local, statewide and national politics, and most just watched and bitched. But nothing was done, not on a large scale becuase almost no one wanted to call them on the carpet and give “our side” a black eye.

    This may all be a lost cause. I know many who have said they are tired of fighting the progressives and more tired of fighting in house. There comes a point when a house divivded simply must fall and then hope the right people are there to pick up the pieces. Personaly I don’t see Willaim Wallace or Maximus anywhere out there, but I still have hope. Website: wwweapatriot.com

  2. […] Why the Tea Party has failed in Sacramento! Apr 4, 2011 … (Note; I have been to every Sacramento area Tea Party function). The top two groups, … Stop the ranting and raving about losing the American way of life. We get that already. … […]

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