Saturday, April 4, 2009 versus - updated

The San Jose Tax Day Tea Party is affiliated with the website The Tax Day Tea Party organization was created specifically for promoting the 'Tea Party Movement' and is very careful to not dabble in issues outside of the fiscal problems in Washington, including the deficit spending, the pork projects, the long-term instability, the damage to the currency, etc. It is very careful to stay away from divisive social issues like gay marriage, abortion rights, and even gun control. The movement is non-partisan and very intentionally not affiliated with any political party.

Some of you may have seen another site: I'm not linking it. This site was mentioned in a KSFO radio email newsletter and many people saw it there. This site is run by a group called the American Family Association in Tupelo, MS. They are supported by Newt Gingrich - which some of you reading this will think is a good thing, and others will think is a bad thing. The problem is that this organization is an evangelical christian political organization with far broader policy goals than bringing fiscal sanity back to Washington. They support teaching creationism, for example. I'm pointing this out so that those of you who want to be part of the Tea Party movement don't get the idea that the organizers of Tea Parties in general, and the San Jose Tax Day Tea Party, in particular, endorse their social agenda, or are associated with them. This event is listed on their site only because they are getting traffic and I hope people will come to this website to see what we're about.

It looks to me like the main goal of the website is to collect email addresses and start sending out tons of email - I've been getting one or two a day every day. So, be wary of giving them your email address.

My promise is that the San Jose Tax Day Tea Party is non-partisan, not pushing any social agenda, and welcomes people of all political and religious (including non-political and non-religious) backgrounds who are frustrated with the way our country is being driven into irrecoverable debt.


  1. oh so did they make up the names of 1800 organizers? keep your eye on the movement not picking at people who want to help. there were 175 parties before they got involved. There list is huge it's good for the movement. Get over it you should be happy for the publicity.

  2. The publicity is good, which is why we're listed there. I just think that when these guys get your email and start sending out emails supporting creationism and against gay rights, they are getting into precisely the sort of social issues that have nothing to do with the fiscal emergency, and may turn away more people than it brings in. The political middle in this country, which is key to enacting the kind of reform we need, gets turned off by that stuff. People should know what they're getting when they go to that other site, which I believe is operating under what amounts to false pretenses.

  3. By the way, I did not allow a comment that was several thousand words long and just an incoherent, rambling mess of all manner of political issues. This is why we have moderated comments on this site.

  4. Dear Robert:

    I got on the website to know when and where to participate in the Tea Party, seriously. Now that, for you, Christians aren't welcome, even tho we'd come without an "agenda," it's a mute point. I presume you are a God-hating, gay liberal and would not welcome anyone who thinks not like you. God loves gays and liberals. He just doesn't like what they stand for and believe! For a guy who won't post long comments, you sure have posted the most of anyone. What a jerk! But God loves you! And whatever you do, don't read Romans 1 in the bible!

  5. Hey Howell:

    I watched the video. Ironically, most of the founding fathers sighted were bible believing, God fearing men! What's your beef with Christians? We pay taxes, too, and feel the same pain.

  6. Hello Anonymous,

    Next time, leave your name. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Agnostics, Atheists, and people who just don't care about religion are all welcome. Pro-lifers and Pro-choicers are welcome. Straight, gay, bi are welcome. Anyone who cares about the fiscal emergency in DC, taxes, spending, the currency, etc., is welcome.
    The Tea Party movement, is not, in my view, about social issues. It's about fiscal issues. Social issues divide people. I mean, look, you called me a "God-hating, gay liberal," when I am demonstrably none of the three.
    I am concerned, and rightly so, that people who sign up with thinking they're getting stuff on the fiscal emergency, but instead get stuff on creationism, anti-gay rights, etc., will feel deceived and put off. Insofar as I want to include more people, not less, I think that's a bad thing.
    There's a time and place for those issues. This is neither.
    Oh, and of course most of the posts are from me; it's my blog. Feel free to read something else if you're so unhappy about it.

  7. Oh, and one more thing, Anonymous. The words you meant to use are "moot" and "cited" not mute and sighted. All this and spelling lessons, too. I should charge for this kind of help.

  8. Mr. Howell:

    Let me get this straight. You hate the American Family Association, Newt Gingrich, evangelicals and the teaching of creationism, but you have no agenda? You “progressives” simply amaze me. You accept anyone who agrees with you. I am a native Californian so please don’t try and speak for me with your “progressive” ideology! Sorry, but I wouldn’t feel welcome at your “tea party!” Ironically, that is the reason I found you! But I must say, you can spell wonderfully!

  9. Mr. Anonymous:

    Let's be clear. There's no "hate" for the AFA here, I'm just frustrated that they are operating under false pretenses. They get people to sign up for information on the Tea Parties (which means the fiscal emergency in DC) and they send out totally unrelated emails about divisive social issues. I got one this morning hawking Billy Graham videos. That's all fine and good, but it's NOT what I expected when I signed up at their Tea Party site. They are operating under false pretenses, which I expect would be frowned upon as being akin to bearing false witness. Just because they are a Christian organization does not mean they get to play fast and loose; indeed one would expect a higher standard of behavior.

    If you feel that you would be morally compromised coming to the 5:00 San Jose Tea Party, then I would encourage you to find something else to do with your time. If, by the way, you were the author of that 1000s of words diatribe that someone tried to post to this comment thread, my advice is that your time would be far better spent seeing a psychologist.

  10. Sir:

    You are an idiot! I didn't post any long msg like YOURS! On the AFA thing, you might ask someone how to Block Sender! Morally compromised? Again, you are a jerk and you are an arrogant one, at that. You might be the one best served by seeing a shrink. Have him/her describe what cognitive dissonance & dementia praecox are, you seem to have a bit of both and remember, it is irreversible. Bearing false witness? I would hope this doesn't happen, but 5 min. after you die, you might learn what that biblical term really means!

    Since you are such a biblical scholar, you already knew that God says, "If you are not for Me, then you are automatically against Me!" Christ's two favorite verses are: 1. You shall love the LORD thy God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 2. Love thy neighbor as thyself.

    Friend you don't seem to love your "neighbors" very much, if they are different than YOU want them to be. The only reason I wouldn’t attend your tea party is because of you. Nobody intimidates me, I just don’t care to associate with some people, like you!

    God's kingdom is NOT all inclusive! Even the devil believes in Christ! Repentance is the usual hang-up!

    Just in case, there are only 220 words above! Man, and I was shootin’ for 1001!

  11. Hello Anonymous:

    I do recall from my Lutheran upbringing and the Episcopal church I attend today that Christ said to love thy neighbor.

    You've called me a "God-hating, liberal gay", an "idiot", and an "arrogant" "jerk." I will leave it to others to decide which of us is failing to love his neighbor.

  12. Oh, I was rude in not acknowledging your compliment on my spelling. Thank you.

  13. So this post is updated because there are people reading this who cannot understand the complaint I have about AFA. They are collecting email contact information under the false pretense of making people think they are signing up for Tea Party information, and instead getting a bunch of unrelated information on their social agenda, which is a far right evangelical christian agenda, including the teaching of creationism. They don't tell you this will happen, and I want people to know what they are actually getting when they give them their email address.

  14. Are you running this tea party or just an attendee? My reason for asking is not to stir up a debate, but so I understand if your divisive comments are the positions of the organisers or just yours. If, they are the official position, then I will not be attending. The reason we have so many problems right now is because of the lack of a strong conservative opposition. The move for some to go to what they refer to as 'the middle' is what enables the change we can't believe in. If this continues, the only change we can believe in is the little that's left jingling in our pockets. I hope this position is not the official one, because from what I see in response here, many are being turned off, and in turn, will not attend. I also hope this is not the true reason for the posts. Yes, all should be welcome to come and protest as you stated, but they should not be turned away just because they have other opinions too which may not mesh with yours on other issues. Please respond to my initial question about the position of the organisers so I will know whether or not I am welcome. Thank you for reading this.

  15. Greg,

    I'm the principal organizer of the 5:00 San Jose Tax Day Tea Party. What I say goes as far as the time, place and manner of the event. I am trying to make sure that speakers stay on topic. As to the thoughts and opinions of volunteers and people attending, I have no control over that.

    You need some perspective, as do the anonymous posters to this thread:

    1. My complaint is with the AFA, not you or the cowardly "anonymous" poster before you. To take what I've said about AFA behaving badly and somehow take that to mean that I'm attacking _you_ (I don't even know you) is intellectually dishonest, and you know it. I challenge you to point out where I've said that evangelicals are not welcome at this event. In fact, I think I've said several times that they are. If you feel unwelcome, it's your hangup, not my doing.

    2. Evidently, if I, as the private citizen organizer of this event, don't agree 100% with the AFA (which I don't - I'm just an ordinary run-of-the-mill Protestant) and march in lockstep with them (which I won't), then you and others are not willing to participate because you don't "feel welcome." Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees.

    3. Did you vote in the last election? Did you vote for McCain? If yes, did you agree with every issue he stands for? How about immigration amnesty? I bet not. I consider his McCain-Feingold bill to be the most egregious violation of our Constitutional rights in decades and should have been an automatic disqualification for running for President. I held my nose and voted for him anyway.

    4. If you demand utter ideological purity from the people you are willing to associate with, then you are destined to be left on the outskirts of politics. Politics is about coalitions - Remember the Reagan Coalition? Evangelicals, 'Rockefeller' Republicans, Blue-Dog Democrats, old line Union members, and the Buckley-ite/Heritage Foundation intellectual conservatives got together to join forces and actually WIN an election. None of those members of the coalition were happy with all of the positions taken by all of the other members of the coalition; but they did not let themselves get hung up on that.

    5. Obama got 69.5 MILLION votes. Do you really think there are 69.6 MILLION hard-core evangelical conservatives out there? There aren't. If our common cause is to win, we have to bring people together with what they believe in common.

    6. Everyone coming to this event (well, not the ACORN infiltrators) believes in limited government, spending within our means, lower taxes, free markets, private health care. We may disagree on teaching creationism. Which is more important?

    7. I'm not 'turning away' anyone, and that's perfectly obvious from my posts to this thread and the rest of the website. To take it as otherwise is willfully misunderstanding.

    This is a ridiculous side-issue. If you honestly cannot understand that me sniping at the AFA _because they are behaving badly_ is an infinitesimally small matter (that has NOTHING to do with you, Greg, unless you are taking emails under false pretenses) compared to the national fiscal emergency, and you therefore cannot associate yourself with the event I am hosting, then so be it.

  16. 1)To tell me I need some perspective is to talk down to someone who does not fall in line with your propaganda. Very tacky way to try to make a point.

    2)I do not know what AFA stands for, but then again, I speak in full words and try not to be lazy and use abbreviations.

    3) It seems you are assuming I am something I am not. You rope me in with groups you may disagree with. I am sorry that you are what are representing the 'opposition' in California.

    4)It is sad that you feel the need to attack those who merely ask probing questions. Perhaps that says more to where you really fall in your allegiance.

    5) Did I vote in the last election? I wish I did. I am a LEGAL Immigrant to this country. My wife and I have spent more than $20,000 so far doing this the LEGAL way. We are not yet citizens, but hope one day we will be able to vote. Although I am not yet a citizen, I feel more American than most people I come in contact with on a daily basis.

    6) Without answering the questions I posed directly, you have shown your true colors. I wish you could be honest and tell me the answers to what I asked of you. You have not, but you do state you are in charge of this event.

    7) Given your comments, I will not be coming to your event unless I find out that you are an imposter. Is this really the best California can do? If so, no wonder I can't wait until we have the green card and can more to a state that is more in line with reality.

    I doubt you will allow this one to be posted in full, but I do hope you actually pay attention to it.

    I am disgusted with the way you have treated those who disagree with you. Your true colors have shown. It's a damn shame that you are the one to be in control of what could have been a positive event.


  17. Greg,

    Welcome to America. I hope you get to be a citizen. I mean that honestly.

    I did answer your one question.

    You do need some perspective, and if you don't like being told that directly, too bad.

    If you don't know what AFA means, then you haven't actually read the post you're complaining about. Go do that and try again.

    I should point out that I've been called a "God-hating, liberal gay" by the cowardly anonymous comment poster, who also sent a post (which I did not put up) telling me I was going to Hell because I'm not a fundamentalist evangelical Christian. Being an Episcopalian wasn't good enough - my soul was damned. So, I've put up with some real crap, and now it's clear that you didn't even read the post.

  18. Thank you for your post. I was promoting the earlier protest for my local Meetup, and didn't find out about the later event until last week. I did a bit of poking about this morning at the two associated websites. The earlier event's site just rubs me the wrong way. It's not just the social agenda of the AFA, but also the paranoia and conspiracism of the AIP.

    I've changed my meetup to show the Tea Party event as the main event.

  19. Robert,

    I found this site via googling tea parties for the south bay. I was excited about participating in a Tea Party event, and drilled down to the sites.

    I completely agree with you that keeping the Tea Party message focused on Fiscal Responsibility is the most inclusive strategy. The more divisive issues of gay rights, religion, gun control, etc.--regardless of where you stand on them--will turn a certain percentage of people away. These issues would also be cherry picked by the liberal media to paint the Tea Party movement as hard core right wing.

    Thanks, and see you Wednesday.


  20. John and David,

    Thank you. I've been fending off these guys who, I think, are precisely the "hard core right wing" on this thread for a week now. Be wary, though, because now you're in for the "God-hating, liberal gay" "idiot" "arrogant" "jerk" treatment. Welcome to the club!

  21. Thank you Mr. Howell for your effort on the Tea Party, the topic of the day, and for your alert caution about the dilution of this historic event by unrelated topics.

  22. The tea parties are not liberal, conservative, right/left wing, or any other variation. Fair minded people are fed up with Congress doing what they wish to buy votes and satisfy to big money interests, be it Wall St, the banks, the unions, etc. They are using our tax dollars to fund their own agenda. Ted Kennedy got his usually $15M for Ireland! Ireland! This is why we are protesting, no matter how loud or how small, we are protesting.

  23. We have planned on attending the Tea Party (by the way Thank you for putting it together.) but we are now reconsidering because we have heard that it would not be safe for us to bring our 5 young children with us.

    What are your thoughts concerning this issue?

    Thank you

  24. My brother is bringing his 15-month-old. We're trying to do everything possible to ensure a safe and fun event.