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How to Conduct a Tea Party From Start to Finish

Want to Have a Tea Party?


Whether or not you’ve been involved with politics before, there are others who have gone before you in conducting Tea Party rallies and there is much to be learned from their experiences.


It is recommended that in addition to this guide, which provides many practical tips for conducting a rally, you read this guide before getting started:

Grassroots 101: What All Activists Should Know


1.
Create an electronic “To Do” List

Breaking down the list that follows into detailed parts and creating a “to do” list will help you put together your event much more easily. This is especially true if there are a number of people working on the project with you. And even more important if you are putting your event together quickly.

A very simple example of such a list that works in “a pinch” is that of one group which put together an event in a very short time (fewer than five days). They created a “To Do” list in Word that they pasted into emails, sending it back and forth as items were completed. They created a system of placing “SALLY PENDING” in front and behind each of the numbered items to indicate who would be handling that task. Once done, the Format>Font>Strikethrough option was used and the status changed to “DONE” to indicate completion.

But there are better ways. Some collaborative online resources are available, such as Google Docs, where a Word document, Spreadsheet, or custom made form can either be uploaded or created, then shared with members of the group. People can work on the document together and watch real time changes, but all can be uploaded, downloaded, and saved right on the site. Another Google Docs or stand alone Google tool is Google Calendar, which could be used to schedule out the event planning time line.


2. Secure a Location

The most pressing requirement in your “To Do” list is to secure a physical location where you will hold your event. The reason it is so important, your ability to complete other necessary tasks are affected if you don’t know your location.

Depending upon where you choose, there may be permit requirements that require a particular amount of time to be granted. Securing the location allows you to accuratley complete your “To Do” list, up front. The requirements for securing permits will likey include separate tasks, such as paperwork that needs to be filled out and submitted.

Suggested locations: Many state capitol buildings have permit requirements that are easy to fulfill and usually at no or a very low cost. In addition to the ease of reserving, there is often equipment available for rental at low cost. Other suggested venues are city halls, county courthouses, historic landmarks, river fronts, and parks. Be careful in your selection, however, and be sure to understand the permit requirements and local ordinances. For the Feb. 27th event, the group in Houston, TX , had great difficualty in securing a location for reasons that are not readily apparent. In any case, their permit cost was $1,000. Although they were able to raise the money, this situation is obviously something any of us would wish to avoid.

3. Develop a Mission Statement, Talking Points, Themes

The intuitive reasons for wishing to convene a rally are obvious to many, but you may be surprised at how you may be “called up short” or “caught flat-footed” when asked the question, “What do you hope to accomplish?”

Your event, for the good of all, cannot be simply about making an angry statment in protest. Simple anger solves little. To be sure, people are angry for a variety of reasons, but that frustration is looking to for a purpose.

What do you expect to accomplish by having a rally? Some suggested possible reasons:

  • Show people they are not alone in their frustrations about the bad policies coming out of Washington, your state government
  • Give voice to the people

  • Send a message to politicians regarding their votes on legislation and to the majority of media who are not really doing their jobs, but serving as a PR department with an agenda, for others who have the same agenda

The primary impetus of all of these rallies has been the many bailouts that have been going on since last fall and “rant” by CNBC reporter Rick Santelli on Feb.19th, which was particularly fueled by the roll out of yet another “mortgage rescue” plan. All of these policies are clearly problematic and taking the country down a ruinous path. In order for your event to be effective, though, it cannot be focused solely on expressing anger, providing vent, or even voice.

In other words, your event should have a purpose, provide information, and develop strategies for helping people take effective action. If you take “the long view”, you will realize that if done well, your efforts could have real impact.

Suggested Mission Statement:

“We (insert group name here) are dedicated to encouraging public policy that supports the principles of personal responsibility, individual liberty, limited government, and free markets.”

Such a mission statement covers the immediate sense of outrage about rewarding failure, punishing success, and crushing taxpayers with debt and burdensome regulation. But, such a statement looks over the horizon, recognizing that there is a lot of work to be done, for some time to come.

Once you have determined a purpose and established a mission statement, you should be able to develop “bullet points” for purposes of discussion and slogans for signs.

Why is the development of “talking points” important?

As perhaps distasteful as this much-overused phrase is, it’s important to convey a well-thought out and consistent message. You will want to be prepared, in advance for questions from the media, challenges from skeptics or critics, and even from those who want to get involved but who would like to better understand what you are trying to accomplish by what you are doing.

[There will be additional links and resources provided here for suggestions of themes,  bullet points.]

4. Set Policies
Again, the best resource for this process would be found by reading “Grassroots 101: What Every Activist Should Know”

A name for your “group”

If you have any idea of conducting any future events, conducting meetings, or otherwise organizing activities in your area, you may want to consider a group name that will live beyond the current event you’re planning.

Obviously, the imagination of the public has been captured by the “Tea Party” movement / phenomenon. Obviously the “original group” of people across the country who organized Nationwide Chicago Tea Party events for Feb. 27th / 28th have adopted that “brand”.

Some relationship to this brand / genre would likely be helpful to your mission. For example as a group name, the Lansing, Michigan area organizers of the Feb. 27th Tea Party at the Capitol have adopted the name “New Patriot Revolution”.  For events, the group uses the “Tea Party” brand in the name. In Lincoln, NE, the group name is simply “Lincoln Tea Party”. The group adopted the name “Nebraska Tea Party “Pork” Protest” for a March 15 event held in front of Sen. Ben Nelson’s local office.

Sponsorship

Determine whether or not you are going to accept the help of any outside group, organization, or business. If so, set your policies regarding this in advance. Put them in writing and post them to your group’s blog. Then, simply be consistent.

Funding Expenses

Obviously you should do everything you can to find no / low cost solutions to fulfill your needs. For instance, use every possible free resource available and attempt to secure borrowed or donated items. Get creative!

It may be advisable to develop a policy regarding any donation of funds or any action that might be taken to defray expenses in advance. A prudent policy would be to state exactly how any funds secured would be used, including a promise followed through on, to give a final funding statement, listing expenses incurred, monies received. A few local groups added a PayPal donation button to their Facebook group page and /or blog, but they clearly stated for what purpose the funds were sought.

5. Set up a Gmail, Yahoo, or other free service email account specifically for your event.

If you are considering using the Google Docs or Calendar tools mentioned above, you may want to use Gmail to set up your account. Keeping all Google based will just streamline your logins for your actions.

Consider the name of the email account in the same way you would have in determing a name for “your group, which again, is beyond the first event you are going to organize. For instance, the Lansing, MI, group mentioned earlier used the “New Patriot Revolution” name for their email account.

After setting up your account, you might want to use another email program to handle these emails instead of the web interface on the Gmail site. Mozilla Thunderbird has a very easy to use Gmail set-up option in the Account Settings menu. Just be sure to go to the setting within the Gmail account once you have set it up and select the options that allow for downloading the messages to another program. If there will be more than one administrator of the Gmail account, you will want to determine a system for avoiding duplication of going over these messages.

6. Design a logo for your event

Create one consistent image for your use going forward that captures the “mood / feel” of your event and the mission of your group. There are a number of programs available for free that you can use if you do not already own editing software.

Your logo should at least include the name of the group, but preferably the event and date.

A couple of those free programs recommend by others are:

Paint.net

Picasa 3

A couple of good resources for public domain patriotic graphics are listed here as well:

Images of American Political History

National Archives Galleries

7. Make an “invitation” / flyer

Using your logo, design an invitation to your event that can also be used as a flyer. Include the following information:

  • Location
  • Time
  • Date
  • Parking information (This WILL come up)
  • Be sure to provide the link to your group’s blog (see next)
  • Encourage people to bring digital still and video cameras on the day of the event

Save the document in at least a couple of standard formats. At least one of those formats should be .jpeg image so it can be embedded in an email and printed as a flyer very easily.

You could upload the document to a site like 4shared and make the download link available in addition to the embed.

8. Set up a free blog site specifically for your group.

As with the naming convention you will chose that looks over the horizon to other activities you may wish to organize in the future, you may wish to set up a blog site with a group name rather than just your event.

Most people prefer using WordPress.com as it is very easy to use, has a number of handy plug-ins, and seems to “float to the top” in most search engines, particularly if you include well-thought out tags in your posts.

WordPress includes a button for cutting and pasting easily from Word, so items you may have typed up in that program are easily transferred to the blog without formatting problems.

In considering which of the available WordPress themes to use, one good idea may be to consider one that includes the easiest kinds of navigation, and perhaps, a customizable header. If you have the skill, you can use the graphic you’ve already created as the basis of a header, providing an easily identifiable look when people visit your blog.

Besides the embedding the flyer, other blog content that might be helpful to provide are the following:

  • The definition of Socialism which would ideally come from a source such as the Communist Party, USA

  • The definition of Marxism

  • Contact information for the representatives in local, county, state, and state government [some suggestions for widgets automatically providing this information will be added here later]

  • Explanation of how a bill becomes law
  • Embedded video from prior Tea Party events throughout the country

       Some examples: here, here, here

  • Links to resource sites giving tips for signs and slogans that are consistent with the message you are trying to convey

Considering providing other resources to your blog’s visitors, almost all likely event attendees, such as suggestions for making signs.

For instance, provide the link to the the Postersw site, which includes a list of free poster creation programs like Poster 8. This program can be downloaded and used to make up to 10 signs or banners, free. Large signs can be created with the program that will print out like puzzle pieces that when applied to poster board, fit together to create very nice, lare signs. One tip for creating “weather proof” signs is to buy some lower grade (cheap!) packing tape for the purpose of cover the sign over completely.

Invite visitors to the site to post comments regarding any of the posts and to particularly make suggestions they think of for slogans and signs.

8. Set up a Facebook Group

Ok, we know, some people do not like Facebook. Sorry, but the reality is, a lot of people are on Facebook! It is also a fact that Facebook was one of the key tools used to organize the nearly 45 simultaneous parties on Feb. 27th. Therefore, people on Facebook are looking for a Tea Party event in their local area.

As has been mentioned a number of times, if you plan to conduct any future activities, it would be prudent, and particularly so when discussing Facebook, to create a Group, not just an Event, so that people stay connected through that venue even after the event is over. Be sure to post prominently the fact that there is an event created so people RSVP.

**Important note** People who are either new to Facebook, who have been registered long with the site, or who have never created events or groups before are easily confused about the difference between a Group and an Event. They are separate things. The Group will live on after the event is over, while the Event will fade into the “background” of Facebook over time.

9. Set up a Facebook Event

After you’ve created a Facebook Group, create an Event. The Event page allows for more specific detail than a group. Include all of the pertinent information you would have put on the invitation / flyer. You may even want to use the flyer you created as the graphic image for the Event.

Include a link to your blog site, and an embed of the flyer.

10. Develop a Press Release

Once you have reached this stage, you will have your full structure in place.

Develop a Press Release “template” with your graphic image created earlier.

[Press Release template examples to come!]

Issue a press release announcing the event. You should seek out all of contact information of local and regional media outlets, including all radio, television, and print. Most of the information can be obtained by perusing websites. However, keep in mind, some media purposefully make it difficult for the general public to obtain the appropriate contact fax number or email to send a press release (you can understand why). Simply emailing the “info@blahblahtv.com” is not likely to produce results. Be prepared to place a call to request the fax number or email address. Look for the Newsroom, News Director, or “desk”. Don’t be fooled by the “submit a news tip” form available on some sites. That’s the fast track to news oblivion. If you ask directly for the appropriate place to direct a press release, you will almost always be given the information.

Develop a schedule for issuing future press releases, when major developments occur. For instance, after your initial announcement, you can / should issue other releases when you have secured a program and or speakers, within a four to five day window of the event itself, perhaps a reminder release twenty-four hours prior, and for certain, a post-event release detailing the event, the number of attendees, action taken, and future events / activities planned.

If there is a media outlet, particularly one of primary importance, such as the only major print newspaper, who has completely ignored your press releases and you are within a day or two of the event, pick up the phone and ask for the Editor in the case of the a newspaper, or the News Director in case of a TV or radio station. Prior to making your call be sure you are familiar with the general “flavor” or “bent” of this outlet. Likely if they have ignored a number of well-written releases and your event is gaining momentum and attention, the “bent” you will have detected should be obvious. When making your call, you can politely but firmly point out that you would like to provide this operation an opportunity to balance their coverage a bit.

11. Develop a Program for Event Day

Settle on who will be the “Master of Ceremonies”. It would be a good idea if this were one of the event organizers if at all possible. People attending the events like to see and meet the people who worked hard to put the event together. Your efforts are appreciated by others.

Consider who will speak at the event. It is not necessary to have “dignitaries” if you have someone within your planning group who is articulate and engaging. The lack of any politicians or notable public figures can actually be turned into an asset.

Perhaps it’s high time to dispel the myth that you must be an elected official, candidate, or celebrity to have anything valid to say.

Speakers should generally be non-partisan. Remember that there may be people who have recently awakened to the fact that they may have made a mistake with their votes or support in the past. The current problems facing America have come from both sides of the aisle.

You do not need to completely dismiss the idea of any politicians or candidates speaking at your event. You should, however, examine their voting record carefully, their general history, and have serious conversation with them regarding the context of their speech and whether or not it will be consistent with the message you are trying to convey.

This kind of “vetting” process should be seriously considered when it comes to any notable figure who may potentially speak at your event.

Consider securing the “services” (ask them to volunteer) of an actor to portray a Founding Father giving a speech. Attendees in Lincoln, NE, were treated to a modernized version of Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech.

Sound System

One of the most important considerations in developing your program is the need for a sound system. Although it may seem like “wishful thinking” do not underestimate the potential for a large number of attendees. In Lansing, MI in under five days, word definitely got out and there were 400 people in attendance on Feb. 27th. In less than a week, organizers in Greenville, SC, were so effective, 2,000 people showed up. No amount of projecting voices is going to be heard over a crowd of that size in absence of some kind of sound system.

As noted, many state capitols have this type of equipment available for rental at a reasonable price. If your capitol or location does not have this option, there are a couple of creative ways of rigging up sound in the event you are unable to find or rent a traditional system.

If you have access to a home karaoke machine with at least audio outputs, you can hook it up to a home stereo system, even a mini unit and then attach a number of peripheral speakers, arranging them as strategically as possible. The quality of this sound would project enough to be heard over a crowd of at least several hundreds. This method was used in Lincoln, NE, and was so loud, the sound had to be turned down among a crowd of 100.


If there are issues about access to power for any reason, there are a couple of potential solutions for this as well. A relatively inexpensive power inverter can be connected to a running vehicle’s battery and will supply adequate power to the system mentioned above.Obviously the concern would be the vehicle would be ok idling for a longer period of time (duration of your event) and it is not too noisy. Just be sure to check into the proper voltage and connections first! Another option is to rent a generator if it can be placed far enough away that your sound system is not competing with the noise.

If you do anticipate a smaller crowd, the potential for the use of cheerleader megaphones is one option, or is a last resort for anyone.

Audio / Video

Burn a CD or create a playlist on an Ipod to play as soon as your sound system is set up and to choreograph your program. Find “peppy”, inspiring, patriotic music to include. This will be welcomed by the crowd as they arrive.

Consider trying to arrange for a video presentation. In today’s world, the younger crowd in particular appreciates these kind of visuals. Your presentation might include some video from prior Tea Party events, clips from news footage or pertinent speeches. Burn a DVD or upload to an iPod. Most versions of Windows come with Movie Maker which is fairly easy to use.

Be sure to have the M.C. or speakers mention any sign-up sheet or handouts available at the event. Emphasis should be placed on explaining the purpose of the sign-up sheets. Provide reassurance to the crowd that their contact information will be kept secured and used only for the purposes of contacting them regarding any available news reports of the event, providing links to videos and pictures, and to announce any further activities you may be conducting. Make a promise that you will not be passing the lists on to anyone. In addition, explain the necessity of documenting the number of people in attendance in the event local media attempt to minimize the number.

If possible, some speaker should point out key items on any handout that will be important in helping people stay connected an involved. Particularly helpful information would be to point out the state NING sites that are administered by truly grassroots folks in their own states. (See “Action Pack” below)

Consider at least one activity during the event which in attendees can participate

Canned Food Collection

In Lincoln, NE, attendees were requested to bring cans of Pork & Beans to donate to a local food pantry. The reason for the selection of canned good should be obvious, and was an excellent visual. The cans were placed along the rail of the “porch” area in front of Sen. Ben Nelson’s office and used as anchors for a 3′ x 5′ flag Culpeper Minuteman flag spontaneously brought by an attendee. Pictures and video from the event showed the speakers behind the flag. When “Patrick Henry” reached the end of his speech, he swept his hand across the cans, angrily knocking them off of the rail for emphasis. It was a rousing moment!

Tea Bags

Many Tea Party events have used tea in some symbolic way. Many people have suggested tea bags be collected nationwide and given to one member of Congress to be taken and dumped on the floor of the House or Senate. (Imagine the C-span video of that!) There are people around the country who are working on obtaining an agreement from some member of Congress to do just this. Meanwhile, organizers are storing collected tea bags. Even if it takes some time to secure a committment to accept the bags, this activity provides symbolism in and of itself. Just be sure to bring the mounting number of tea bags to every event you conduct and take pictures of the growing pile.

Tea Party event organizers in Seattle, WA, were first to develop the concept of creating special labels for collected tea bags. Attendees were able to select a label with a graphic and slogan that struck their fancy and sign their name to them. Slogans have included, “Repeal the Pork or Retire”, “Your Mortgage is Not MY Problem”, and “No More Bailouts!”

Some people have suggested “getting double mileage” out of their tea bags by attempting to present them to one of their local elected officials who would in all likelihood refuse to accept them. An excellent suggestion was made to video tape, even if with a cell phone camera the attempted delivery. After the attempted delivery / likely refusal, the tea bags can still be stored and accrued over time as mentione above.

12. Open a Cafe Press Store or enter into an agreement with a local T-shirt shop

You may be surprised at one how many people would like a momento of your event or just want an item to wear that day to show support. A number of event organizers have received requests to create “gear”.

One of the easiest methods for doing so is to take the graphic you’ve already created and open a Cafe Press store specifically for the purpose of selling a few items with the design.

Another option is to procure some kind of agreement with a local T-shirt shop.

If you choose to do anything of the kind, be sure to keep the “mark-up” percentage as low as possible and detail specifically how much it is and what will be done with monies raised.

13. Optimize Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is simply a statement for all of the many internet based technologies that exist. Already mentioned are Facebook and WordPress and in that vein, be sure that whenever you post anything on your Facebook, WordPress, or other online venue, make sure you crosspost to all of the others at the same time.

Do not over do the number of emails you are sending, but do not overlook this tool either. Some people will never “take” to any other online based communication. Others do not necessarily have time to visit the Facebook group or event page or blog, and would appreciate a summary, perhaps each week of items that have been posted to these events. In the light, you may consider a weekly update as a possible “newsletter” for your group.

In addition to those tools already mentioned, there are many others. One key tool is Twitter. Besides Facebook, it was the key tool in bringing together the people in over 45 cities on Feb. 27th. The guide “Twitter: What It Is and How to Use It” explains.

Besides Twitter, Facebook, and email, you should consider any of the other groups online to which you belong as potential places to get the word out.

14. Options for greater national visibilty:

National internet listing

A newly formed coalition of grassroot activists across the country, called the Constitutional Liberty Coalition, is currently putting elements in place to handle listing events across the country. The group has two venues: a Facebook group and a WordPress Blog. If you wish to have your event advertised on their National page, please visit either of the venues listed.

Blog Network

Considering registering with the Grizzly Groundswell blog network and cross posting any new blog posts to that site and schedule an appearance on his Blog Talk Radio Network show “Grizzly Groundswell” on a Wednesday evening.

Chad “Teddy Bear” Everson has created a blog network that includes over 200 bloggers. Teddy Bear’s mission is to lift up the efforts of people “in their own backyards” to “Get Grizzly!” and “take the Socialist Squirrels by tail”.  The “Grizzly Backyard” branch of the network is the venue currently in development for people who are becoming activing “in their own backyards”.

If you would like to register your group’s blog, visit the site and click the “Join Us!” option on the top bar.

Blog Talk Radio show

In addition to the blog network, Chad is the host of a radio show on Blog Talk Radio three evenings per week. He was able towork with BTR’s owner, Philip Rechia to arrange for three hours of live coverage of the Feb. 27th Nationwide Chicago Tea Party (in under 48 hours notice). While there was a lot of great coverage the day of the event, Chad and other 27th day organizers realized they could not talk to all who had conducted a party, so he has turned his Wednesday evening shows over to getting the word out about local events.

Of course you are almost assured to be interviewed by “terrestrial” radio outlets, perhaps with larger listening audiences. However, BTR archives every show and you can put a button with a link to the show on which you appeared on your blog, which will live on long after the date is gone. If you publicize your appearance on the radio show in advance, through your blog, Facebook, and an email, you can give out the call in number and interact with people who are interested in your event during your appearance. In addition to using this as a promotional tool for the event, you can schedule a future appearance to summarize what occurred and your future plans, all again, able to be posted to your blog and Facebook venues.

14. Do NOT Overlook the Importance of Old-Fashioned Shoe Leather!

There has been some commentary, some criticism that the Tea Party phenomenon is too “technocentric” and there is some validity in those sentiments.

Not only are there older folks who are just as passionate about the problems facing America but who are not online at all or who do not use the medium extensively, there are also offline, terrestrially based methods of getting the word out about your event that are not to be overlooked.

One excellent example is that of an organizer in Nebraska who printed out business sized cards with all of the pertinent event details and then walked extensively through the city of Lincoln and his own small town sticking the card into residential door handles, under the windshield wiper blades of cards in parking lots, and to everyone whom he came across.

Consider places where the printable flyer can be posted and groups to which you can present the information, such as a local townhall meeting, interested groups of senior citizens, etc.

15. Set up a central location for the upload of photos and videos.

Flickr and Photobucket are two sites which allow you to set up a free photo storage account. Give the account the same name as your group and make a very easy to use password. Include instructions and the userid and password on a handout the day of the event and be sure to have one speaker briefly mention the information and encourage attendees to share their pictures.

If using a WordPress.com blog, it is recommended that you use Flickr. WordPress.com blogs have a Flickr widget built-in.

Keep in mind if you do expect a very large turnout, you may need to upgrade the account to a deluxe or professional version, spread to more than one account, or look for someone to donate their own available webspace, as there are some limitations in space and bandwidth on free accounts.

16. Security Considerations

Obviously you will work with law enforcement in your area if required by your permit or regulation to do so. In some localities, as an increasing size of attendance was becoming obvious to communities through word of mouth, law enforcement worked very well with organizers to provide for security on the day of the event.

In considering “security” issues, you should appoint observers to “mill through” the crowd. This is particularly important as attendees arrive. Any signs with profanity, racial slurs, or otherwise inappropriate language must be refused for public display. 

In addition, any vandalizing activity should be immediately stopped.

As media attention to the “Tea Party” phenomenon increases, so does the prospect of “anti-Tea Party” protestors. Any time there is a meeting up of two opposite sides, potential for “trouble” looms. This is just one of the reasons why the event should be kept positive, and effective-action oriented.

Finally, observers should also be watching for actions from any organizations that you agreed to work with (or perhaps) did not, who show up at the event and do not abide by agreements to stay in a booth area, or who are otherwise circulating through the crowd to list-build or otherwise. The only clipboards circulating through the crowd should be yours.

17. Create an Action Pack

This pack is to be distributed at the event site. It should at minimum, a handout with instructions for a central pool for uploading any pictures or videos to be enjoyed by all, links to your online venues, contact information, and any future events or activities that are already in the works.

Other suggested inclusions:

Contact information for representatives.

A list of actions attendees can take after the event, such as writing letters to the editor of local newspapers, joining local political parties to influence their direction, or becoming invovled with others in their state in other ways (see below). Be sure to include the contact information for any of these entities.

Twitter Tips – How to be Effective – Fast Handout
If using this publication, be sure to change the two sections named Note #1 and Note #2, the link at the bottom, and the Footnote. All of the information included in these sections is specific to the state of Oklahoma.

Shelli Dawdy of Nebraska and Facts Are Stubborn Things blog, wrote an extended guide “Twitter: What It Is, How To Use It”. She then collaborated with long time activist Sandra Crosnoe, Oklahoma, to develop the condensed version for the handout. You are either welcome to link to directly to Shelli’s post on her blog or you may post the entire thing on your group’s site if you credit her and provide a link at the bottom.

Interact with others in your state, help attendees to do the same:

You may notice in the Note #1 and Note #2 sections references to the http://oktcot.ning.com site. As referenced earlier in this guide, there are NING sites set up for each of the 50 states which are administered by people from within their own state who are dedicated to working collaboratively and supportively with others at the grassroots level. These groups do not engage in fundraising or endorsement of particular political candidates. You should strongly considering joining the group for your state and editing the information on the Twitter handout to be customized as pertains to that information.

There is a standard naming convention for all of these sites, with only the state abbreviation changing for each. For instance, the Michigan site would be http://mitcot.ning.com, the California site would be http://catcot.ning.com.

Other suggested ideas for the “Action Pack”:

Pre-printed post-card addressed to a member of Congress

Included a pre-printed postcard with a message to a member of the House or Senate for the district or state tailored to a particularly pertinent issue. For instance, if your representative in the Senate voted for the “Stimulus Bill” which was signed by Pres. Obama on Feb. 17th, the postcard’s message could make a statement regarding any of the “nonsense” (and there’s plenty!) associated with that particular piece of legislation:
Here are some examples:

The damage that bill will do to the particular legislative district, to people’s liberty,

The staggering amount of debt and financial committments the U.S. has undertaken
certain elements that were never revealed or at least not fully publicly aired (i.e. Medical Records Technology)

The lack of input by most members of Congress

The speed at which the bill moved through Congress

The posting of the final version with handwritten changes at 10:45PM the evening prior to the 10AM vote
 
The fact that the vote was sped up to accomodate Speaker Pelosi’s pre-planned

18. After Event Reports


Be sure to monitor the uploading of photos and videos after the event and select some good representations to create a gallery widget for your group’s blog.

Make a blog post reporting on the event, including the final tallies of counts that you have obtained.

Monitor media coverage of the event, noting any entities who were present. Make note of the coverage, evaluating its fairness, and blog regarding what you have discovered, providing links to video clips or online articles.

Attendees will appreciate an end of the day update of any news coverage and links, reminders about the photo site, and a link to your blog. Make a summary of this information and send out an email to all attendees.

Within a day or two, you should send out a “Thank You” email to all who attended rounding up any additional information not included in the prior message. Announce any pending plans for a next activity and/or major scheduled event.

When you have the time, create a video montage of some of the photos and video that were uploaded and upload to one of the major video sites (the most popular is Youtube) and embed the video in your blog.

19. After Action Report

Schedule an “after action evaluation” meeting or conference with as many those who helped and / or those who attended the event and who have become interested in helping with the next event or activity.

Regardless of the venue, develop an agenda for this meeting so it is orderly and covers the necessary ground, and consider conducting by some kind of “parlimentary procedure”. You should appoint a draft or volunteer to take notes during this evaluation.

First, give a brief review of the event’s results for those who are “not up to speed”. Be sure to thank all of those who worked so hard.

Review your “To Do” list from the beginning to end, asking the questions:

What worked well? Why?

What didn’t work? Why not?

Once the evaluation is over, announce or discuss any impending future activity and discuss the outlines for the next major event. Hopefully, at this stage, there will be more helpers and tasks can be assigned beginning at the evaluation.

Tips to Increase Your Success:
Create all information digitally, once, then copy, paste to other venues. The best place to create most of your information will be a Word document or your WordPress blog. If copying out of WordPress, be sure it is from the editor window inside the dashboard and not from the “outside” of the blog as you are likely to have a lot of formatting problems. You do not want to copy from the “outside” of Facebook for the same reason.

Post Any Emerging Needs on the Facebook and Blog site

People want to become invovled and help out. Give them a job! If you are in need of equipment, supplies, or could use an extra pair of hands, let people know. You will almost always find that someone will step forward to help meet those needs.

Handling the Media

It may be best to appoint one or two media contact people to represent your group and event. Put your best foot forward by selecting people who can clearly articulate the messages you are trying to convey, get the information out about your event and its purpose, who know the issues and current events well, who will remain positive, and who are not easily shaken by challenging questions.

It is important that whoever is working with media be on the guard while being interviewed. Depending on the “fervor” of the journalist involved, anything remotely questionable, awkwardly worded, or a “faux pas” may be taken out of context and used to portray our group or event in a way that fits the journalist’s own agenda. Again, messages should be kept positive, not angry or highly partisan. This why the development of a purpose, Mission Statement, and bullet points is so important. It provides  a ready direction for conversation.

If dealing with particularly aggressive journalists whose questions are clearly being driven by an agenda, it is not “required” to answer “gotcha” kind of questions. Derail the situation by simply stating what you want to say. Remember the point of these interviews is to get your message out and spread the word about your event.

Activities to Consider After Your Event, Between Events

  • Convene a townhall type meeting or two to allow people to discuss issues that concern them and hear their ideas / solutions. Be sure to video tape, record, or have someone taking notes to aggregate all of these ideas
  • Conduct a class on how to use different online tools such as Facebook, Twitter, or WordPress
  • Create online surveys (see above about Google Docs) to receive input from people on various forms of actions that could be taken. Follow up with them by sending all of the participants and invitees the results and a summary of how you intend to incorporate them into your next plans.
  • Seek out your counterparts across the country and network with them. Imagine taking your ideas and theirs, collaborating on actions that could be taken nationwide. Some actions in unison by all event organizers across the country could have tremendous impact. One resource for doing so is Twitter using the #teaparty hashtag. Check out the WordPress blog for the group Constitutional Liberty Coalition which is working to provide a real grassroots alterntative for people around the country to list their events, to provide tips and resources, and to bring people together with others in their own states.


Have ideas of our own to add to the ones seen here? By all means, leave comment. I will update the post, adding helpful comments inline, credit the author.

Some Thoughts on Putting Science Back in “Her” Rightful Place

To begin, science is a thing, not a living being.

Using the pronoun “her” sounds curiously like the same talk we’ve heard for years about that almighty female, “Mother Earth”.

So we have a problem talking about putting “Science” back in ITS rightful place when we’ve started by using the language of Greek Mythology and what is a tree-hugging pseudo-religion.

But, what is this thing, “Science”?

One dictionary properly defines it:

“the observation, identification, description, experimental indentification,  description, and theoretical explanation of phenomenon.”

Notice the word, “theoretical”, the root word of which is theory.

The intellectually honest, well-trained scientist would tell you that most “conclusions” from science, are actually properly called theories.

Actual basic scientific method and principle dictates the reality that science has few absolutes, few laws. Why? Because most theories can never be absolutely proven, beyond all doubt.

So anyone who says “the debate is over” on almost any scientific subject are actually ignorant or deceptive at the most basic level.

Scientists, in particular, those long experienced and properly trained, should and actually do know, if they remove their own agenda, silencing debate on any area of science-based inquiry is totally anti-scientific.

Silencing debate and ending inquiry, is a perversion of science, itself.

So what is the rightful place for Science? Should Science be the primary impetus for many government policy decisions?

I say, “No.”

There are historical examples of leaders who decided to base many critical decisions on “science”. Nazi Germany comes to mind, for one. A climate of opinion existed at the same time based on “science”. This climate paved the way for a tolerance of eugenics. Principles of eugenics were behind the mass sterilization of the “unfit” and helped fuel the push towards legalized abortion.

President Obama’s desire to base many important decisions on “science” is a very dangerous thing. The voices currently being granted credibility from the scientific community are not espousing “science”.

What they espouse is a perversion of it.

Sir Winston Churchill spoke eloquently regarding the dangers of decision-making based on “science” in his own day. His remarks are relevant.

Please visit CatoIV’s log to read an important quote from Churchill which actually inspired this post.

So what is the rightful place of “Science”?

Science should not be front and center in decision-making. It can only be one element taken into account. Whatever “science” uncovers should be compared to basic principles above other considerations. When scientists theories contradict the notions of the protection of life, individual liberty, and limited governmental power on which our nation was founded, then those theories are to be rejected.

Beyond that, history teaches us that all information coming from science should be viewed skeptically. Skepticism is actually a foundational scientific principle.

We’re Printing Money Like Its 1923 Germany, 1946 Hungary, or Today’s Zimbabwe

Here’s an “inconvenient truth”: the United States Treasury Department has been printing money at an incredibly alarming rate since the end of September 2008.

Glenn Beck put together a little visual aid to illustrate just how much and how fast to help people understand how alarming it is:

Here’s the chart from the Federal Reserve to which he referred:

What do Germany, Hungary, and Zimbabwe have to do with this?

The article entitled, appropriately, “Hyperinflation“, at the Library of Economics and Liberty site provides insight to what the U.S. is risking by dumping huge amounts of currency into the system. The article cites two of the three historical examples I mention, along with others.

A good article on the situation in Zimbabwe can be found here.

Obviously, the amount of money we are printing is barely even being referenced in any news media outlets, let alone exposed detail. The excessive borrowing is not being mentioned either. It’s amazing how infrequently the question is being raised of how the U.S. is supposed to pay for the massive amounts of spending already undertaken and currently under debate.

There are already plenty of reasons for people to write members of Congress. Sorry to give you yet one more.

BLOGGERS: “Gird Your Loins” and Guard Your Data. Change.gov Scrubbing is a Red Flag

The Washington Timesstory yesterday regarding how the Change.gov website was “scrubbed” sometime over the weekend is a red flag to all those who wish to see truth preserved.

The Times reported that the Obama agenda previously listed there, largely copied over from the Obama campaign site, has been replaced with vague statements.

As many bloggers, and even some reporters know; this is not the first time information has evaporated from the internet regarding Barack Obama. In fact, the scrubbing of unflattering and questionable data intensified in the last months of the campaign. Any question regarding whether this practice would be routine during an Obama Presidency, have now been answered.

Bloggers need to be cognizant of this fact and act accordingly since there are few news outlets who will not plead amnesia in the future should an issue arise referencing documented information that has disappeared.

Further, it’s obvious that President-elect Barack Obama’s penchant for saying, “I’ve consistently said….” or “this has always been my position…” or “I’ve always said….” or “I have said so repeatedly….” would be a lot easier to back up if there is no proof of prior statements or contrary information available.

The Obama campaign, transition team staff, and coming administration have had a great deal of help in “protecting” information. Besides things disappearing off the ‘net, there have been things that have “disappeared”, difficult to access, withheld, or even altered in the “terrestrial” world. There are several incidents of which bloggers are likely aware that include the removal of the “Obama Youth” video from Youtube which was only re-posted because some shrewd blogger had permanently downloaded it and put it back up on the site. Besides that video on Youtube, there have been reports of disappearing Jeremiah Wright videos and NBC’s aggressively monitoring and immediately demanding videos including any NBC footage be pulled, such as Barney Frank’s appearance on CNBC in July of this year when he stated that Fannie Mae was a sound investment. This video was the basis for the Bill O’Reilly ambush of Frank in October.

Besides the video pulls, there are a number of people who were disturbed by a trend on the Real Clear Politics site, wherein negative Obama reader articles would mysteriously disappear and the user accounts deleted. It’s unclear at this date whether that issue was ever resolved. All inquiries to the webmaster, even by prominent blogger Roger Gardner of Radarsite, went unanswered.

There are some scrubbing incidents which I personally discovered in the last six to eight weeks of the campaign, primarily involving ACORN. On October 10, I had a post regarding Barack Obama having been a member of the legal team that sued Citibank in Chicago for allegedly “red-lining“. I assert that this is yet another Obama connection to ACORN. The two plaintiffs were likely referred to Obama’s firm by that group. These kinds of suits, which bullied banks to grant unprofitable and non-viable mortgages to people in areas with historically high rates of default, contributed to the “Sub-prime mortgage meltdown”. Citibank ultimately settled that suit.

In researching ACORN, I found a site called Tax Exempt World, where a large amount of data on tax exempt entities is available to the public. Some of the information is available for free, some for a fee. On October 9 amd 10, when I was doing this research, I pulled up an ACORN detail page on Tax Exempt World, using this link:


Trouble is, the page didn’t look exactly like it does now. There was further detail below the the Google ads, stating where ACORN’s funds were held, which was an account in the British Virgin Islands. Below is an image I prepared showing where the information existed on the page as of October 10, but disappeared within about a week, when I went back to look more carefully:


Certainly it’s easy to make an assertion like I’ve just done without any back up. Besides the fact that I had no real reason for doing so, I referenced the fact in my article, intending to go back and do further research:

“Further, the tax-exempt database I linked for the ACORN address above displays that ACORN keeps its money in an offshore bank account in the Virgin Islands, which I find just plain odd.”

Perhaps the Tax Exempt site had a glitch and was displaying information that was meant for the paid part of their service only. Of course that is a possibility, but considering that it was not the only web page that disappeared, was scrubbed, or was significantly edited that I used when researching for my post, I find it awfully suspicious.

It doesn’t look like I linked to the ACORN home page within the article, but I quoted from it. Several days later, when I went back to do some more research on their site, I kept getting the following result:


This went on for several days, and then mysteriously, the site reappeared and had clearly been scrubbed and edited. The edits included a rabid defense of the organization. In visiting the site today, one can find the full-fledged effort continues the self-defense measures. Today’s front page has a big button featured entitled “Fight Back: The Truth About ACORN”.

Perhaps this disappearance and re-emergence of a site is just another coincidence, but I don’t think so.

More recently, I was researching the issue of Barack Obama’s connection to Sal Alinksy’s theories and the book Rules for Radicals. I discovered the following page:


This was apparently from an online version of the book After Alinksy: Community Organizing in Illinois, which had been published by the University of Illinois at Springfield. Obama had written an essay entitled “Why Organize? Problems and Progress in the Inner City” at an earlier time. This essay was later included as a chapter in After Alinksy. Some enterprising person had the foresight to apparently copy the page source code and loaded the page back up to the web. It’s a good thing, because if one clicks on the link “The Complete book After Alinksy home page” on the above page, this is what comes up:


Since all of the other links on the reloaded page are connected to the University’s site and those work, it is hard to believe that this, too is another coincidence or something created out of whole cloth. One thing is definitely true, the book does exist. The ISBN number is valid. The book is listed for sale on Amazon, although it is obviously in very short supply; the current price is $150+.

Some may ask, “what’s the big deal about the removal of the book from the University site”? In some respects, it’s not that big of a deal. While the article may make my skin crawl because I understand the subtext and it’s implications, it is not particularly radical, per se. But apparently someone was bothered by the notion that the information existed on the University’s site. It would not be flattering to have any clear connections between Alinksy doctrine and Barack Obama. Despite many radical leftist’s denials, Alinksy is nothing but a Marxist radical, his tactics were not “peaceful” as some leftist pinheads on TV have said or many radical “community organizing groups” worshipping at Alinksy’s feet state in their “About Us” pages. His goal was revolution of American society; revolution to a Marxist state.

Despite the obvious implications of Obama granting permission to include his essay in a book about Alinksy, his other connections to the Alinksy philosophy, and what all of it means for an Obama, there is something more bothersome about the information being pulled off the Univeristy site.

It’s the Orwellian aspect of it all, of course. How can history be so easily re-written in what is supposed to be an open society? Who is doing all of this scrubbing, editing, and pulling? One could obviously make suppositions all day long about how the University of Illinois fits into all of this, considering the many tentacles of connections to Barack Obama there. At the very least, there are apparently a lot of people and organizations in our country who are very protective of President-elect Obama and whose ethics are questionable, to say the least.

Regardless of who is “scrubbing”, editing, and pulling, and why, the moral of the story is obvious: bloggers and others doing research need to protect the information they discover and they need to do so NOW. How many among us have had fleeting thoughts of going back over links, etc., discovered throughout the election, and doing something about downloading or taking a screenshot, but have as of yet to do so? I know for a while now, I’ve been intermittently capturing and downloading, but I haven’t done it consistently or gone back over things I’d found in the past.

It seems important going forward that we all adopt these practices as a normal part of the way we do things.

In pondering the best ways to preserve information, I recall the controversy that occurred over the ages of the members of the Chinese Women’s Gymnastics team. I recall a blog post by an author who is also an investigator. He employed the use of a cache search and turned up a Chinese government report that revealed discrepancies about the girls’ ages. The government had pulled the report off the net, leaving its discovery open only to those skilled in cache searches.

Certainly there are many others out there much savvier than myself. I’ve got some learning to do about this; I briefly tried this out on some of the links for pages I mentioned having disappeared, but clearly, I don’t know what I’m doing yet, or they are just gone. For those who might be reading this who are good at cache searching, I would ask you to leave comments to instruct the rest of us how it is best done.

For now, I can share what I’m going to be looking at myself:

Google Guide about Cached Pages
(the Google guide itself, which I’ve not “stumbled upon” before looks like it might have some handy information to generally improve searching techniques)

Search Engine Showdown
Includes a listing of many free services that archive pages from the web. Google is there, of course, but many others that may include information that Google doesn’t have.

One of those listed, “Way Back Machine”, doesn’t carry the archives for at least six months after the fact. However, since none of the others have worked for me so far and may not ever, I will wait patiently and try Way Back Machine for some of these pages.

Very likely many have already thought out how to archive data and have the tools handy to do so. Maybe you’ve done it or are doing it already. Although I’m admittedly new to blogging, I’m not new to the internet. Of course, I’ve experienced some dead links here and there over the years when going back to an old bookmark, but the number of things vanishing lately seems to have a creepy Orwellian bent. I wonder if that’s true for many others. Am I just naive?

In any case, in the event that anyone coming across this post is either also new to blogging or new to preserving the information they’ve found, I’m going to go list the steps I plan to use. If you have suggestions for improving upon my list, I invite any and all suggestions. (Unless, of course, your suggestion is for me to go suck an egg because I’m archiving information on Barack Obama. If so, please don’t bother. It will just be deleted, anyway.)

So, here are the steps I’m personally going to take:
1) Spend some time everyday for the next few days reviewing past posts for web page references and video files that are only linked at this point. If they seem likely candidates for removal, I’m going to archive them using steps I’ll go through below.

Youtube videos:
Download permanently using Youtube Downloader. In addition to handy downloading, this program also converts videos for use on multiple platforms like Ipods, Windows Media Player, etc.

Web pages and graphics:
Take screenshots of sites using MWSnap. This is much more flexible than simply using the “print screen” function in Windows.
Depending upon the perceived importance of the website or page, save the page source by going to the “View” menu at the top of the browser and pasting into notepad, saving as html.

Of course, this data could really rack up in size fairly quickly. So there are storage needs to consider. Maybe it’s time to invest in another external hard drive or a big pack of CDs.

2) I will be noting the importance of information I find going forward and take the above steps on ongoing basis as necessary.

Like I said, others more experienced in these matters than myself are very welcome to leave suggested improvements.

Leftie Attack Machine Sets Its Crosshairs on Rep. Michele Bachmann of MN, Pelosi Pledges $1 Mil to Opponent, Other $1 Mil+ Floods In, Her Residence Vandalized

**PLEASE NOTE** This blog has been relocated. For updates to this post and more recent posts, please click here.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann appeared on Chris Matthews’ Hardball on MSNBC on October 17.

That puts Rep. Bachmann at the top of the list of the extremely brave or the extremely unaware. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews? As if you’re going to get anything like a fair shake from the guy who feels a tingle going up his leg when he hears Barack Obama speak.

In any case, I haven’t seen such a good case of telling it like it is as I observed here, in a very long time. Bravo, Michelle.

Now, trouble of it is, there’s been just a wee bit of fall out from this appearance. She was invited onto The O’Reilly Factor Thursday, October 23 to talk about the appearance. She explained to Bill that she isn’t backing off of her statements about the fact that Barack Obama’s past associations are very, very troubling. She again cited Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. She told Bill the only thing she regrets is that Chris Matthews kept repeating the phrase “Anti-American”, laying a trap of sorts, and she rather fell into it by repeating the phrase back to him.

I don’t think she should back up or off one inch, because Obama has many very troubling associations many of whom are clearly Anti-American. What else do you call it when a man is involved with a terrorist group whose goal is to overthrow the government? That same man, as recently as 2003, label himself as a small “c” communist, and a Marxist. Is that American? He used funding for an education program to set up a U.N. school, a school based on the premises of the U.N., not the United States. How pro-American is any of that. Further, Rev. Jeremiah rate said God%$#@ America, claims that the U.S. purposely infected African Americans witht he AIDS virus. Now, if that’s not anti-American, I don’t know what is. That’s just two of Barack Obama’s associations. When someone has those kinds of associations, and refuses to explain them, that is troubling. It does cause anyone with common sense wonder; just how pro-American is Mr. Obama?

Michelle Bachmann does a better job of articulating why Sen. Obama’s past associations are so troubling and why his becoming President along with a Democratic majority in Congress is dangerous for the country better than the McCain campaign is doing.

On Tuesday, October 21, Bachmann appeared on Mike Gallagher’s radio show. The audio is available from Gallagher’s website if you prefer to listen and a transcript of the conversation is below:

Rep. Bachmann: Mike Gallagher, I am so proud of you and so honored to be on your show, I can’t tell you.

Mike Gallagher: Well, after the beating you took on the Today Show it’s nice for you to have a friendly environment for a few minutes. Even though you weren’t on there in person, they acted like you were Jack the Ripper for what you said. And of course, we played the audio clip of what you said originally, which I think what you said was a pretty reasonable thing to say.

Rep. Bachmann: And I have so much respect for you Mike, because when a Republican is attacked, this is what the Left do, they cow Republicans into silence because no one wants to go through what I am going through right now. When you question the radical policies of the next potential president of the United States may have, the Left just goes crazy. They have tried to define subjects that are on-limits and off-limits for this election. And I touched something that is off limits. I called Chris Matthews on the carpet, and I said, Chris, Look, if John McCain had named as two of his three life mentors, Jeremiah Wright and Father Flagger, you would have been all over him. You have failed to do your due diligence as the national media to check out Barack Obama, and they can’t take it, because the point is, what are Barack Obama’s policies? Will they be for America or will they be against traditional American ideals and values? And I’ll tell you what, punishing tax rates, redistribution of wealth, socialized medicine, inputting censorship in the form of the UnFairness Doctrine, and taking away the secret ballot from the worker has nothing to do with traditional American values. And that’s why your listeners need to know. Otherwise, the United States may be literally changed forever if Barack Obama becomes the next President, Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House, Harry We Lost the War Reid the head of the Senate, and then they have the power to appoint three more Ruth Bader Ginsbergs to the Supreme Court, what are we going to do then?

Mike Gallagher: That’s precisely what’s in play here. I mean, you know, I was watching CNN, Willie Brown, from San Francisco, talking about all the agenda of pushing forth the agenda of gay marriage, and you know, under a liberal democrat president and Democrats in the Congress I mean, as San Francisco goes, so goes the rest of the country. You know, we’ll see a different country than the one we recognize. And yet, your comments were so… mainstream. And that’s what’s fascinating, there’s nothing you’ve said, even on the show, and I know that people have tried to corner you about your comments on the show, you didn’t say anything that isn’t what ordinary Americans are wondering about. a presidential candidate who talks about spreading around the wealth, and cavorting with a guy like Bill Ayers and a woman like Bernadine Dorn, who wants to overthrow capitalism. How is it not reasonable to wonder if that’s anti-American?

Rep. Bachmann: And what I did is touch a nerve, just like Joe the Plumber touched a nerve, by questioning Barack Obama punishing high tax rates and then Barack Obama saying he wants to spread the wealth around. That’s exactly what happened to me on Chris Matthews’ I touched a nerve, which shows how ultra-hypersensative Leftists are right now in this country. They know America is a center-right country. They know Americans would shrink back if they truly came to understand how radically Obama would change this country.  I mean, they’re so afraid. Nancy Pelosi came here to Minnesota and she went in front of the media and she said to the Minnesota media, that me, Michelle Bachmann, has dishonored the position that I hold in Congress, and that my statements, that my statements discredit me as a person. Then she got back on the plane and left. I’ll tell you, right now…

Mike Gallagher: By the way, she got a bigger plane. She didn’t like the plane she had. She got a bigger plane so she could fly around the country and discredit people like Michelle Bachmann.

Rep. Bachmann: Well, and that’s why shows like the Today show are banding together with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews to get my scalp on a platter. Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews alone have raised $1 million dollars for my opponent, just this last Friday.

Mike Gallagher: You’re kidding me.

Rep. Bachmann: No, no, over a million dollars in online contributions in that amount of time to take out my scalp. they’re serious about it cause they can’t stand the fact that I’m fighting them. Nancy Pelosi also pledged to donate $1 million toward my opponent. So $2 million have come in, Friday, to make sure that I lose this election. That’s why I need, I’m desperate for help right now, or else I lose.

Mike Gallagher: Give me your website address so people can donate from everywhere.

Rep. Bachmann: It’s michellebachmann.com. Michelle with one “l”, Bachmann, with two “n’s”. michellebachmann.com, and I’ll tell you what, the listeners on the left, they can’t give enough money to silence me. Oh you’re an extraordinary man, I just can’t thank you enough for your support, Mike. It’s humbling.

Mike Gallagher: We’re just so honored to be able to fight on behalf of somebody like you, who your story is so amazing. Alot of the people around the country don’t know your story. They don’t know about all of the foster children that you’ve brought into your home and changed their lives, they don’t know about your solid conservative values and your, you’re just such a terrific representative of what’s right about America, to see what you’re going through, because you basically said on a national tv show, hey you know, Barack Obama, I wonder about some of his pro-America positions  when he talks about spreading around the wealth. I think the media oughtta investigate and do an exposee about whether or not some of these members of Congress are either pro or Anti-American. That’s what gets you in so-called hot water? I mean.  Congresswoman, are the reports true, that the National Republican Campaign Committee has pulled out of funding your tv ads in the last few days here?

Rep. Bachmann: Yes, it’s true.

Mike Gallagher: Why?

Rep. Bachmann: Well, I don’t know. One thing, I give the Left a lot of credit. One thing they do, is they really hang tough with eachother. And I think there’s a lot we can learn from that. They support each other through thick and thin. And that’s why I have just so much respect and appreciation for you, Mike, you’re there, hanging in there through thick and thin. And um, I agree that I choose my words badly, and I’m sorry for that, but, um,  I didn’t commit a crime here, worthy of death. That’s kind of what’s happening in the media right.

Mike Gallagher: It’s certainly not worthy of losing your job, I mean it’s outrageous, that, as you said, the Left has managed to raise over a $1 million.

Rep. Bachmann: It’s over $2 million.

Mike Gallagher: Oh, it’s $2 million now. I gotta tell you, all of the emails that are flooding into us, when I just, about an hour ago, gave a $500 contribution to your campaign.

Rep. Bachmann: Oh, Mike.

Mike Gallagher: But listen to this, yesterday, I got a call from a guy in Beverly Hills, California, listening to me, he was so touched by what your up against, he made the maximum donation to your campaign of $2,300. I’ve got people, I’ve got a lady in Atlanta, she says, I’m broke, I gave Michelle Bachmann $10. I mean it’s incredible, I mean people are rallying around you because now’s the time to fight for what we believe, Congresswoman. We can’t let these bullies win.

Rep. Bachmann: And, you’ve just hit the point, Mike. This isn’t about Michelle Bachmann. Because I didn’t go to Washington, D. C. for a job or for a career. I was a Federal tax lawyer and I have five biological kids, and like you mentioned, my husband Marcus and I have raised over twenty-three foster kids. We just have a heart for kids who are at risk in our communityat risk. I had a full plate of things I had to do, but I was very concerned about the direction of our country. And that’s why I was willing to go on Chris Matthews’ show last Friday. I didn’t go on to get votes for myself. I didn’t go on to help myself. I went on because I was so concerned, like yourself, Mike, about what will happen to our country if we have Nancy Pelosi in the House, the values of Harry Reid in the Senate, and the ideas and the power of Barack Obama sitting in the Presidency, with the ability to appoint three more Ruth Bader Ginsbergs to the Supreme Court. Because we will see punishing-high tax rates. They aren’t shy about this. Two days ago, Barney Frank, the Chair of the Financial Services Committee that I sit on, said we need to have massive spending increases, not worry about deficits and then raise taxes. They aren’t shy about it. This is what theyre planning to do. They will punish success, like the Joe the Plumbers of this world who want to succeed, that American dream will go away. That is why my race is so crucial. Because I’m a fighter, and I take it to them. I take it to them everday on the floor of the United States Senate. And I took it to ’em on Hardball with Chris Matthews. And I walked into a trap and I got tripped up because Chris Matthews was used the word over and over and over again. He was driving home the word “anti-Amerian”. Foolishly, I repeated back to him, in my response, the word “anti-American”. I wish I wouldn’t have done that. But that being the case, I don’t back away at all from my concern for my country.

Mike Gallagher: Please don’t. Please don’t. And let me tell you what we’re trying to do here. Just so you know, because millions of Americans, I think, are touched by your passion. We’ve linked your website to mine, so we’re inviting listeners to go to mikeonline.com to make any kind of contribution they can. And, furthermore, we’re now in touch with our station in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, the Twin Cities, the Patriot, and I’m trying to figure out a way to get there Wednesday night, and bring my buddy, Jackie Mason, whose the great comedian.

Rep. Bachmann: Oh, he’s so talented.

Mike Gallagher: Well, he’s funny and he supports you, Mi-. He wants to either deliver in person or by video, a stand-up message for you and we might be able to pull off a fundraiser Wednesday night in the Twin Cities on your behalf, so we’ll keep everybody posted on that. Stay up, Congresswoman, don’t get down on us, we need you to keep fighting.

Rep. Bachmann: What a doll you are, I appreciate it. You know, this has really unhinged a lot of people. Yesterday, my home was vandalized. WE have a white painted house – [Mike Gallagher:] What?! [Rep. Bachmannsomeone took black spray paint yesterday, came to my home and sprayed black paint on my house, that said the word “scum”, spray painted my driveway.

Mike Gallagher: Are you kidding me?

Rep. Bachmann: This has gotten people completely unglued. It’s the front page of all our big newspapers. Big photos of me and essentially putting a hairshirt on me, telling the world here in Minnesota that I’ve committed the most offensive crime known to man. It is unbelievable, huge photos, above the fold, banner headlines on every night on the local news, on all of our radio stations. You haven’t seen anything like this.

Mike Gallagher: Wow.

Rep. Bachmann: They see, they smell blood. They want a scalp, because they want to silence someone whose been willing to touch the nerve of what Barack Obama could do to change our country forever –

Mike Gallagher: Not to mention your Democrat opponent in Congress. We’re going to keep fighting for you. We hope we’ll see you Wednesday night in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Michelle Bachmann, God Bless You, hang in there, don’t get down.

Rep. Bachmann: Thank you.

So, the thanks that Michelle Bachmann has gotten for standing up to the ubber-left media and just calling a spade a spade, is to now have a bullseye placed right on her forehead.

Whatever can be done to help her, needs to be done. Not only is she willing to stand up and say what most politicians are not saying about Barack Obama, she was out front on the energy issue, she voted against the bailout bill, twice. This woman needs to be sent back to Congress, there are so few politicians like her.

To donate to her campaign, visit this website.

Mark Levin Speaks with Bob Bennett about Keating 5 & Iran-Contra

For the complete broadcast which includes this interview, follow this link.

Mark Levin (Mark): Well, I want to welcome Bob Bennett to the show. Bob Bennett is one of the most exceptional and successful lawyers in the nation. He’s represented everybody from Bill Clinton to Caspar Weinberger. He happens to be the older brother of a man I deeply admire and who is a terrific radio host, Bill Bennett. How are you, sir?

Bob Bennett (Bob): Fine, Mark, how have you been?

Mark: I’m very well. Do you remember meeting me a few times?

Bob: “Oh, I remember, absolutely.”

Mark: I was the handsome one, remember?

Bob: You were the good looking one, I remember that.

[laughter]

Mark: Well, first of all, your book, In the Ring: Trials of a Washington Lawyer. We’ve linked to that on marklevin.com. It’s a terrific book and that is why I want to talk to you.

Bob: Thanks, Mark, yeah.

Mark: You have a chapter on the Keating 5. And Bob, this is very important, now, because, people are bringing up, i don’t want to drag you into politics, but people are bringing up William Ayers, and suddenly this Keating 5 thing pops up again. Why don’t you tell us, give us a thumbnail sketch of what happened there and what was the deal about John McCain.

Bob: I’ll stick to the public record. What my role was – I was hired by a bi-partisan Senate Ethics Committee to investigate what was known as “The Keating 5”.  And in essence, what it was, was that there was something called the Direct Investment Rule which Charles Keating was opposed to. What it did was it basically said that Savings and Loans, which he owned one, couldn’t, were limited in where they could invest their money. Senator DiConcini scheduled a meeting with several Senators  to meet with the head of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and pressure them.

And, Senator McCain attended that meeting. And one thing led to another and the Ethics Committee conducted an investigation. And I investigated it for a long, long time, well over a year. For the purpose of determining whether or not the Senators, including McCain, violated any standards, rules, ethical prohibitions. And at the end of the investigation, I concluded that Senator McCain and Senator Glenn should be exonerated, that is, that there should be no further action against them, but that was rejected by the Committee and there were some twenty-six days of public hearings.

As you know, Mark, ’cause on the occasions we’ve met, I- we argued some. I’m a Democrat, as you know. But, I had to call it the way the evidence dictated, and I called it that John McCain did nothing wrong. How Heflin, who at the time, was the Chairman of the Committee, was very concerned that there be twenty-six days of hearings with only Democrats in “the docks”, so to speak, so my recommendation about exonerating Senators Glenn and McCain was rejected and we went forward. But… it’s….and at the end of the day, it was pretty clear, from all the evidence, that there was no violation by Senator McCain.

I’m sorry to be so long but that’s in a nutshell, what happened.

Mark: Well, it’s important, because it’s a long time ago, we have five and a half million people listening and we gotta get this right, Bob. And, it seems to me, that based on what you’re saying, based on what I’ve read in your book, and what you’ve said before, frankly, that he was thrown into this for political reasons, and it’s being raised again, you don’t have to answer the last part, I’m commenting, it’s being raised now for political reasons. John McCain is not an unethical man, can you, can we agree on that?

Bob: Let me say this: from all the evidence, he’s not a friend of mine, although I guess, in the spirit of full disclosure, years after the Keating case, just this past year, he hired me as a lawyer, to represent him in connection with this dispute about lobbying he was having with the New York Times. But, at the time I made my findings, I was totally independent, and I’m not a surrogate of his in this political…. You know, I represent too many people on both sides of the aisle. But the direct, that as background, I certainly saw nothing in my investigation that would call into question, John McCain’s ethics. When he learned that there had been a referral to the Justice Department by the regulators, uh, he withdrew from any assistance to Keating and in fact, got into a big argument with Charles Keating, who called McCain “a wimp”, which did not sit well with the Senator. So, I certainly, based on my investigation in that case, saw nothing to call in to question John McCain’s ethics.

Mark: And you’ve represented, you’re right, people of all political stripes and so on. Let me askyou a little bit about that if i could segue.

Bob: Sure.

Mark: Casper Weinberger, you represented him in the Iran-Contra matter. I represented Attorney General Meese. Now, what kind of a man for you, was Casper Weinberger?

Bob: Oh, I think he was the tops. I mean, I have never seen such prosecutorial abuse in my life as I saw in the Weinberger case as I saw in, by former Federal Judge Lawrence Walsh. It was a terrible abuse of power. You know, Weinberger was the former Secretary of Defense and yet, Walsh was, I was about to say he was so close to me as you are now, but we’re not very close we’re on the phone [laughter], but I was about three feet away from the man, and he, Walsh, basically said to me and my partner, Karl Rauh, he said, “If you’ll turn on Ronald Reagan, we’ll give you a no jail-misdemeanor plea.” I left the meeting shaking my head and I said to Carl, who was the former U.S. Attorney in Washington, “Do you belive what we just heard? This guy’s gunning for Ronald Reagan.” And it was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had in my life. Weinberger was just a class act and a real statesman. You know, I didn’t agree with him on a lot of things, he was a conservative Republican and I’m a democrat. But he was one terrific human being.

Mark: As a side note, I remember having to go into the vault there in the Justic Department, you know, our hands were tied there lots of times, weren’t they Bob?

Bob: Yeah sure.

Mark: And reading some of the Grand Jury stuff, which we’re only allowed to read, and we could use it, but we had to write it down by hand [Bob: Yeah, right] or whatever, and I remember going back to Ed Meese and saying, “These bastards are trying to indict you. I said, “I can’t believe it.” And they wanted to indict Schultz, and they wanted to indict Weinberger. I said, “My God, these guys are getting out of control.”

Bob: Well, you know, Mark, Weinberger thought he was a cooperating witness for Walsh, you know, being Secretary of Defense and having all of the government [inaudible], it wasn’t unusual for him to get requests, and for five years, he thought he was a cooperating witness because if you remember, he was opposed, vehemently opposed to the sale of arms to Iran, and he then got a target letter. I really appreciate you mentioning the book, In the Ring. I do have two chapters in the book, one is dedicated in the book to the Keating 5 and a chapter in the book dedicated to this Weinberger case.

Mark: Do you still represent Bill Clinton?

Bob: No, no, that matter is over with.

Mark: I don’t mean…I mean, if he needs something, does he still call on Bob Bennett, or does he have a bunch of lawyers?

Bob: You know, I wouldn’t tell you if he did, Mark.

Mark: Ok.

Bob: You know, If I could just make a point, because you mentioned it earlier on, I just hope that Senators Obama and McCain stick to the issues and I’m really worried, I know you feel [Mark: Not really.] as I do, that this politics of personalization, these politics of personal destruction, is awful and I just hope they just get on and discuss the issues.

Mark: Well, you know, hope is what it is, my friend.

Bob: Yeah.

Mark: One of these, a nice thick steak, how do you like your steak done?

Bob: Well, I like it, I prefer it on the well done side.

Mark: I do, too.

Bob: If you talk to any real, you’re going to get calls, this is the only thing you’re going to get calls on [laughter], I’m told real cattle people, they won’t eat their steak raw or rare, they want it done, they really don’t want it rare or raw, I’m so curious…

Mark: I’ve had lunch a couple of times with Bill in years past. How does he like it, well done or doesn’t it?

Bob: As long as it doesn’t bite back, Bill likes it. [laughter]

Mark: Ok, folks, get this book. It’s a fascinating book: In the Ring: The Trials of a Washington Lawyer. It’s got a chapter right there on the Keating 5, a chapter on Weinberger, and a there’s a lot more than that.