THE 1773 PROJECT
Freedom isn’t Free
The Tea Parties need to make a difference in the political arena. And, as Texas State Speaker race demonstrated, politicians listen to sources of money far more than to sources of volunteers. However, as we all know we have MANY political donors among our Tea Party ranks; while generally not the large donors, we are numerous enough that our combined strength on the financial side is not insignificant- if it is recognizable.
However, most Tea Parties- unlike this one- have eschewed the PAC route and are organized in a way that precludes direct group donations to candidates. Even those of us who are organized into PACs are reluctant to go into the mode of raising large sums of cash; such efforts tend to lead to contention, suspicion among our politically cynical memberships and- even if successful- would only make those Tea Parties part of the special interest problem. We prefer to leave donation to the hands of our individual membership, as part of our personal responsibility plank.
But how do we let the candidates know that such donations are coming from Tea Party members- in a way that cannot be ignored (and not violate elections laws)? It’s actually very simple:
WE MAKE OUR DONATIONS TO CANDIDATES IN INCREMENTS OF $17.73
(1773 Being the year of the Boston Tea Party)
Using this simple mechanism, we identify ourselves with every check written, every credit card swiped. We do it in a declaration of our independence, and in complete compliance with all election laws. Where the amount is $17.73, $35.46, $177.30, or $1,773, it will say ‘The Tea Party was here!’. And, if the donor does this on a monthly basis, it continues to register.
And it is important that we start making this impact for the next election cycle. These amounts are small enough, with enough members and enough repetition, will stand out in the campaign offices and on the campaign finance reports. We need this impact to start to say the Tea Parties are willing to play in ALL fields of political battle- even if we will play a more honest game of it. We encourage EVERY Tea Party to pass onto its members this concept and ask them to start implementing it. It will make a difference.