Cochise County Politics: Palominas Tea Party Gears Up for 2014


Dateline: The Border Fort, November 4, 2013. I’ll confess right up front: This post is a blatant pitch for the Palominas Tea Party meetings in Cochise County, Arizona. I’m one of those campaign season activists who pay close attention whenever there’s an election coming up. In between campaigns…sometimes not so much. If you’re like me that way, or even just mildly interested, hey, mark your calendar, block out those Monday evenings and occasional Saturday afternoon special events. You’ll be glad you did.

It had been nearly a year since I’d attended one of our local Tea Party meetings at the Palominas Church. These are held every Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. and, while it’s not a large group of folks, we do have a website that posts each month’s scheduled events.

Naturally, I had a great excuse for slacking off. My wife is disabled on a number of fronts. It’s not a good idea to leave her home alone for any longer than absolutely necessary, especially after dark.

However, that excuse went bye-bye with a bang this evening. I checked in with Pam around 6:00 p.m. She was in her recliner (which she stole from me several years ago), watching TV.

“Are you good enough for me to go to the Tea Party meeting?”

I asked sincerely, but also with an ulterior motive. If she said no, which she only does if she really doesn’t feel well enough or safe enough, I’d get to stay home–and people, I’m truly a lazy bum at heart. My idea of a great life would be winning the Lottery and lording it over a mansion full of servants hired specifically to cater to my every need. Who wants to get up and out of the house to go spend an hour with other citizens concerned about our nation’s rather obvious downward spiral?

Unfortunately, my redhead was on the ball. “Yes, I’ll be fine,” she told me. “In fact, I was going to remind you. I can’t go, so you have to go.”

Oh. Well. That settled that.

Before heading out, I checked the Palominas Tea Party website to see what was planned for November 2013. Interesting….

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Tea Party Pitch 005

Okay, so the announced guest speakers and movies and such are all good, very helpful–what? You keep hearing the Tea Party is bunch of old racist white men intent on destroying the country?

Well, yeah, I keep hearing that, too–from the left wing media and their sponge-like low information viewing base. That’s not the reality of the Tea Party, though. Demonization is not accurate characterization. If you’re mildly curious, be not afraid. Drop on by next Monday evening; check us out. I promise we won’t bite.

In fact, speaking for myself, I can’t bite, at least not very hard. There hasn’t been a tooth in my old bald head for the past 21 years.

Seriously, though, I attend Tea Party meetings at the Palominas Church for two reasons:

    1. To learn about political issues that affect our household or will affect our descendants. These issues of course also affect the United States of America as a whole.

    2. To find out how I might be of assistance in the political process, especially in Cochise County.

Last year, for example, a guest speaker at one of the meetings presented herself as a candidate for Cochise County Recorder. I was impressed. Having long had issues with that office, I introduced myself to the candidate, volunteering to assist in her campaign in any and every way possible. She lost in the primary election, but we had a good run even so, and I ended up learning more about political campaigns than I’d learned in my first 68 years of life.

Not that you have to be willing to dive into the deep end of the pool like that to gain from attending the meetings. For example, there are frequent free flowing round table discussions that often provide great insights. My notes from this evening’s meeting include information on the following:

–Ed Martin, candidate for Congress in our CD2 voting district which includes part of Tucson and all of Cochise County. I’d not known of Ed’s existence prior to tonight, but this man looks electable. Gabrielle Giffords (Democrat) held the post until she was seriously wounded by mass murderer Jared Loughner in 2011. Currently, Ron Barber (Democrat) is in that office. Martha McSally ran a close race against Barber last year and will be a tough opponent for Martin in the primary, but he’s worth a serious looksee. Here’s a link to his website.

If he does become the GOP nominee, I believe he has a real shot against Barber in the general election.

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Tea Party Pitch 007

–Information on the American Lands Council, which seeks to force the federal government to extinguish title to most of the lands they currently hold, especially in western states. This was supposed to happen way back when, being authorized by the various Enabling Acts passed by Congress as Territories became States. It’s important that it does happen sooner or later (preferably sooner) because (a) states cannot tax federally owned lands, so you and I (on 13% of the land in Arizona) pay the burden for the entire state, (b) most of our nation’s mineral reserves (coal, oil, gas) are being locked away from use, and (c) several other powerful reasons.

Using the Tea Party meetings to learn the details is particularly important in Arizona. Several other western states have enacted legislation to get the ball rolling. The Arizona legislature did its part, too, but our less than esteemed Governor vetoed the bill. Jan Brewer might have shaken her finger in President Obama’s face at one point, but since then, she’s rolled over like a puppy begging to have its belly rubbed.

The American Lands Council does have a website.

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–We were also brought up to date on the 2014 race for Governor in Arizona. Jan Brewer is ineligible to run again per specific wording in the State Constitution but may try anyway, which would mean getting a majority opinion in her favor from the Arizona Supreme Court–to which she appointed 3 of the 5 current Justices. There are numerous GOP candidates gearing up for the primary election, the most recognizable of whom is Secretary of State Ken Bennett.

Most significantly, a discussion of tactics covered the question, which is the best use of our energies, to focus on electing Republican legislators or to focus on electing a Republican Governor? (I tend to agree with the view that we who consider ourselves activists will be better off if we focus on the governorship. As one attendee at tonight’s meeting pointed out, the legislature doesn’t enforce anything. That’s the Governor’s job.)

–One more, this time a local Obamacare horror story. We’ve been hearing on the news about people losing their existing policies and also about premiums doubling, sometimes tripling for the coming year…but it appears that, at least sometimes, those numbers are being seriously lowballed. One woman who holds a responsible position in our community reports that her health insurance policy premium skyrocketed from $1700 (annually) to…$12,000.

Wow. Hey. All of that came out of a single Monday evening Tea Party meeting at the Palominas Church. Who knows what I missed while skipping those meetings for 11 straight months?

However, the past is the past, no use crying over spilled milk, that’s water under the bridge, and a barrel full of other moldy clich├ęs. Next Monday is another week, another Tea Party meeting, and we hope to see you there.

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