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Notes from a TEA Party

I attended a second TEA party demonstration in Bellingham (WA) – this one for two hours midday on Saturday the 4th. The volunteer coordinators had sign-up sheets and endeavored to get folks to “register” as they walked from parking areas to the event site on both sides of Guide Meridian, near Bellis Fair Mall.
 
I might have been paranoid enough to suspect dirty tricks with the sign-in sheets, but I knew and trusted several of the event coordinators.
 
Weather here on the 4th was nearly picture-perfect, and it looked to me like the turnout, while a little smaller than the big spring TEA party, was a pleasant upside surprise.
 
I just saw an email report from one of the my buds who was coordinating the volunteers. They hypothesized that media coverage would under-report turnout, so they wanted to have solid documentation for corrections. Sure enough, the Sunday Herald ran a smallish story about the event, including a reference to a “few hundred” participants.
 
The preliminary tally of the signup sheets — albeit incomplete — is slightly over 1400. 
 
As for the assertion that we who attended were dupes of sinister right-wing organizers — Republicans, NRA, Club for Growth, Right-to-Life, Business Roundtable, etc. — I freely admit I’m linked to several of these organizations, and have contributed money to several, and I barely heard of this event. I had to do some digging to even find out where & when. The folks I chatted with at the event — this like everything else in Bellingham involves chats — represented a wide range of individual interests & priorities. The one “issue” surprise, for me, was the widespread hostility to the Cap & Trade indirect tax that recently passed the House and will soon be considered by the Senate.  (BTW I got an earful of Cap & Trade angst back in Indiana which, like the rest of the upper midwest, relies heavily on coal-fired utilities and will get hammered under this new regime.)

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