By Tom Tillison
Florida Political Press
The following letter was hand delivered to Rep. John Mica, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee on March 1, 2011. This took place at a meeting he requested with a Florida tea party leader who was in Washington, D.C. speaking at a House Tea Party Caucus hearing.
Mica was asked to respond to the letter...13 days later, no response has been received.
To The Honorable John Mica
Congressman, Florida D7
“If the tea party wants to oppose Mica over a single issue, then, so be it.”
Your District Rep. Dick Harkey, in uttering the above words to a leader of the tea party movement, unknowingly stumbled upon the fundamental difference between what has come to be seen as the ruling class in Washington, D.C. and we the people.
You see, Congressman Mica, from the tea party’s perspective, it has little to do with high speed rail and everything to do with the continual spending that is threatening the very stability of our great country. We can debate the practicality of ‘investing’ in high speed rail until we’re blue in the face, however, at the end of the day, that’s akin to debating whether to add another room or not while the house is on fire.
When you were first sworn in as a freshman Congressman in January ’93, our national debt stood at $4.4 Trillion, today it stands at $14.1 Trillion. In your first year in office, our national debt represented 66.1% of GDP. Today it is at 95% of GDP. The interest payments alone will soon be unmanageable.
What a shameful burden this is that we pass on to our children and grandchildren, who’ll be servicing this debt long after we have passed from this earth. When examining the motivations of the average American citizen involved in the tea party, the one consistent theme is an overriding determination not to be the first generation in American history to pass on to the next a country worse off than what we inherited.
Yet, we find ourselves on that path…and too many of our elected officials continue to perpetuate the actions that put us on this unsustainable course.
With all due respect, sir, when do things reach a crisis point in your mind? What calamities must befall us as a country and a people before our elected officials grasp the reality of the situation? Will it take the collapse of our already weakened dollar? Will it take unrest in the streets of the multiple cities and states across America that are currently on the verge of bankruptcy?
Is this to be the legacy of our generation? Your legacy as an elected official, when posterity accurately records that these things occurred on your watch? Where is the foresight, sir? The responsibility to act?
If we saw the same urgency and innovation to address the debt in this country as we now see in the effort to undermine Governor Scott’s decision to reject the federal money for high speed rail, we dare say that we would not find ourselves standing at the very precipice of disaster.
Furthermore, we find ourselves a bit dismayed at your dogged determination to continue pursuing the HSR project in complete disregard for the will of the people. It brings back unpleasant memories of the Democrat Party shoving healthcare reform down our throats. Adding to this distinction is your choice to publicly align yourself with Senator Bill Nelson in this attempt to circumvent the Governor of Florida, a fellow Republican.
Sen. Nelson has been, from the very beginning, dismissive of the courageous actions and endearing sacrifices of the hundreds of thousands of Americans that make up the tea party movement. He is a man who arrogantly refers to himself as “the mainstream of Florida politics", all the while, supporting the far left progressive agenda 100% of the time. We assure you, Congressman, this alliance is not the impression you want conservative voters to have in their head when they think of John Mica.
We also find ourselves puzzled at your request to meet with a leader of the tea party movement in that just two short weeks ago, one of us reached out to your office to secure just such a meeting, only to be told by Mr. Harkey that there really was no point in the two sides meeting.
One thing you can be certain of, Mr. Mica, the tea party movement in Florida is among the most active and most organized in America. There is an extensive communication network in place and a synergy that formed early on in 2009 that continues to this day. When all is said and done, sir, the American people are simple folks looking for simple solutions. We in the movement have become immune to the spit and polish of professional politicians and just look for tangible results that make a difference.
We take this opportunity to call on you to see the errors of the ways of old and to join, while there’s still time and while it matters, with brave men like Gov. Scott who are taking the bold and necessary actions to secure a better tomorrow for America.
While speaking with Mr. Harkey, he made it a point to say that if the tea party were willing to vote against you on a single issue that “we accept that”.
We the undersigned duly inform you that we will indeed vote on a single issue. That issue being a secure future for our children and grandchildren, so that when our time comes to be called Home, we can rest assured in the knowledge that they will continue to enjoy the same blessing from Providence that we have enjoyed. The blessing of living in the most free and prosperous nation in the history of all the world. Thank you.
Tom A. Tillison - Central Florida Tea Party Council
Jason Hoyt - Central Florida Tea Party Council
Alan Berkelhammer - Gainesville Tea Party
Paula Helton - Gainesville Tea Party
Nancy Meinhardt - Miami 9/12 Project
Marianne Moran - Tea Party in Action
Joe Sekula - North Pinellas 9/12
Tim Curtis - Tampa 9/12 Project
Karen Jaroch - Tampa 9/12 Project
Sharon Calvert - Tampa Tea Party
Kathy Gibson - Eastern Orlando Tea Party
Cindy Hofeditz - Polk City 9/12
Robin Stublen - Charlotte County Tea Party
Elaine Laffey - Tea Party Ft. Lauderdale
Bill Landes - Florida Minutemen Org.
Maureen Siebold - Lakeland 9/12 Tea Party
Steve O’Neal - Winter Haven 9/12
Don Hensarling - Florida 9/12 Project
Pam Evans - DC Works For Us, Aventura
Karin Hoffman - DC Works For Us
Pat Wayman - Venice 9/12 Project
Mary Rakovich - Levy County Patriots
Ron Rakovich - Levy County Patriots
Patricia Sullivan - Patriot Army
David VonGunten - North Lake Tea Party
Tina Woode - Sanford Lake Mary 9/12 Project
Don Forward - Titusville Patriots
Clyde Fabretti - West Orlando Tea Party
Kathleen Waligore - Tampa 9/12, Pasco County
Kim Irvine - Tampa 9/12, Pasco County
Stacy Snow Feiler - NoTaxForTracks.com
Peter Lee - East Side Tea Party