North County Tea Party gaining strength
July 30, 2012
By DANIEL BLACKBURN
There’s a big party brewing, but it’s not about dancing and cocktails — the issue at hand for members of the rapidly-growing North County Tea Party is nothing less than salvation of these United States.
With its own quarterly publication and a membership list now topping 200, the two-year-old group is gaining steam in its quest for “regaining” the nation.
“We see this as a vehicle to encourage citizens to get involved, and to inform them about the threats facing our country,” said Paso Robles resident John Texiera, publisher of the Central Coast Tea Party Times. “United we stand, divided we fall — freedom made this country great, not our government.”
That’s an attitude embraced by a growing number of people, said Texiera, an assertion supported by the enthusiastic embrace of the Tea Party by county residents.
Lydia Thompson is “in charge” of the group — “I’m not president, nor chairman… it’s just that someone had to take the lead.”
She echoed the comments made by Texiera: “A lot of people have the same concerns. Our biggest issue was to figure out what needed to be done.”
The group’s inception “started with a rally a couple of years ago,” said Thompson. “I wanted to be on the mailing list, but I never got a response.”
That prompted her to take action “and it just happened..all of a sudden it just got going. Volunteers started coming forward. It wasn’t anything magic — it was just people wanting to get involved. Word of mouth was the best recruiter.”
The group’s original purpose was to educate, but people needed a way to take some action, said Thompson. “One person cannot do it all. It needs people who have the same philosophy, and who want our country back where it was, who want their freedoms back.”
She said she is “worried about people who don’t realize their freedoms are being taken away. They don’t know the difference, and they are complacent.”
She was “one of those people,” said Thompson, “comfortable, everything was fine. I was never involved in politics. But slowly, surely, that all changed.”
That is the way it was with most members of the group, said Texiera.
“It seems like most of our members are people fifty to seventy years old, who have never been involved in politics, but who are very unhappy with the way this nation is going. They have a love of country and are hoping to get it back on track. We share a desire for a constitutionally-limited government and a return of our freedoms,” he said. “The Constitution is a marvelous document, and it hasn’t changed. We have.”
When he volunteered to publish Tea Party Times, Texiera said he thought he “ could maybe be a little help. The magazine deals with core values and other issues. We get pour articles from people in the county, from other Tea Party publications, off the Internet.
A retired Department of Corrections employee, Texiera said he has experience in “writing administrative manuals, that kind of thing.”
The group distributes 1,500 copies the magazine by placing them in friendly businesses.
“Of course, it’s political, so some business folks are a little shy. But if they like it, they put it out.”
Tea Party members share another common concern, and it’s called “Agenda 21.”
“Read it, and you can see where ‘they’ are going,” Texiera said.
According to Wikipedia, Agenda 21 is “a non-binding and voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations (UN) related to sustainable development. Agenda 21 is a comprehensive blueprint of action to be taken globally, nationally, and locally by organizations of the UN, governments, and major groups in every area in which humans directly affect the environment.”
Tea Party membership nationally enjoyed a rapid rise two years ago but now has leveled off somewhat.
The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, a national organization based in Kansas City, shows that one group, the Tea Party Patriots, enjoyed a rapid gain in numbers from the time it started in February 2010, to its peak in December of an estimated 140,000 members. It now has leveled off to about 80,000. Meanwhile, other related groups have formed, including Freedom Works, whose membership now tops that of the Patriots by about 10,000 members. Other groups of similar intent show similar numbers — the 1776 Tea Party claims 10,000 members; ResistNet, 80,000; and Tea Party Nation, 40,000.
“We used to have people with common sense, but now we listen to the fools and have lost our way,” said Texiera. “All public officials take an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. We need to demand they do what they have sworn to do.”