American Solutions

WSJ: “Tea-Party Activists Stage Tax-Day Rallies”

Filing Deadline Brings Out Protesters Against Big Government, Administration Policies; ‘Tsunami of Conservatism’

By Neil King Jr., Douglas Belkin, and Louise Radnofsky

Tea-party activists held rallies across the country Thursday, the deadline for filing federal tax returns, to highlight what they said were onerous taxes and a bloated federal government.

The activists protested Democratic policies and displayed varying attitudes toward prominent Republicans. Some groups invited marquee conservatives, such as former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who addressed around 500 people in Austin, Texas.

Other organizers refused to invite politicians of any stripe, reflecting the deep distrust many in the movement feel toward elected officials.

In Wisconsin, several tea-party groups protested a decision to let former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson address a rally in Madison. Saying it was “time for new voices and new faces,” Mr. Thompson used his speech to announce that he would not challenge Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold in his bid for re-election.

The rallies in town squares and hotel ballrooms from Philadelphia to San Diego came a year after a similar spate of April 15 protests put the small-government, anti-tax movement on the national map.

Organizers said Thursday’s rallies were more numerous and generally larger than last year’s. But the gatherings also illustrated the conflicting aims and strategies that have sprung up within the movement, which is now made up of hundreds of local groups working under a dizzying array of names.

The Tea Party Express, a group organized by a California political-consulting company, concluded a nationwide bus tour with a rally in Washington, D.C., that prominently featured—and endorsed—an array of Republican candidates in the midterm elections. Most other groups have spurned such endorsements.

One candidate endorsed by the group was Sharron Angle, a former member of the Nevada State Assembly, who is among a dozen Republicans vying to challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. The Tea Party Express made her one of its 14 “heroes” in the November election.

“Good morning, American patriots,” Ms. Angle said in her speech to about 200 activists. “You have brought a tsunami of conservatism across this country.”

Continue reading at the Wall Street Journal

Free-Market Groups Join Together to Announce “Contract from America”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Ryan Hecker, 215-880-2430

(Alexandria, VA) – The Tea Party Patriots, a national umbrella organization for hundreds of local tea party groups around the country, joined today with the National Taxpayers Union, FreedomWorks, and Americans for Tax Reform, three of the nation’s most prominent free-market advocacy groups, to announce the upcoming April 15 launch of the “Contract from America,” a grassroots legislative agenda for 2010 and beyond. Originally proposed by Ryan Hecker, a Houston Tea Party activist and National Coordinator for the project’s chief organizing group Tea Party Patriots, the Contract is a different kind of agenda for our federal lawmakers: unlike the Contract with America from the 1990s, every plank of the Contract from America was proposed and voted on by everyday citizens.

After a fight that seemed to last forever, Congressional leaders were finally successful in ramming through a controversial $2.5 trillion health care plan. They did it despite poll results showing that the bill was deeply unpopular, and despite efforts from of millions of taxpayers who contacted Congress, came to townhall meetings, and attended protests to speak out against the proposal. Now those taxpayers can use their frustration to do more than just protest – they can change the direction of our country.

Right now, concerned citizens can visit the Contract FROM America website (contract.thelibertylab.com) and choose their top ten priorities from a list of 21 planks proposed by committed Americans from all walks of life. By asking website visitors to propose and vote on the agenda, the result will be not a list handed down from on high by old-bull politicians, but one handed up from the true grassroots in this country. Once voting is complete on Monday, April 5, 2010, the Contract will be finalized into a blueprint that will serve notice to public officials about what the people want for their future.

As of April 1, over 360,000 votes had been cast on the Contract website. The three most popular planks were: (1) beginning the process of enacting a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution, (2) requiring legislation to cite the Constitutional provision under which it is authorized, and (3) rejecting “cap-and-trade” national energy tax proposals.

Tea Party Patriots (www.teapartypatriots.org), National Taxpayers Union (www.ntu.org), FreedomWorks (www.freedomworks.org), and Americans for Tax Reform (www.atr.org) are nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organizations working for lower taxes and smaller government.

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DOWNLOAD A HARDCOPY OF THIS PRESS RELEASE HERE.

AMERICAN SOLUTIONS: Contract from America and What it Means for 2010

At CPAC, American Solutions took part in the formal launch of a new grassroots initiative called the Contract from America. We believe that it has the potential to define the 2010 elections.

Spearheaded by Ryan Hecker of the Tea Party Patriots and the Houston Tea Party Society, this is an effort – after demanding that Washington listen to us – to tell Washington exactly what we want them to do.

Currently a collection of 22 policy proposals developed and chosen by the American people, voting is now open to you and every other American, so that you can decide upon a final 10-point Contract to be unveiled on April 15, 2010 – the next round of nationwide Tea Parties.

The Contract from America provides a vehicle for every American that believes in free markets, limited government, and individual liberty, and here are 5 reasons why:

1. A focus on America, not President Obama.
President Obama deserves a lot of blame for what’s happening in America right now, particularly the unprecedented intervention of the federal government in the economy and the tripling of the national debt. But Washington’s failures have been bipartisan, and our current challenges are much bigger than President Obama.

By providing a blueprint for building a better future, rather than a recipe for how to beat President Obama, every American concerned about the direction of Washington can be assured that the Contract’s purpose is not partisan success, but American success.

2. Moderate Democrats vs. the Secular-Socialist Left.
Red America vs. Blue America is a myth. As the Tea Party movement and the victories of Scott Brown, Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie are proving, there is huge (70 percent plus) tri-partisan majority of Americans who believe in lower taxes, limited government and individual liberty – and they’ll vote for it when given a real choice.

The secular-socialist Left, represented by President Obama and Speaker Pelosi in Washington, represents a small percentage of Americans, which is proven every day that they try to run over the moderate Blue Dog-wing of their party, and more and more Americans reject their policies.

There are plenty of items in the Contract that moderate Democrats can be for, and the Contract provides them an opportunity to stand up to the Left, which is driving them off an electoral cliff.

3. The Contract is not a platform – it is a contract.
Campaigning is much easier than governing; just ask the current Democratic majority. It’s one thing to gain power, it’s quite another to hold together a coalition, fix real problems, and give voters a reason to keep you around.

With the Contract from America, candidates are not just signing a platform from which they will campaign; they are signing a contract with voters that they will actually do these things.

4. An alternative vs. opposition.
When the President and Congress try to take over, for example, both the healthcare (public option) and energy sectors (cap and trade), it’s not only good, but essential to say no and do everything in our power to stop them. However, we must do more than that. We must alter the terms of the debate, on our grounds. America is rejecting the Left’s policies, but they won’t embrace ours until we define, explain and communicate what they are, clearly and simply. The Contract can be our vehicle.

5. Honesty and Transparency over Ideology.
Ideology is important, and conservatism is on display throughout the Contract from America. However, a good bit of it (like the original 1994 Contract with America) focuses on honesty and transparency, such as the required posting of bills online and more choice for parents in education.

Most Americans are not ideological. They just want government to work, to be responsible, and to know that the people, not politicians, are the ones calling the shots at the end of the day. Just think about the healthcare debate – every American may not know exactly what the public option is or what cap and trade means (most of the politicians don’t either), but they do know that they don’t like their supposed representatives shoving it down their throat.

Something is wrong when our representatives are crafting deals behind closed doors, when they won’t hold townhalls in front of their constituents, and when outright bribes are explained away as just “the way things work in Washington.”

For many Americans, the focus on honesty and transparency will be a breath of fresh air.

And with that, go ahead and pick your Top 10.

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