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Tea Party caucus – interview

RoseAnn Salanitri, founder of the Tea Party Caucus in New Jersey, discussed her new organization with your editor yesterday.

Who is the Tea Party Caucus?

The Tea Party Caucus comprises several New Jersey TEA Party groups and like-minded organizations throughout the State.

Does the Tea Party Caucus speak for all New Jersey TEA parties?

Absolutely not.  The Tea Party Caucus speaks for the members of the caucus, as all corporations speak for their own members.

How is the Tea Party Caucus different from other TEA Party groups in the State?

RoseAnn Salanitri, head of the New Jersey Tea Party Caucus
RoseAnn Salanitri, head of the New Jersey Tea Party Caucus

Each Tea Party entity is fiercely independent and they choose their own agendas and who they wish to associate with. The goal of the Caucus is to act in concert with as many Tea Party groups as possible to bring about the changes in government and policy that hopefully would be of the greatest benefit to all  New Jerseyans and others committed to adhering to constitutional principle while governing.

Our objective is to bring together as many groups throughout the State as possible.  We believe that if we want to do anything, we need to develop a strong core group. We can then open it to the rest of the State once we do the ground work. Many in the group were active in New Jersey’s first Tea Party Convention, The Battle for Trenton, and we used this same philosophy.  It worked well for us with the Convention and we believe it will work well for us in this attempt. We are finding that we must make decisions on a daily basis so the organization stays fluid and able to make decisions.  Large groups tend to bog down to the point where even the simplest decisions can result in agonizing and non productive debates.  New Jersey is at the crossroads and action needs to be taken when critical issues arise.  We simply don’t have the luxury of running every decision by 100 people to come to a consensus. Corporations that are successful are nimble in their approach and philosophy.

We are people who are fiercely independent and value our liberty and autonomy. It is a common thread that runs through every Tea Party.  Every Tea Party is also very different, in that they have different aims and goals.  For example, the Bayshore Tea Party and the Essex Tea Party recently concentrated on the redistricting maps that were being created in NJ.  While most of the Tea Parties supported their efforts, this particular project was something they really took the lead on. They received support from groups in all counties in the state  and some groups actually signed onto the lawsuit.  All, Tea Parties, however,  have conducted their fair share of rallies, letter campaigns to our elected officials, and the like.  They’ve also done an excellent job of inspiring interest in our Constitution and communicating information that threatens the principles founded in our Constitution. This is precisely where NJ TEA Parties are most effective.  Individual groups take the lead and others support them.  We cannot take upon our shoulders all the needed work.  There is simply too much that needs to be done.  So, each group adopts the issues they name as the most urgent and for which they have the expertise among their membership.  Other groups either join in and help them or spearhead another initiative that may interest them more.

The Tea Party Caucus, at this point anyway, will not engage in those types of activities.  Our focus will be to take the things that are happening and things we believe to be threatening our NJ and US Constitutions and taking action.  Our members are already informed, so communication of current events will not be our objective, although we certainly share information.

What is the objective of the Tea Party Caucus?

Our objective will be to escalate activism to another level.  For instance, we have a Committee devoted to analyzing the problems we are facing with our Judiciary and will be developing a multi-faceted plan to reform this branch of government.  We will also be analyzing the problems with education and creating a strategy to reform that as well.   This is an action group that will not beg for the crumbs government is willing to throw our way.  We’ve all heard the phrase talk softly but carry a big stick.  Well, the Caucus intends to become a really big stick. We all believe as Ronald Reagan did that government is not the answer to our problems, government is our problem.

How do you answer critics who accuse you of using the Tea Party Caucus for political gains, since you are running for the New Jersey Assembly?

No matter what I say, there will be people who will be critical and misunderstand.  As is often the case, some people have hidden agendas and others fall prey to those agendas. The Tea Party Caucus was an idea that was discussed with many several months ago. It did not then nor does it now have any bearing on my decision to run for office.  Whether I win or lose, this is something NJ needs. We intend to fight to restore the principles this country was founded upon using any tool we can use.  We are all tired of nothing getting done – despite all the well-intentioned “proposals’ out there and we are tired of all the empty promises.  Perhaps having a member of the legislature be a party to this effort would give another opportunity to actually get something done.

The bottom line is very simple.  We have to stop looking to government to solve our problems.  If this is our government, that it belongs to We the People, then We the People have to be sure it remains free and prosperous.  Our elected officials have not been able to do that for us – regardless of what they tell us at election time.  And if and when legislation was introduced, most of it fell by the wayside or was so compromised it tended to do more harm than good.  Our hope is to restore our government and not rely on the hands of our elected officials.  It lies in the hands of We the People.  The Tea Party Caucus is an outgrowth of that philosophy, which all its members share.

Featured image: the Christopher H. Gadsden “rattlesnake” flag, unofficial symbol of the Tea Party movement. Photo: User “Vikrum”/Wikimedia Commons

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

candidate, constitutional law, election, Tea Party


Terry A. Hurlbut

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

Comments (16)

  • Will the new Caucus have a website or other means of publishing the common platforms and projects that are being undertaken? As Ms. Salanitri states, the goals and agenda of this umbrella group will likely have differences compared to the individual TEA Party entities its membership will be drawn from.

  • I think that CNJ may have smelled this out some time ago but did not know the form it would take. This “caucus” only goes to fracture the Tea Party movement throughout the state and is a self-serving tool for RoseAnn’s election bid. It is misguided and wrongheaded.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut

      You want to put up some evidence to support that statement? Or are you just blowing smoke?

      • Let’s see… The Tea Party Caucus consists of RoseAnn (& Sussex County) , Falzon and who else?

        Is this self serving or what?

        gh

        • So show me exactly what you have even tried to accomplish.

          People like you who complain about doers is because you are nothing but a loser because you don’t have the strength of character to be a leader and even if you did, no one would follow you anyway.

          Stay in South Jersey with the rest of the rednecks and thiefs like Haney.

    • I’m missing the logic here. So let’s see… A group of Tea Parties come together to work on issues, and speak for no one but themselves, and are willing to support, and have supported, other Tea Parties, and that’s a threat to fracture other Tea Parties and the movement through out NJ?

      Sounds like Mr.Haney would like to decide and approve which Tea Parties can come together. His illogical bitterness is what fractures. What stands out in his comments is the referencing of CNJ whom many Tea Parties despise for its personal attacks on individual Tea Party leaders.

      In fact Haney’s personal cheap shot attack on Salanitri is a parroting of past CNJ innuendo and attacks.

      So one must wonder if Mr.Haney seeks to become, or is, the TP voice of CNJ in attacking other Tea Parties whom he decides do not meet his standards. Who is more fracturing than someone who cannot stand the thought of some Tea Parties wanting to work together?

      • What group of Tea Parties? So far all I see is Sussex County. They obviously don’t include West Jersey.

        So far this “Caucus” is entirely self-proclaimed. No one else in the state to whom I have talked has indicated membership. They had better ‘fess up or they will be just as empty a suit as Obama is. Big hat, no cattle doesn’t cut it any more. Until we get some detail, the “organization” serves no-one but Ms. Salanitri.

        gh

        • So,gh,name those to whom you have talked to. Could be a limited “self-proclaimed” in-group.

    • Haney needs to go crawl back under the rock he came out from under and try to go steal from some other people. Anyone who would listen to a crook like him is a bigger fool than he is.

  • Other than RoseAnn, who is the Tea Party Caucus? What other Tea Party organizations belong to it? What other people?

    What is their mission? That statement of objectives is pretty ambiguous.

    • Hey George, go crawl back under the rock with Haney. What exactly have you or Haney actually accomplished other than complain about everybody else.

      Seems to me that neither of you has anything to point to and because you don’t you attack someone who is at least trying.

      That mission statement is pretty clear to me. What’s wrong, the words too big for you? Is that why you don’t understand it?

    • gh,please re-read the mission statement and try hard this time to get it. You and haney seem to want to proclaim who can do what and your divisiveness along with haney bitterness is destructive to the NJ Tea Party movement. What group are you with anyway? And who are all those individual group leaders you supposedly consulted who know nothing about the Caucus.

      Sounds like the Caucus is a new entity and that you have had an unreasonable knee jerk negative reaction to something new. Or maybe you have caught haney-itis and his divisive bitterness. C’mon think for yourself. Try to consider that haney is the divisive force here. And so will you be if you continue your attacks against those who appear to me, to actually want to work together.

      It would seem more adult and reasonable if you had made some simple inquiry instead of attacking this Caucus, and then asking for information, because then your request seems insincere and simply a search for more fodder to attack.

      My advice to the Caucus is to ignore you and haney, and simply move on to its mission. Your attacks have already made you look small and jealous. With out much info, from what i can see, you and haney have decided the Caucus is the enemy. It would seem that you, haney and other knee-jerk attackers are actually splitting the TP movement! From what I can see you have the great potential with your attacks to create open warfare. I hope that does not happen. So knock it off. I would hope you would want to be more about unity. It takes leadership to bridge this gulf…do you have it?

      And I still wonder about haney referencing CNJ. They would love TP warfare.

      • It would appear that truther purports to know my name (which has not been revealed) and TP109 wants lots of information but is willing to give none. Sorry, folks, it doesn’t work that way.

        All I ask is what tea parties, other than Sussex, are part of the Caucus. I didn’t see an attack on anyone.

        As for the mission statement…I would like to see a mission statement somewhere. How about a web site. How about letting people know who runs it? Other than this interview, we know nothing.

        I how absolutely no problem if the Tea Party Caucus wishes to exist as another New Jersey Tea Party. We have a right to choose our own organizations and hopefully their motives are pure. However, that organization should not purport (second time I’ve used this big word) to represent individuals or organizations who have not joined it. So far, the Tea Party Caucus represents a few individuals (ok with me) and one organization (ok with me). However, the implication is that it represents my organzation (it doesn’t) and West Jersey (it doesn’t) and others (which others?). Come on folks…this is easy. Just tell us rather than attack us.

    • Another brilliant comment by a loser and a thief.
      Next thing that will happen is that that other thief and loser, Winkler will show up.

  • I’m not yet fully disappointed but am getting there.

    Who is ANY group to say another group cannot do something or start a initiative as they see fit? Did not many support the Summit, support and spread the word about the lawsuit on redistricting by adding their personal names, attending other events in NJ, spreading the word when others had events that required support, sending money to the Little campaign and telling others about it, investing time and treasure on the Tea Times Paper (pity it is not still in print-many ask for it)?

    What is going on here? No one needs permission to do anything and can call it anything they want as long as they are clear they do not speak for everyone so be it.
    When we are continually being attacked from the outside, why is there a drive to do it from the inside? This is a waste of time and energy.

    I personally appreciate the contributions made by the many diffferent groups on many different fronts and initiatives. We cannot do everything all the time so some must take the lead on issues and others support them – it just makes sense.

    All groups have my best wishes for success (even those who are shells for the republican party) as long as they are committed to conservative results and do not attack as a means to raise themselves up. I can even get past the snarky comments – well at least most of them but not all.

    Please stop this. It’s time for everyone to get their noses out of joint and do the work we need to ensure a government for “We the People”.

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