Ever heard of the TEA Party? If you have been alive in the past two years you have. TEA Parties across the nation are making a huge difference in American politics and for certain politics in Arkansas.
There are approximately 30 TEA Parties in our state. They range in size from hundreds of people to just a handful but regardless of size they are a force to be reckoned with because they are bursting with folks who have made conscious decisions to become informed and engaged.
The November elections in Arkansas were a clear demonstration of that force. Conservatives won 7 contested Senate and 16 House seats in the election. The Arkansas Republican Party now holds 45 State House seats, 15 Senate Seats, and 3 State Constitutional Offices. The largest freshman class since 1999 was sworn in on Monday fully demonstrating Arkansans want change.
The events of the first week of the Arkansas legislature were already riff with anticipation and enthusiasm. Unlike any other time in Arkansas politics this session is swarming with not just lobbyist, reporters and visitors but with citizens that are determined to make a change in politics as usual. I am sure the whirly bird and chauffeured rides, huge spun yarns, and phone foolery would have made it beyond the doors of the capitol but something significant happened, and hopefully will continue to.
Here is a facebook note from David Crow, Chairman of the Faulkner Co TEA Party:
by David Crow on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 10:28pm
We want fewer taxes, less spending and smaller government....that is our Tea Party position and we did not back down! AR state senate Joint Budget Com. passed HB 1063 giving raises to Judges and Prosecuting Attor....we said no and in less than 24 hours the House reversed itself and is now removing the raises from the original bill! How did it happen? One person attended the committee mtg and witnessed the vote...challenged the Faulkner Co Tea Party and others across the state to make calls to their reps, and the COL increases are history! The power rest with the people if we use it! This is proof that together we will and are making a difference! There are many other bills our spend, spend and spend progressives liberals want to push through we must have a Tea Party rep in every committee meeting. Keep it up folks....together we can restore fiscal sanity and reduce the size of government!
As a result of the actions of attentive engaged voters, Arkansans were saved half-a-million dollars in just the first week; and legislators are once again reminded that times are a changin and they are accountable to the people.
Once again I strongly encourage you to get plugged in, help broaden the network of responsive individuals by informing your sphere of influence and making sure you have your elected officials contact information.
There will be plenty more comin down the pike, as of today there have been over 160 bills filed that our legislators will deal with over the next several months.
Together we are making a difference, you are needed~