Tea party activists learning to use their brooms
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Something has changed within me, something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules, of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and LEAP

"Defying Gravity" from the musical "Wicked"

To begin my Halloween celebration this year, I took a break from Revolution 2010 and treated myself with a Danversbank Destinations trip to see "Wicked" at the Boston Opera House.

I had a wonderful time, but of course I didn't take a break from Revolution 2010. Even as I identified with the "wicked" witch Elphaba, having stopped playing by the rules of the political establishment game decades ago, I thought of the newbie activists in the tea party when I heard her sing the rest of the song.

Some of them were politically asleep, and are now trusting their instincts as they leap into the election arena. However, they are not closing their eyes. Their eyes are wide open and they see very clearly what they have to do on Nov. 2.

They see an America under assault by those who do not understand that this country, despite its flaws, is the last best chance for freedom on earth or perhaps, by those who are more interested in their own power and privilege than our freedom and our jobs.

They see congressional incumbents who don't want to talk about their records, their votes for more deficits/national debt, government bailouts and takeovers of healthcare, but spend their special-interest money for silly ads attacking, for example, 2008 Halloween lawn signs.

They see a commonwealth being brought down by more special interests and the lack of balance in a one-party system.

Other inattentive voters have refused to address the national and state problems in the past; I suspect they too have finally had enough because they began Revolution 2010 with their election of Scott Brown in January. Sen. Brown is showing his gratitude to them now, working for the change he started, endorsing all the Republican Congressional challengers and even some legislative candidates like Brett Schetzsle in Beverly.

In the 6th Congressional District, they can vote for Bill Hudak, an ordinary citizen who had the guts to leap into the dusty, vicious political arena to help save the country for our grandchildren. Or they can vote for the dirty-campaigning John Tierney and never again wonder why good people don't run for office, as the grandchildren's future drowns in debt and increased government power.

In the statewide offices, they can naively vote again for the simplistic slogan "Together We Can" or they can admit that, let's face it, together Deval Patrick and the overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature can't manage their way out of a scary ongoing fiscal crisis.

Or they can choose proven manager Charlie Baker, endorsed last weekend here by Chris Christie, the tough and funny Republican governor of New Jersey, who convinced his Democratic legislators to cut their budget deficit without new taxes, and is beginning to turn New Jersey around.

They can choose for state auditor an actual auditor like Mary Connaughton, or a former legislator who couldn't audit her own illegitimate tax breaks, taking a primary residence property tax exemption on both her Massachusetts homes.

They can vote for the vital, energetic Karyn Polito for state treasurer or pick a longtime Democratic party fundraiser who has worked hard for many years to protect our arrogant, secure one-party system.

They can vote Yes on 1 to repeal the unfair "double" tax on alcoholic beverages, which we're told is earmarked for treatment programs; but if Beacon Hill tradition holds, will be used for that worthy cause only until the repeal effort by the abused little package stores is defeated. Then the money will go into the general fund like previously earmarked cigarette and gas tax hikes did.

They can vote Yes on 3 to cut the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 3 percent, either because they want a 3 percent sales tax or to send a message that they are angry about last year's tax hike and have waited long enough for the income tax rollback they voted for in 2000 that was frozen by the one-party Legislature.

Even more important, they can defeat the legislative incumbents who voted to raise that sales tax rate from 5 percent to 6.25 percent. Some of the exciting new challengers to these tax-hikin' incumbents in this area are Senate candidates Christopher Dent, Richard Jolitz, Jamison Tomasek; and House candidates Janet Holmes, Kate Kozitza, Jim Lyons, Martin Scafidi and Val Troyli.

They can honor the extraordinary effort made by newbie Jim McKenna to get on the ballot with stickers, or they can vote for the incumbent attorney general, who persecuted the innocent Amirault family in a case reminiscent of the Salem witch trials.

Did someone mention "witch"? I'll leave you with more lyrics from my new favorite musical. Sing along with me, voters of northeastern Massachusetts:

I'm through accepting limits, cuz' someone says they're so;
Some things I cannot change, but til I try, I'll never know.
It's time to try defying gravity...

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in the Lowell Sun, Providence (RI) Journal and other newspapers.

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