The Tea Party Express sails into town in their huge buses, suck up taxpayer services and hold their event in public parks all the while screaming about the need to cut taxes and reduce government services.
They position the event as a free speech event instead of a fundraiser with entertainment and booths selling t-shirts, flags and CDs.
Community taxes keep your city running. It seems unfair that outsiders who hate government services and taxes should use your services without giving anything back. If you are in Provo or Salt Lake City maybe your city managers and police would like to get paid. Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter and Joe the Plumber are getting paid to help this group fund raise, why shouldn’t your police? Check to see if your city is on the tour list and ask your city managers and police:
"Are you getting paid like the police in Henderson NV were? Are your officers getting sucked into doing this fund-raising event for free? Do you normally provide free security for other fund-raising events?"
Craig Geslison, Provo Police Chief
Wayne C. Parker, Chief Administrative Officer
Dear Chief Geslison and Mr. Parker:
I know that you might be providing security and city services to the Tea Party Express event, at Old Utah County Courthouse . A few things to note and to question about the costs and who is paying for this. Will Provo PD get paid by this group for their support like the police in Henderson NV did or will your taxpayers have to absorb the costs? As they say, "Follow the money". Some background on this group below (with documentation in links)
1) Majority Of Tea Party Express Spending Went To GOP Firm That Created It
The Tea Party Express is funded by Our Country Deserves Better (OCDB) which raised around $1.33 million from July through November, according to FEC filings examined by TPMmuckraker. Of that sum, a total of $857,122 went to Sacramento-based GOP political consulting firm Russo, Marsh, and Associates, or people associated with it.
Link from Talking Point Memo Muckraker
It probably doesn’t matter who is running this event, but how it is classified by you matters. If someone says they are handicapped to avoid paying parking fees you ask for a doctor’s note to confirm. If someone says they are political demonstrators but then show up to ask for money, provide entertainment, sell CDs, t-shirts and flags — they might not be grass roots demonstrators but carpetbaggers who figured out a way to suck money from your community and get services from you for free.
How much are the Provo police getting paid to provide security? Did you know that the Henderson NV police were paid by the Tea Party Express?. Why should they get paid and the Provo police have to absorb the security costs for the increasingly violent actions of Tea Partiers? Even if they aren’t violent, you still have to provide the venue support and security. Are your officers getting sucked into doing this fund-raising event for free? Do you normally provide free security for other fund-raising events?
2) Violent signs and violent comments are condoned
Some tea party leaders are attempting to distance themselves from violence, but will the group that promotes the meeting as a "Showdown in Searchlight?" Will they walk away from violent comments? You may want to note if they are selling sick, violent t-shirts and bumper stickers. If someone gets shot at a Tea Party Express event, whose insurance company pays for damages? Do the cities that host them and give them a permit pay for personal or property damages?
3) These events cost the local taxpayers but will the Tea Party Express reimburse them? Who is going to pay for the Provo police providing security?
You might want to question how much this anti-government, anti-tax group is using in government services. In LA the group size required 30 police officers to keep an eye on the group because of their increasingly violent rhetoric. The approx $6,000 in police costs were paid for by the LA taxpayers.
The group has a history of low-balling attendance to get cheap permits. If you check you will note that any permits they got they suggest only a 100 people or so will show up, failing to provide a real estimate forces the city to scramble at the last minute to provide services. They position the event as a free speech event instead of a fundraiser with entertainment and booths selling t-shirts, flags and CDs. You might want to check and see if anyone bothers to collect sales taxes that should go to your city and state. After all, they are using your venues and services and not paying a dime for them (unless you are smart and get paid like the Henderson police. Is the Provo police budget so flush they can leave money on the table? Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter and Joe the Plumber are getting paid to help this group fund raise, why shouldn’t your police?
A fund raising event with entertainment in a public venue is a bit different than a free speech march in the streets. This group sails into town in their huge buses, suck up taxpayer services and hold their event in public parks all the while screaming about the need to cut taxes and reduce government services. It would be ironic if it wasn’t so common an occurrence.
Community taxes keep your city running. It seems unfair that outsiders who hate government services and taxes should use your services without giving anything back. I’m sure that if you asked the organizers of "Our Country Deserves Better" to pay for the services they use they would be happy to give you the same funding they gave the town of Henderson. They have already established a precedent for payment. If they don’t pay, you might want to ask them why your city is getting stiffed.
Daniel Follett – Assistant Director, Finance
Denise Roy – Budget Officer
Randy Wright,Executive Editor,
Logan Molyneux, City Editor
Grace Leong, Reporter