Oregon Tea Party founder Geoff Ludt assumes OTP leadership.
Geoff Ludt invited me to the first Oregon Tea Party held on February 27, 2009. There were maybe 100 of us with a bull horn, a treasure chest containing tea and some hand made signs repudiating the huge amount of government spending. Most of us had never protested anything before.
We rallied on the steps of the historic federal courthouse building across from Pioneer Square because we’d been told we couldn’t have a gathering in “Portland’s Living Room” without forking over money none of us had. So across the street we went, much to the amusement of the security detail.
We dumped the tea in the Willamette River and a movement was born.
We decided after that to get more people involved. With Geoff and his talented, hard working committees of dozens of activists, we held the April 15, 2009 Tea Party in which upwards of 6000 people crammed the entire Pioneer Courthouse Square. Hundreds of man-hours were spent on that event. I was convinced that this was a group that matched my values and was worth being a part.
Things were picking up steam. I would attend meetings of the Oregon 9/12 organization, Clackamas County AFP, give air time to You Choose events and spend time talking to folks from the Tea Party on my radio show. All of these groups sprang from that Tea Party event in April of 2009.
Tea Party folks began embedding themselves in current political groups and running for office–a clear win. To make a difference you’ve got to be in the arena. John Kuzmanich and Jeff Reynolds, the administrators for the OTP Facebook page, have done the hard work and run for office. Occasionally you’ll hear a Tea Party person on OPB or interviewed for a news story.
All the other groups are still going strong but when leadership of the group changed hands as Ludt left to take a second job to take care of his growing family, the Oregon Tea Party began to fade away.
What is the Oregon Tea Party anymore?
It appears to be just a Facebook page.
Now Facebook pages are fine, after all that’s all the left’s Blue Oregon is. There’s no movement at Blue Oregon, it’s just a bunch of rantings by Carla, Kari and that crotchety coot with the creepy videos, with an occasional panting of, ‘did you hear what Daily Kos said today?’
But we’ve got to do more. Everything in Oregon is run by far left Democrats. Their point of view pervades everything in the state. The Oregon Tea Party should become the defacto large-and-in-charge counter narrative.
Some stories have surfaced about the leadership of the Tea Party which Willamette Week has pointed out (here) and Blogforce member Bruce McCain has investigated here and here.
But those concerns are moot now that the torch has passed. Geoff Ludt is in charge of the OTP brand legally in the state of Oregon and the Tea Party will begin its next phase.
And that’s a good thing. These folks are great American PATRIOTS.
To you and especially to those who were there that first Tea Party on February 27, 2009 I say to you, “Freeeeeeeeeedom!!!!!”