Tim Kiska: The Tea Party Redefining Itself

By Tim Kiska

Until now, Michigan’s various Tea Party groups have more or less done their own thing. Fiercely protective of their own independence and allergic to anybody who would give orders from above, they’ve voluntarily restricted their power to their own particular corners of the state.

But there’s a move afoot to unite as one big family to take down U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow.

The groups plan to hold a straw poll February 25 to choose a Republican U.S. candidate in 2012. That’ll be preceded by a January 14 debate, which will be aired via SKYPE.

Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra has been making moves to make himself more appealing to the group. He’s landed an endorsement from failed Nevada U.S. Senate candidate, Sharron Angle. But challenger Clark Durant has been tilling the fields, as well. And candidate Gary Glenn has an endorsement from Fox News’s Mike Huckabee, which carries weight in Tea Party circles.

Cindy Gamrat runs the Michigan4Conservative Senate group, and she says she learned that unity can mean a lot in politics. Before moving to Michigan, she involved herself in Tea Party activities in Indiana. “We didn’t unite there,” she recalls. “And the person we liked the least won.”

She doesn’t want that to happen again.

Gamrat estimates the number of Tea Party organization in the diaspora at 65, although the number shifts constantly.

The smart money says a Tea Party endorsement could mean a lot for a Republican in the August 2012 Senate primary.

But it could be the kiss of death in the November general election.

  • http://mivote.org/featured-blog/the-tea-party-redefining-itself The Tea Party Redefining Itself — MiVote

    […] more or less done their own thing. But there’s a move afoot to unite as one big family.Read More: http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/12/22/tim-kiska-the-tea-party-redefining-itself/ Filed Under: Blogs, Featured Blog, Tim Kiska Tagged With: Clark Durant, Debbie Stabenow, Gary […]

  • Leisa Audette

    These so called Tea Party “leaders” are deciding for us the criteria for entrance into this straw poll and then these 100 or so representatives are then deciding who we should support?! These “leaders” are doing exactly what the ideology of the Tea Party is against. Let every voter decide for themselves and stop this nonsense that will only harm the Tea Party movement in the end. We have a thing called a PRIMARY that decides who will go against Stabenow.

    • Tim Bos

      Leisa, you really shouldn’t offer an opinion on something that you apparently know nothing about. Or perhaps you do know the facts about the Michigan 4 Conservative Senate. If that is the case, then you’re just plain dishonest.

      As a member of Mi4CS, I want to set the record straight. Tea Party leaders aren’t making the decisions on who will be supported by Mi4CS. Their groups each hold a straw poll and their members choose the 3 top choices for the GOP Senate candidate. Then they choose 2 reps to vote those choices in the Feb. 2012 Mi4CS Convention straw polls in Mt Pleasant.

      The ultimate winner, as you can see, will be chosen by the membership base in the Tea Party movement. This is grass roots at it’s finest, and it will only be effective if the grass roots from around the state unite behind one candidate. Failure to do so will ensure that we all get more of what we;ve been getting stuck with by voting against each other. United we stand, divided we fall has never been more true than it is now.

      So which is it, Leisa? Were you ignorant of the truth, or aware of it? Do you want more of the same? Do you want Conservatives and Independents to continue to vote with the freedom and effectiveness of a herd of cats? And will you continue to denounce Mi4CS if they and their members choose to support your candidate?

  • Denis Curran

    Every voter will decide for themselves, particularly the tea party members voting on who to unite behind. Is there something wrong with planning and coordination?

  • brad jackson

    ummmm, tim … while i can agree with your observations about leisa’s reaction, those observations could ahve been made without the hostility that was used. one, perhaps primary, way to separate those of differeing minds is to implement “horizontal violence” … sometimex called a “circular firing squad” which is what we tea partiers do NOT want to happen. No one, particular we teapartiers, are suggesting the democrat-goose-step approach to a ground swell movement to resurrect the America we used to have.

    a little kindness in correction goes a VeryLongWay. thank you for your help.

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