Initial frustration with big spending Republicans drove Ryan Hecker and other fiscal conservatives to the creation of the TEA Party but it is the Democrats today who are the ones most worried by the grassroots disgust with business as usual in Washington, D.C. This week the TEA Party comes of age . . . as they flex their political muscle with a second survey called the "Contract FROM America . . . seeking to create a TEA Party platform consisting of ten planks . . . .
To date over 400,000 surveys have been completed and thus far the top three planks of the TEA Party movement appear to be:
#1 Protect the Constitution by requiring each bill to identify the specific provisions of the Constitution giving Congress the power to do what the bill would do. 82% of all survey responses included this plank.
#3 Demand a balanced budget by getting a Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority required for any tax hikes. 69.6% of respondents approved of that plank.
The Contract From America is the brainchild of 29-year-old Houston attorney Ryan Hecker. Hecker invented the concept even before the tea party movement began in February 2009. Hecker says the ultimate objective is to “influence the outcome of the midterm elections” the way the Contract With America did in 1994, or even more.
"My dream, my hope," Hecker said, "is that economic conservative candidates and those who want to be economic conservatives in the future will sign on, and that we get a bunch of blue-dog Democrats and tons of elected officials onboard, and that they recognize that any document they craft themselves won't be as powerful as one coming from the people.”
Using the results of more than 5,000 surveys from members of the grass-roots movement, the Conservative Political Action Committee winnowed the ideas down to 21 proposals. Then they posted the list online in the as an extended survey, and directed voters to the ContractFromAmerica Web site to select the top 10 ideas.
The ten proposals that the grass-roots voters deem the most important will be included in the full ContractFromAmerica proposal, to be unveiled on April 15 during the massive Tax Day Tea Party rally being conducted in the nation's capital. Reflecting the widespread, de-centralized power of the tea party movement, the Contract From America also will be simultaneously revealed in Houston, Austin, Atlanta, and 80 other locations in the country. Hecker’s idea was based upon the Republican Party’s Contract with America in which the G.O.P. successfully passed nine of the ten contract items into law and forced Bill Clinton to abandon his liberal agenda and govern from the center.
"The Contract From America was a great document," Hecker says, "but ths time it's not top down, it's bottom up . . . It comes from the people, and it's how representative government should work."
"It started with my recent frustration with the Republican Party's lack of legitimacy on economic-conservative issues," he explains. "They no longer represented for me a proxy for my beliefs on the economic front. So this idea came from that. I thought, 'How do we move this country back into an economic conservative direction if that's not where it seems either party is headed. And then it just fit perfectly within the TEA party movement." To which Rajjpuut says, AMEN!
Ya’all live long, strong and ornery,