To: Michigan Board of State Canvassers
Re: New Party (“The Tea Party”) Petition Filed 7/14/2010 vis-a-vis P.O. Box 23, Richfield, MI, 48757.
The referenced petition was circulated by a single individual in 2010 and unilaterally lays claim to the existing and widely recognized Tea Party grass roots movement and namesake seen in communities and regions across Michigan and the United States. Existing Tea Party groups did not support this petition drive and were generally not aware of it or its supporting motivations.
Use of the Tea Party moniker on the petition raises the specter of misleading or misrepresented party affiliations where voters, citizens, and petition signatories are concerned. Moreover, the associated new party logo uses a modified Gadsden flag. The Gadsden flag is a mainstay of existing Tea Parties nationwide and further adds to the potential misunderstanding countless signatories may have had with this petition’s origination and intent. Additionally, the use of the Tea Party moniker raises potential name use and copyright issues.
Approval of the referenced petition will confuse and disenfranchise many existing and legitimate Tea Party groups and Michigan citizens and voters. Michigan’s electoral process will be adversely affected and, to an extent, undermined. Approval of the petition will open the door to potential litigation on a host of fronts as organizations, individuals, the State, and Board of State Canvassers attempt to resolve a myriad of issues both predictable and unforeseen.