Letter to the Michigan Board of State Canvassers Regarding Tea Party Formation Petition

This letter and illustration was provided to the Board of State Canvassers on 7/23/2010 in view of the meeting's topic involving the dubious petition for an "official" state Tea Party filed by an individual on 7/14/2010.

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July 23, 2010


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 following document is meant to supplement the Board of State Canvassers meetingheld 7/23/2010, 10:00 a.m., Room 426, State Capitol, Lansing, Michigan regarding the above referenced topic. Please see the accompanying illustration portraying the petition, new party logo, and associated filing documents for discussion.

Situation

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.


At Issue


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.


Impact


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.


Needed Actions


  • Deny the referenced petition in its entirety in view of the issues touched up on above and others yet to be fully identified and articulated.
  • Investigate the nature, motivation, and funding of the petition and report findings to the public.
  • Allow opposing organizations, groups, and individuals further meaningful comment and action beyond the 7/23/2010 Michigan State Board of Canvassers meeting. This will promote fairness, equity, ethics, and legality.Establish or enhance and promulgate definitive and encompassing criteria to ensure and preserve the sanctity of Michigan’s new party petition and electoral process going forward.
  • Conduct all pertinent activities in a timely and expeditious manner on behalf of all citizens and voters residing in Michigan.



Thank you for your time and attention to this very important matter.




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Comment by patriotm1 on July 26, 2010 at 4:41pm
The group seemed to make its point at the 7/23/2010 Board of State Canvassers meeting.
Unfortunately, the bureaucracy may not do the right thing. The unbelievably short time frame to contest the dubious petition makes it difficult to stop the petition filed at the State. It may come to a legal challenge or string of challenges to keep this at bay.
Either way, it is an important topic and should be considered an "all hands" effort to stop it.
Comment by Tom on July 24, 2010 at 10:27pm
I would like to thank you for your efforts putting this together. Your testimony before the Board was very thoughtful!

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