Our Venom Is Our Vote
This attack email came from The Wayne County “Truth” Squad (Yes, that’s what they really called themselves!):
“Sharon Lollio – Founder of Rattle with Us Tea Party in 2009, Sharon has been an activist and hard worker for the advance of the conservative movement in our district. However, it was quite concerning to us once she began 'endorsing candidates' on behalf of the Rattle with Us Tea Party without discussing with the group or asking for their opinion. Come to find out (again, follow the $$$!) she has become buddies with Shannon Price, given a job in Schuette's Executive Division in 2011 as a 'Legislative Liaison', and became Vice Chair of the Wayne 11th, which depleted most of their budget to max on $5,000 of their precious local funds to who? Oh, the Committee to Elect Shannon Price for Wayne County Commissioner. Sharon Lollio that we all remember as being a true patriot has been hyjacked by the ‘Price politicalestablishment machine’ in Wayne County, and her paycheck is directly tied to her ability to deliver Delegate Votes for the State Convention.
Most recently, she publically endorsed Mike Mitchell (again, without discussing with the Rattle with Us Tea Party members), and became emotionally irate at the Rattle with Us Tea Party meeting this past Monday 2/6/13, denying an actual Tea Party Candidate Tom Llewellyn from speaking to the group (but still allowing establishment Price candidate Mike Mitchell to speak). Many of the Tea Party members in the audience were quite disturbed by Sharon’s actions and rude words to Tom, she who claims to stand for the freedom of speech and following the Constitutional values that our Country was founded upon.”
My response follows -
Dear “Rattle With Us” members and delegates,
Not sure how many of you received the email above from the Wayne County Truth-Squad (if anyone can figure out who this group is, I would appreciate it). As I am unsure of the targeted audience – I’m going to send out my response to our membership as a whole.
I would like to address both the lies and the truths in this email. This is both to defend me and to protect the reputation Rattle With Us has developed over the past four years. Many have complimented us on our discussion topics, the organization of the meetings, and the warmth of the group.
I apologize I did not discuss the possibility of Rattle With Us supporting Mike Mitchell when he decided to run for the position of Chair for the 11Th District. It was very easy to get behind Mike as a candidate. He had been coming to our meetings well before he decided to become a candidate. It was apparent when talking to Mike outside our group setting that he believed in our message and our movement.
For those that may not know it, the Madison/Hamilton Dinner that was hosted by eight TEA Party groups 2 years ago; we were able to get Dick Morris as our speaker because of Mike. We got Dick Morris at no cost to us. All the proceeds from that event went to The Fallen and Wounded Soldiers and The Wounded Warrior organizations. And even back then Mike spoke of running for the position of Chair for the 11Th.
Mike helped run the Victory Centers for the past election. Anyone who worked those centers saw the type of work ethic and organizational skills he exhibited. He possessed the abilities to produce results.
Mike also worked to promote the Freedom To Work initiative. He was there in Lansing outside the Capitol the week before, and just outside the infamous AFP tent the day the legislation was passed.
These are just a few of the reasons it was easy to support Mike for the Chair position, besides knowing him to be a man of good character and true friend to our family.
That being said, I should have gone to the group and asked for the Rattle With Us support of Mike or supported him on an individual basis. I am sorry I did not do this and have learned a lesson that we are a team and as a team, all decisions and actions should be brought before those that truly consider Rattle With Us their TEA Party.
As to becoming Vice-Chair of the Wayne 11th, not really sure what the problem is with that? Maybe because I took the position before it was the “fashionable” thing to do. For the past year I have read all kinds of emails and posts about TEA Party people running to sit on Republican Executive Committees. Some want to “work with” while others made statements about wanting to “take over”." I was blessed to be in a district where Rattle With Us could work with the Republicans in our area.
I know some TEA Party groups experienced heavy resistance from their local GOP, and I know a few groups who had no difficulty at all. When we started RWU, I went to the monthly Wayne 11th meetings and some of the Republicans came to our meetings. We found that while we did not agree on everything, we agreed on enough to work on a few endeavors.
When it came to the Wayne 11th Committee of 2010 – there was no problem seating 3 members of Rattle With Us on the team. Over the course of two years our team worked together to accomplish some things of which we are very proud of. One of which was to get 2 out of our 4 conservative candidates elected to the Plymouth/Canton School Board.
In addressing the email’s line of depleting most of our budget – or “precious local funds” on Shannon Price who was running for Wayne County Commissioner – yep we did it. And we did it with a unanimous vote.
Anyone who was following Wayne County politics knew that was one of the races we were going to focus on. At that point in time there was only ONE REPUBLICAN commissioner currently elected. We thought it might be nice to help Laura Cox with someone who could second her motions.
On to the TEA Party accusations. To my true Rattle With Us friends/family, those that really know me - know I pretty much speak my mind and also that no one is going to hijack me or force me into doing something I don’t want to do. My true buddies are agreeing and laughing as they read that line.
No amount of money would tempt me to give up my morals, my values, lose my integrity, or my relationship with the Lord. Which sadly I have come to realize, is not true with everyone involved in the political scene.
I love my country, my state, people in general, and my family. All reasons why I got involved with the TEA Party movement in an attempt to get our nation back on track and provide the ability for my children and grandchildren to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities I knew when growing up.
As far as Mr. Llewellyn attending our last meeting – I guess we need a little clarification for those that received the email but were not there that night. National Committeeman Dave Agema had put out an announcement earlier that week stating Mr. Llewellyn had proudly worked alongside identified TEA Party organizations – Rattle With Us being one of them. I had never met Tom Llewellyn and none of our team remembered him working with us on anything specific to RWU.
If Mr. Llewellyn had been a regular attender of our meetings, he would have known Rattle With Us has a policy of candidates asking us to speak at our meetings. We figure if a candidate really cares what the TEA Party thinks and desires our support – they can come to us.
The night of the meeting in question our agenda was very full. We were showing a 2nd Amendment movie and because one of our members asked about the upcoming county convention and what the Wayne 11 committee actually did, two members of the committee were presenting a power point on their accomplishments and activities over the last two years.
Mike Mitchell and Matt Jones had requested weeks ago to address our members. We were also contacted by three state committee candidates at least 4 days before our meeting asking to speak but they were told the agenda was full. They were more than welcome to come early and stay late if they wanted to introduce themselves to any precinct delegates that were there that night. One came and two declined.
We found out later that Tom showed up early enough to have introduced himself and ask for a few minutes to speak. Instead, he decided to wait until our meeting started, and after Mike spoke, demanded his time. When he was told our agenda was full, he began to yell about the Open Meetings Act. Really? Someone should explain the OMA to him.
As far as the “audience being disturbed by my actions”, (as claimed by the email) I found that to be quite the contrary. Our folks thought he was rude, out of line, and one person upon finding out that Mr. Llewellyn was running for Chair of the 11th, said she would never vote for him.
So there you have it. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried when I read this slander. I hope I will always cry when this kind of behavior and dirty tactics are used to win elections. I believe the best of people, and would like to think there are some lines that won’t be crossed, some standard for honesty/respect that won’t be compromised.
But once I got over my crying spell (it didn’t last too long), the real sadness came when I thought about this poor NAMELESS person (or people) that would resort to outright lies and accusations because they are desperate.
To all of my Rattle With Us friends, you know me well enough that if you have any questions about this email or any concerns, I would be more than happy to discuss them with you.