Highway Debt Election Results–What Now?

by Christine Keller

Many tea party and freedom-loving folks from around the state are understandably disappointed and discouraged today. We lost, and we lost badly.   Rather, taxpayers of Arkansas lost badly. Some even want to just give up, but now is the time when true patriots must get going. It was right to take up this fight against highway debt because it was the right thing to do, whether we win or lose. The “progressives” destroying this country from within never give up.  We must not either.

The voter turnout for Washington County was 5.17% percent, roughly consistent with the rest of the state.  With almost no budget, we in Washington County were able to muster 976 no votes and some media attention, which is pretty good considering the entire media machine, well-funded special interests, and both political parties were pushing so hard against us.

We will only continue to gain credibility as we continue to stand up for what’s right.  We must learn from this lesson that we (meaning tea party groups state-wide) are not yet big enough to take on the big money special interests in state-wide contests like this.  We should never give up on those; however, we can and must fight and win local tax/spending/property rights issues where we have real opportunity to make a real difference.

On the highway bond, here’s what Bloomberg.com had to say in an article dated today:

“Opponents rallied around Secure Arkansas, a group that promotes free-market capitalism and fiscal responsibility, according to its website. The Washington County Tea Party and state Representative David Meeks, a Conway Republican, also fought the borrowing.  Money from a 1999 bond offering wasn’t spent appropriately, according to Jeff Oland, a leader of the Tea Party group.

“We trusted them and let them borrow against 15 years of revenue and they used it to build roads like crazy, leaving too little money for road maintenance,” he said in a statement.”  Read the rest here.

Here’s what blogger Mark Moore had to say in his blog post today:  “It was also very useful for determining who is really a fiscal conservative and who simply enjoys playing one at “Tea Party” events.  Some grassroots groups, such as Secure Arkansas and the Washington County Tea Party, worked hard to try to stop the debt.   Others dithered.  A few even picked up the pom-poms and cheered for the Beebe-Webb position of more debt.   While it’s sad to see people whose actual behavior is so dissonant with their self-image, it’s a learning opportunity for the rest of us.” Read the rest of this very insightful post here.  Mark points out several important lessons we must learn from this.

We need you to be involved.  We need you to do your part in getting another friend involved. Urge a friend to join our email list.  Let’s gear up for the very busy campaign season just around the corner.  2012 is going to be a great year!  Be part of it!

***SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT***We will send out a separate reminder again in a day or two, but on Monday, November 14, at 6:30 pm, we will be having a special meeting for our regular monthly meeting of Washington County Tea Party.  We have some ideas to share. Someone is donating a big pile of barbecued pork sandwiches, and we are asking everyone who is able to bring some food to share.  Let’s have a “pow wow” strategy session.  Let’s visit and get to know each other better, and listen to what you have to say.  Let’s plan for 2012 and strengthen each other for the fight we face to help get our country back to it’s founding principles of LIMITED government!

See you there!

The WCTP team

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