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Tea party evolving, members say, but participation remains strong

Posted August 27, 2012
Updated August 28, 2012

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— North Carolina's tea party members at the Republican National Convention say they might not be the protesting, chanting, raucous crowd they were in 2010, but their agenda and activism remain unchanged.

Nancy Clark said the tea party was never meant to be a third political party, but merely a cultural and political movement.

"I believe a two-party system is best," she said. "We're not really a party ourselves. We're just regular people who are concerned about the direction the country is going."

Clark said she believes the unofficial party is perhaps more muted than it was in the past because it finds increasing common ground with the Republican Party.

Tea party more behind the scenes, less in your face Tea party more behind the scenes, less in your face

That could be, in part, due to a surge of tea party-backed candidates, including 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, who have won state and national elections since 2008.

Ellmers said the tea party's concerns about big government and the ever-increasing national debt perfectly mirror her own values, which is why she remains committed to furthering the movement in Washington, D.C.

"Those are the things we've passed in legislation. Those are the goals we're trying to achieve – smaller government, lower taxes, less reform for our businesses," she said.

Delegate Martha Jenkins, president of the National Federation of Republican Women's state chapter, said the tea party continues to grow but has evolved into an organized, behind-the-scenes network of volunteers and activists.

"It has gone from being an idea to being a plan," Jenkins said.

Delegate Donna Williams said she's very committed to the tea party cause.

"I shut my business down, and I probably give anywhere from 40 to 60 hours a week volunteering now," she said. "It has become my life."

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  • free2bme Aug 29, 2012

    The "Tea Party" exactly what are they supposed to do other than divide this country at a time when it was in chaos. We all know what President Obama stepped into --what a mess? The Tea Party is such a waste of time and energy that could have been spent really trying to help people thru this economic crisis. The Tea Party cared about its own well being and nobody else. What a farce?

  • dumbhick Aug 29, 2012

    hoping for change in 2012:"when these seniors were running things and in their working days in this country it was more prosperous"

    Yes so true .. we were also more regulated and dealt with higher tax rates(as high as 51% in the late 50s) ..... heck, until the turn of the century we actually paid for our own wars instead of saddling our kids and grandkids with the debt. Our employers offered wonderful benefits and treated us with respect. All of that and we still managed to become the most prosperous nation with the strongest middle class population on earth.
    How DID we manage it?

  • ladyblue Aug 29, 2012

    When you get more OUT than you paid in, YES, the extra IS Dole. Sorry.
    MakoII

    and I am sure YOU will get the same AMOUNT OF RETIREMENT from your company you paid in. If you gonna speak use reason.. I know of no investment where it is set up you only get the SAME AMOUNT you paid in.. geese...think when you speak...

  • ladyblue Aug 29, 2012

    Good. It's about time you SS recipients humble yourself before the young people who support you and stop making fun of their intelligence, youth, education, generation, culture, etc.

    and once again when these so called elderly were working and paying in thier dues you probablably weren't even a beam of light.. SO ??? Also again when these seniors were running things and in their working days in this country it was more prosperous than it is now. LOL.. again and last time "one day you will be that senior", so i guess you are talking about yourself as well, since not even you younger folks change keep from getting older..or wiser (it seems).

  • MakoII Aug 28, 2012

    I love how when you point out that old people take more money from the government than they paid in, and are in the SAME boat as Food Stamp recipients and any other Welfare government taking person on the Dole, THEY then get all upset.

    Good. It's about time you SS recipients humble yourself before the young people who support you and stop making fun of their intelligence, youth, education, generation, culture, etc.

    They are the only ones going to fix the mess the older generation caused. You owe THEM something at least in return: Your Respect.

  • MakoII Aug 28, 2012

    You mean the old people who PAID INTO Social Security for their entire working lives?
    xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    When you get more OUT than you paid in, YES, the extra IS Dole. Sorry.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Aug 28, 2012

    "Redistribution of wealth as old people take the DOLE out of young people."

    You mean the old people who PAID INTO Social Security for their entire working lives?

  • Taxpayingcitizen Aug 28, 2012

    "Considering the young have less pay overall, they pay a higher burden of this tax as a percentage of their salary. MakoII"

    So what you are saying is that the 4.2% (soon to return to 6.2%) that you pay being the younger generation is more than the 4.2% that I pay as someone in an older generation? Please explain.

  • ladyblue Aug 28, 2012

    Thank goodness there was a Tea party that came out of the ashes that were left from a country that has about burned out. Each is guilty of taking from this country with the hands held out whether it be tax loop holes used in taxes or hands out begging. We all should be ashamed of how we let America down. But each of you keep on describing the Tea Party and for what it stands for because it's obvious from the posting none of us have the faintest idea what it's about, including who wrote this article..

  • ladyblue Aug 28, 2012

    What's wrong with SS is that the Elderly, who mucked up this country in the first place, are now riding on the Younger Generation's tab.

    Yep the elderly sure did mess up the country. That's why it was doing so well until they decided to listen to dr Spock and not spank the kids but let them run amok with no respect and lead this country from family vlues to one misfit situation after another. The good thing is they didn't have unions paying them triple what their work is worth either. They took care of their own and didn't epect the government to pay for everything including their BC and viagra.. One thing about it one day you too will be the elderly person and the way the children act today no telling what absurd stuff they will say about you,

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