Yesterday, Mark Winn of Jefferson County wrote to the IndyStar with his opinion of Lugar, Mourdock, and Tea Party politics. The only thing I’d like to amplify on this excellent letter is that Mark Winn is closer to the Tea Party philosophy than he indicates.
The Tea Parties, and the Grant County Tea Party is no exception, are all about representation as delineated in the Constitution. We think the founders of this great nation helped make it great by creating a Constitution that fosters individual growth, freedom, and prosperity. That results in prosperity for all.
With that, Mr Mark Winn, by insisting on representation, is emphasizing the principles of government by the people, and for the people.
So do we.
Keep at it Mr Winn, follow what is right and we will end up in the same place.
8:03 PM, May. 16, 2011
The days of Indiana county political party chairs wielding power in smoke-filled rooms are long past. The ability to influence county jobs and collect revenue from license branches is no longer part of the Indiana political scene, and for good reason. The job now largely consists of recruiting candidates and making sure they have the financial means and grassroots support they need to win.
That’s why I am more than a little surprised at the attention we have been getting recently in the Indiana Republican U.S. Senate primary. It was reported recently that Sen. Richard Lugar is reaching out by telephone to county chairs. This follows an email sent by a Lugar staffer claiming that those county chairs supporting Richard Mourdock in his primary bid have been “duped.”
Well, consider me duped. My decision to support Mourdock is not based on tea party politics or strict adherence to conservative dogma. My decision is based foremost on my definition of representation. I believe that our elected officials should be available, responsive and responsible to the citizens they represent.
The number of times Lugar has been to Jefferson County in the past decade can be counted on one hand with fingers to spare. This isn’t about contact with party officials. I don’t need a phone call or to be courted, I simply need to know that you know our county exists and that you hear the concerns of our residents.
I need to know that you have talked to our farmers, our factory workers, our small businesspeople. I need to know that you have some sense of the struggles and the challenges they face. They need to know that you are responsive; they need to know that they can expect more than a form letter to their questions and a fundraising letter every six years.
Mourdock has been to Jefferson County multiple times in the past 12 months. I’ve talked with several of my fellow GOP chairs (not exactly at the heart of the tea party) who express the same frustration with Lugar and the same appreciation of Mourdock.
I question the ability of an elected official to represent the people of his state when he keeps them at arm’s length. The arrogance of the “duped” email is indicative of the sense of entitlement that the senator and his campaign appear to be suffering from. The Indiana Senate seat is no more Richard Lugar’s seat than the Massachusetts Senate seat was Ted Kennedy’s seat.
Where so called “establishment” Republicans have been defeated, the media are quick to give credit to “extreme” wings of the GOP, or the tea party. I think it is much more likely that voters in those states suffered from the same feelings of disconnect that so many in Indiana are expressing.
Wynn is the Republican Party chairman in Jefferson County.