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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1) How did the Punta Gorda Tea Party get started?
Our group was started in 2009 by Robin Stublen and a small group of volunteers. Being conservatives, it was difficult for us to watch our government grow ever larger. Particularly concerning was the Government’s takeover of 1/6th of the Economy with Obamacare. In the fall of 2009, we met with about 2 million concerned citizens in Washington, DC, and have continued to work on issues that fit our core values ever since.
2) Do you have to be a Republican to join?
3) What is the Group affiliation?
We are an independent organization with no group affiliations. We are grassroots people from the Republican, Democrat, Independent and other parties (including NPA – No Party Affiliation). Our Tea Party is not a political party, but a group of like-minded people with three core values. We have, and will continue to work with the Republican Party, NAACP, Americans for Prosperity, Tea Party Patriots, Freedom Works, and other groups that have conservative values. If you look closely at the books on the Supervisor of Elections website, you will see a “Tea Party” listed. That IS NOT and never has been us.
4) Do you have a mission statement?
Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Market Principles.
5) Do you have to pay to join?
No, but donations from our members are gratefully accepted. However, we do not collect dues or fees.
6) Can anyone attend our meetings?
Yes. We respect everyone’s opinion, but we stand for fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free market principles. We also encourage everyone to provide us an email address so we can keep you updated on issues and future events.
7) What do you stand for?
We have three core values that we believe in; Fiscal Responsibility (includes Individual and Corporate Responsibility), Constitutionally Limited Government and the ability to work within Free Market Principles.
Fiscal Responsibility: Fiscal Responsibility by government (and individuals) honors and respects the freedom of the individual to spend the money that is the fruit of their own labor. A constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty, must be fiscally responsible or it must subject its citizenry to high levels of taxation that unjustly restrict the liberty our Constitution was designed to protect. Such runaway deficit spending as we now see in Washington D.C. compels us to take action as the increasing national debt is a grave threat to our national sovereignty and the personal and economic liberty of future generations. Individual Responsibility is intertwined with Fiscal Responsibility.
Constitutionally Limited Government: We, the members of Punta Gorda Tea Party, are inspired by our founding documents and regard the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land. We believe that it is possible to know the original intent of the government our founders set forth, and stand in support of that intent. Like the founders, we support states' rights for those powers not expressly stated in the Constitution. As the government is of the people, by the people and for the people, in all other matters we support the personal liberty of the individual, within the rule of law.
Free Markets: A free market is the economic consequence of personal liberty. The founders believed that personal and economic freedom were indivisible, as do we. Our current government's interference distorts the free market and inhibits the pursuit of individual and economic liberty. Therefore, we support a return to the free market principles on which this nation was founded and oppose government intervention into the operations of private business and the usurpation of States Rights.
8) What should I expect when attending a meeting?
Expect to be welcomed with open arms. We start each meeting with an invocation, and the pledge of allegiance. The Treasurer's report is read and accepted or rejected by the membership. At most meetings we have a speaker on conservative issues i.e. common law grand jury; the constitution; etc. for educational purposes. The president then opens the floor for comments.
9) Do I have to do anything if I join?
You can be as active or inactive as you see fit. Your opinion is valued and important to us.
10) Do you endorse candidates?
We leave it to our members to decide which candidates to endorse. For the 2016 Election – we voted to NOT endorse any candidates.
11) What issues do you work on?
Initially we tried to work on issues at the Federal, State and local level. Realizing we did not have the resources to adequately work all three levels of government, we decided to focus on the local level. If we can make in difference in local issues, we can make a difference at the state level.