Ed Duquaine from West Bend didn't agree with my observations about the "Tea Parties" over Tax Day. He doesn't answer any of the questions I raised -- specifically the question about why so many people who got tax breaks this year would protest against taxation; that is, why people from the middle class, who he claims made up the majority of these "protesters," would protest that they were not being represented when the tax code is fairer to precisely this income group than it has been in 40 years.
But maybe someone will.
Here's Mr. Duquaine's letter to the editor.
Basic freedoms allow, inspire tea parties
You can’t get much more grass roots than this
By ED DUQUAINE
Iwrite in response to Mark Peterson’s slanderous editorial on the tax day tea parties.
Hundreds of thousands of hard working, tax-paying United States citizens assembled on April 15 across this great country of ours with hopes of sending a message to their elected officials. To try and mock the authenticity of this grass roots movement is not only ludicrous, but also ignorant.
I did attend the April 15 tea party in Madison. It was a first for me. I was not contacted by Dick Armey or anyone else from the Republican Party. I was not funded by Coors, the Koch Foundation or even ACORN for that matter. I did, however, hear a blip about it the tea party on the radio From that point, I called and got pricing on bus rentals. Next, I sent an e-mail to everyone in my mailbox asking if anyone would like to join me. Then I asked them to send the e-mail to everyone in their mailbox. Seven weeks later, I found myself standing in front of two buses in a local parking lot trying to make sure that the over 60 people who had responded to my e-mail were boarding the buses. Many of these people were complete strangers to me. How much more “grass roots” could it get? To describe the tax day tea parties as “Astroturf lobbying” is not only absurd, but quite offensive. Not only is it offensive to me, but likely to the thousands of tax paying Americans who took time out of their busy schedules to attend these rallies.
There is one main point that has been completely overlooked by the media and critics in regard to the tea parties. These demonstrations were not about Republicans vs. Democrats, left vs. right, or red vs. blue. These grass-root rally sites were made up of disgruntled taxpayers from all political parties and from all walks of life.
In Madison, I viewed a melting pot of concerned tax-paying citizens. Citizens concerned with the direction our country and state is heading. Citizens concerned that our government (both sides) are spending our hard-earned money at biblical proportions and mortgaging our children’s and grandchildren’s futures. I saw tax-paying citizens who feel they have been misrepresented, if represented at all.
There are a couple of documents that define now and have always defined just what America is. If our government would just follow these documents, instead of shredding them on a daily basis, hundreds of thousands of tax-paying people would not have had to miss work on April 15 (just think how much that hurt the tax base): 1. Declaration of Independence and 2. U.S. Constitution.
Please read them both, and then make a decision as to the authenticity of tax day 2009.
(Ed Duquaine of West Bend owns Duquaine Concrete & Masonry, town of West Bend.)
The ideologically grounded press coverage and funding process for these events also seems to have eluded him, along with the 16th amendment to the Constitution. And I don't remember seeing him on the barricades where many of us faced vicious ridicule during the last 8 years for pointing out that large national budget surpluses were being turned into deficits and drained into the bank accounts of the President's political cronies.
Maybe he could answer for that as well.