The Constitutional Freedom Alliance opened its gathering of representatives from state Tea Party movement groups yesterday with a video produced to answer the question recently raised by Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge: “Who are you?”
The answer was a resounding, “We are the People of the United States” and we want to restore the Constitution.
The CFA is a group of “ordinary citizens driven to promote and restore individual freedom.” They believe individual freedom is a natural right, affirmed by the U.S. Constitution and cannot be rightfully abridged by any government.
About 150 people attended the event organized to forge an alliance of the diverse Tea Party organizations. “We exist for the purpose of finding common ground,” said Richard Stack, CFA board of directors chair.
Stack said that people justifiably angry about Federal bailouts, corruption and the arrogance of elected officials in Washington D.C. have “taken off in different directions.”
“Many are ready to give up on the Federal government,” he said. The CFA is not. “We want to help develop a cohesive response to get the change we need. We’ve got to be more than angry. We’ve got to get organized. We need to form alliances and find common ground.”
The goal of CFA is to hold both incumbents and candidates accountable for their actions. To that end, CFA has asked incumbents and candidates to sign a seven-point Compact with the American Citizens pledging to reduce the size, influence and role of the Federal government to the narrow-set of duties listed in the Constitution.
The Congressional candidates who spoke to the audience focused their remarks on the need to restore limited, fiscally-sound Constitutional government.
“We need to be conscious of the barbarians at the Constitution’s gates,” said District 13 Republican candidate Bill Randall. “The Constitution and the Bill or Rights are the DNA of America and should not be genetically modified,” he said.
Libertarian Lon Cecil, running in District 12, said if elected he would read the bills and added, “I will not vote to fund any program that is not constitutional.” He said that he was in an uphill battle and one of his major obstacles was that people did not know they were in his district because it’s so severely gerrymandered.
“What is missing in Washington is accountability,” said B.J. Lawson, Republican candidate in District 4. Lawson distributes what he calls a “concealed carry” version of the Constitution at campaign events. If elected, he said he would vote for term limits and to eliminate all Congressional perks including healthcare programs and pensions. “Congress is not the place to go to retire,” he said.
Ashley Woolard, a Republican running in what he called the poorest district in the state, District 1, told the audience he had some good news and some bad news. “The good news is that I just had a daughter,” the 35-year old small business owner said. “The bad news is that she’s already $50,000 in debt and hasn’t been to the mall yet.”
“We need to send real people to Washington, people who have held a job and worried about a house payment,” said Republican Renee Ellmers, who’s running against Etheridge in District 2. “We all know President Obama’s agenda is the redistribution of wealth. And Congressman Etheridge supports that agenda.”