Tea Party Caucus to visit DickinsonAn informational meeting is scheduled Thursday in Dickinson for citizens who want to get involved with politics, but don’t fit the mold of the right or left wings.
By: Klark Byrd, The Dickinson Press
An informational meeting is scheduled Thursday in Dickinson for citizens who want to get involved with politics, but don’t fit the mold of the right or left wings.
The North Dakota Tea Party Caucus will make its fourth stop on a tour across the state at the Dickinson Elks Lodge in an effort to unite like-minded individuals and pass on a little knowledge to those who may be wondering what the group is all about.
Tea Party Caucus committee member Mike Motschenbacher said the meetings are a way to educate people about the goals of the group and a way to push people to participate with government.
“We let people know how they can get involved, not only with the Tea Party, but with politics in general,” he said.
Past “Tea Party” events — inspired by the colonists’ actions disputing taxes during the Boston Tea Party in 1773 — have included picketing and protests of issues throughout the nation, but this meeting will leave the confrontational signs behind, Motschenbacher said.
“We are trying to go beyond ‘Tea Party’ events, where everybody gets together and waves a flag and then goes home,” he said. “This is where we want you to get involved.”
Motschenbacher said presentations will give people a better understanding of how things are run from day one to election day and the steps it takes for someone to be elected. He said it will inform people on what they need to do if interested in joining city commission or becoming a legislator.
Jim Lowman of Belfield said he has been involved with the tea party movement for a couple of years and is happy to see a push to get others involved.
“We can all sit back and talk in the coffee shops and bars and whatnot to do our complaining, but what do you do about it? You have to get involved to make a difference,” he said.
Turnout for the meetings has exceeded expectation, Motschenbacher said, adding that he expects Dickinson’s event to be the largest so far. The group hosted 90 individuals during a meeting in Fargo, he said.
“There is a newfound interest in politics,” Motschenbacher said. “Most people we have seen have never been involved in anything political.”
Tea party activist Robert Harms said the movement is in response spending concerns of the government.
“People are concerned about our country, the level of spending at the state and federal level and are looking for ways to get involved,” he said. “The tea party movement gives them that opportunity.”
Lowman said traditional political parties have “changed” and this group is aimed at those who don’t agree with the established parties.
Motschenbacher said the discussion will touch on the goals of the Tea Party Caucus and leave out talks of other political parties.
Participants must register before the meeting at www.ndtpc.com. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free, but a donation of $10 is suggested to cover the cost of food, Motschenbacher said.