As a Georgetown undergrad, my roommate and I were once tossed from a popular and swanky Irish bar. His repeated propositions to our sixty year-old server were finally beginning to work when they were overheard by the owner, who happened to be her husband. As we were tossed out, I decided to do a jig, but it was atop everyone's tables, where I kicked over drink after drink. Now, in addition to the owner, numerous patrons were after us, too. I can't remember how we actually got away without getting clobbered, but remember running my ass off.
We may have been drunk, but we were kids and could outrun the suits easily.
What's sad about this is that Murphy, my roommate, really loved that place. So we kept going back, even to the point of wearing disguises, but were caught every time.
Little did I know that this was only the beginning of me being kicked out of prominent places. In 1985, it culminated with me being kicked out of the lawyering profession. Drinking had something to do with that, too. Murphy went on to join the Foreign Service, where drinking is a prerequisite.
Last year, Northampton County Dems mounted an expulsion effort, too, trying to reverse the Will of the People. Even though I was duly elected as a committeeman in Nazareth with one write-in vote, party bosses were outraged and demanded that something be done about me before they elect their next Chair. Nothing came of it, but the party hierarchy decided to just stop sending me notices of their meetings. One of these days, I'm going to crash one.
Now, it's the Lehigh Valley Tea Party's turn. I didn't even know I was a member! Yesterday, I received a certified letter from them, informing me that I've been removed by a vote of 2/3 of their Executive Committee, for a violation of article 2.05 of their by-laws, "acts that could harm the reputation of the Organization."
These supposed defenders of our Bill of Rights love free speech, and hurl invective after invective at local, state and federal officials. Good for them. But it turns out they hate it when somebody holds them to their own standards. This is what they say in their Fatwa.
"Your blogs on March 9, 2010 'LV Tea Party Advocates Return to Old-Time Book Burnin'', March 23, 2010 'LV's Tea Party: Democracy Too Dangerous To Be Left to the People', April 6, 2010 'Joe Hilliard: Specter Slayer, Topples County Gov't with a Slice of Pizza' and finally February 26, 2011 piece 'Benol Forced Out as Chair of LV tea Party' are all examples of your unrelenting attacks on the Organization and it's [sic] leadership. The Board considers these blogs an attempt to smear, mock and divide the members of the Group in order to render our Organization ineffective, if not an attempt to destroy it."
Instead of worrying about a little criticism from a bottom-feeding blogger like moi, you'd think that Tea Party Queen Kim Schmidtner might be a little more concerned about the lack of dark faces at their monthly meetings. Or young faces. Or the occasional yamaka. This unwillingness to reach out might explain why the public is increasingly becoming disenchanted with the tea party.
In February, I told you that tea party chair Mat Benol was forced out by a cabal who could never come to grips with his endorsement of LV Congressman Charlie Dent last year. At the same time, Executive Board member Joe Hilliard is routinely huddling with GOP Bossman Wayne Woodman and elected official wannabe Scott Ott. Benol mentioned that himself in his resignation letter, which I have. My anonymous source, "Tipster," revealed here that Kim Schmidtner and Joe Hilliard were suspicious of everything Benol did, even to the point of refusing to share contact lists with him.
After my post about Benol, I received 8 emails from the Tea Party Mullah Joe Hilliard. Hilliard was blowing smoke well over a year ago about an "audit" he was doing of Lehigh County's 2009 budget. Although the budget is online, he insisted on filing Right-to-Know requests, and claimed his report would be out in a few weeks. Of course, he's still working on it. Hilliard explains, "[M]y ideas are usually a year or two ahead of the curve."
He also asked me to continue the criticism.
"I would encourage the coverage if you keep making fun of the effort. Make bold pronouncements that it won't get done. Ridicule the effort. Get it out there that such an effort will fizzle. Tell the public that only politicians have the answers. We would like the buzz..."
Last night, Northampton County Bulldog Ron Angle ran into Exec Board member Ronnie DelBacco, who was invisible when I tried to track him down as a witness in the Gracedale litigation.
"I hear you expelled O'Hare and he's not allowed within 300' of any tea party member."
DelBacco responded that the Executive Board is not allowed to discuss this matter. It's amazing that a group founded to protect individual liberties has no problem muzzling dissent.
What's funny about this is that, as a group, I actually like the LV Tea Party and have defended them. True, I've been highly critical of Schmidtner and Hilliard. But they are thin-skinned blowhards. I never had a problem with the rank-and-file.
Under the reasons given for my excommunication, shouldn't I be asking the group to expel Schmidtner and Hilliard? Haven't they committed "acts that could harm the reputation of the Organization." I do have a right to make an appeal to the general membership, and will exercise that right.
I suspect they'll pull out article 2.06 of their bylaws, which states, "Some animals are more equal than others."
That should be as much fun as dancing on the tables.