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October 1, 2013

Tea Party games about power, not people

CHICKASHA —

We all had that one friend in the neighborhood growing up who, upon realizing they had no chance at winning a game, would proceed to upend the game board, throw the ball away, or simply say "Forget you guys, I'm going home."

It seems all of those friends have gone on to make a successful career for themselves as a Tea Party Republican. Their cavalier attitude has led to an ultimatum between shutting down the President's signature health care law or shutting down the government, but we shouldn't be all that surprised. These guys are out to make a statement, and evidently aren't all too worried about the cost.

There's even an example of this that hits much closer to home. The Grady County Tea Party decided recently to take on the three-quarter cent CIP tax, which was renewed by voters in an election last month. In the build-up to that election, the local Tea Party gave an ultimatum: earmark the sales tax for 100 percent use on fixing the city's water, or don't get a CIP tax at all. Sound familiar?

The repercussions of this were obvious. With no CIP tax, the city would have to find other ways (i.e., more taxes) to fund projects that improve roads, sewage, water systems, and other things to run the town smoothly. In the end, it could have cost Chickasha citizens more, since instead of everyone who buys things in town paying for projects (whether they live there or not), it would have to come directly from residents.

But, that didn't matter. In fact, the local Tea Party's most vocal member, Mark Keeling, basically said this in the run-up to that tax election. In response to possibly facing more taxes by getting rid of the CIP tax, Keeling simply said, at least we will have been heard.

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