Each week the Keizertimes asks community leaders a question about current events.  To see more of this week’s answers or answers to past questions log onto www.keizertimes.com and click on In the Ring.

This week’s question: Is the rise of Tea Party-backed candidates postive for national politics?

Dave Bauer, co-owner, R. Bauer Insurance—
I think it is one of the best things that has happened in our country in a long time. Three parties isn’t the issue. Having a voice heard that has always been there but not in a way that has the attention of our representatives. I believe the Tea party and its large and growing group of citizens will make a difference in what our elected congressmen and women do in Washington. It can no longer be business as usual. The ideas presented by these folks include common sense and are not always either Republican or Democrat.

I may not agree with all the Tea party advocates, but the fact is our country needs to make some changes for the average person. If the Tea party movement accomplishes that, then I believe that’s a good thing.

Government, local, state, or national, needs to listen to the people. The current movement is doing that.

Warren Franklin, KYKN radio personality—
Our republic is built upon the concept that the people, not the government, run this great country. The Preamble of our Constitution opens with “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility …”

Unfortunately, today our government is more about bigger government and more control than it is about the people.  Over the last 100 years there has been a movement toward government making the decisions for us.  The idea is that government knows better, can make better decisions for you, and take care of you.  This is where all of our social programs have come from including: social security, medicare, Medicaid, health care, government support of our passenger rail systems and more leading us to a huge tax and spend system.  The whole idea is to get as many people as possible dependent on government support and aid.

The press would like you to believe the Tea Party is against government.  That’s not true.  The Tea Party is for smaller government, lower taxes, less spending, and more individual choice.  They want our government, whether it be federal, state or local, to stop spending America into oblivion.  It is the people and not the government that has made this great country exceptional. It is a few radicals who have slipped into our government that is dragging it down this rat hole.

Our government has moved a long way from where it was 100 years ago.  I’m sure our founders would be disappointed in the direction our country has moved.  Remember, our founders experienced the effects of a dominant country that didn’t listen to the people.  Our revolution was based on getting away from this tyranny and giving the power back to the people.  Yet, today, we have a government that is heading back to tyranny making decisions that are unpopular with the public and is driving us closer to socialism and less control of the people.

In my opinion, the Tea Party is the counter balance of the extremism going on in government today.  Thank God we have the Tea Party and other organizations that have come together to do everything they can to hold our Republic together.  The Tea Party movement is just now beginning to boil.  The news you hear in the press is the tip of the iceberg.  Millions of people are rallying and working to bring candidates who want to take our country back to it roots.  Bigger things are ahead for this and other organizations who want to take our government back to the people.

Dennis Koho, former Keizer mayor—
It was at first.  Anti-incumbent movements come and go, but I thought this one might have some success.  Instead, what was a grassroots movement has been been taken over by a few who have financial or political gain at heart.

Now it looks like all of the other movements that fund local races with large amounts of out-of-state money, and I don’t see a lot of benefit in that.

What’s interesting is that while the Democrats (a majority of the incumbents) were the initial targets of the Tea Party, so far it has been Republicans who have been taken out by it.  In doing so, it probably killed any chance the Republicans had to take over the US Senate.

Of course, all of this is just guessing.  We’ll know in November.