I recently got this email regarding the Tea Party movement and Jim Ostrowski in particular. And my response to the emailer(who I'm kindly keeping anonymous:)) follows!
Anyone who claims they are a leader of the Tea Party immediately invalidates themselves as being aligned with this grassroots movement.
We have no leader and desire no leader. This may be hard to comprehend for some but it is actually quite effective. There are a select few who try really hard to create a coalition where they claim to be a leader of that group - people such as Jim and his small organization. Jim O and Allen Coniglio are highly controlling and seek top down centralized management. Allen views himself as the general and the members of his group as his foot soldiers that must comply with his and Jim's orders. They view anyone that does not their orders as traitors.
The Tea Party and assocaited reform groups are strong in this region and we are getting stronger - we are a loosely formed group of grassroots members that share resources across groups where we agree on issues and step aside where we choose to disagree without trying to force our will on those that do not support certain activities. There are activities going on frequently - examples include:
This past Saturday:
1). Buffalo 912 Project (Laura Yingling) held flash mob of kindness where a decent sized group showed up at local soup kitchen and dropped off a large donation of food.
2). Rochester's Fredrick Douglas Foundation this past Saturday (Chaplain Ayeesha Kruetz who is a strong supporter of TP and is a black American) held screening of the movie: "Why Democrats fear a black republican president". This same group, which has several of the Paladino Tea Party folks as members, is holding a banquet on 12-November as part of a sponsorship program for inner city black American girls that will be funded over the following 12 months. Tea New York is a stronger supporter of this organization and a sponsor and we are networking with them and some of our members attended and are attending both events.
3). This Wednesday is he Foundations of liberty meeting where a group is reviewing the book "The 5000 Year Leap" - this is a 912 sponsored event.
Lots of activities and networking - no leadership but lots of coordination when we have common ground. We have a very solid organization that is growing State wide. These are exciting times.
Back to JO - he is a individual contributor and like many of us has had great accomplishments, such as the recent Libertarian Ron Paul event. In regards to him being Tea Party I do not believe he shares many of our same values - he is more of a Libertarian which is distinctly different from Tea Party and should not be confused with the TP organization.
Jim adopted the TP name because he saw an opportunity to leverage it for his Libertarian based objectives. You will see that Jim may seperate from the Tea Party movement if he sees a better opportunity in the OWS movement to progress his own personal objectives.....take that for what it is....
The Tea Party members now know Jim well state wide and not many support his positions - some strong Libertarians do support his values and positions and this is his base and where he belongs - he is not TP.
Note - A transformation is in progress both in Buffalo and Rochester and it will grow state wide. The inner city folks have reached a limit and a conservative movement is rising that is aligning with the Tea Party....this will take time to build trust and develop but it is growing.
It is really quite amazing to me how many people have a deep inner need for recognition. It seems that being a part of something worthwhile simply isn't enough. They feel that their immense contribution to "The Cause" must be recognized consistently, and on a grand stage. In their race for the Microphone,TV camera, or print reporter..not to mention incessent blogging ,that they are missing the big picture. It is not about them..but it's all about the "Cause." My greatest fear is that we will miss an obvious opportunity to defeat President Obama because of the in-fighting within the Tea Party movement. While preening and posing for the great unwashed, a divided Tea Party is a defeated Tea Party. While strutting around like Peacocks..the President is raising a Billion dollars and has a core backing that would vote for him under any,and all, circumstances. Get away from the mirror for awhile..quit trying to take credit for everything including the discovery of fire,and the invention of the wheel..blend into the movement instead of trying to prove that you started it with the sheer magnitude of your very special being. In Kenny Rogers song called "The Gambler" the lyrics say "Therell be time enough for counting,when the dealings done>" I hate to tell you this but the game stiill has a year to go..so le't not blow it.