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Tea Party Charges GOP Out of Touch

Friday, July 20, 2012


Tea Party activists lambasted the Massachusetts Republican Party for failing to support local candidates and for being out touch with local activists.

Activists who spoke at the Leicester/Paxton/Rutland/Holden Tea Party meeting emphasized the importance of unity with elections upcoming, but others’ comments during interviews revealed fault lines in the conservative coalition.

Jim McGrath, co-chairman of the LPRH Tea Party, criticized the MassGOP for taking a top down approach to the elections.

Jim McGrath

“They’re involved in the governor’s, Senate, and Congressional races because they want to get jobs and go down to Washington,” McGrath said. “They don’t do anything for state representative candidates.”

Bill LeBeau, state representative candidate for 17th Worcester District, disagreed with McGrath’s statement. “They’ve been very helpful,” he said citing strong support from local state committee members. “Everything I’ve asked for they’ve helped me with.”

State senate candidate and Auburn Selectman Steve Simonian also said that he has received support from the MassGOP, particularly from Political Director Jeff LaPorte. However, he did say that having previously run for selectman he already had a core group of volunteers and supporters.

“I haven’t needed as much help as maybe some of the other candidates have,” the 2nd Worcester District candidate said.

But the MassGOP also came under fire for being too moderate and too elite.

Longtime Republican activist Dana George Reed of Spencer described the MassGOP as “moderate to liberal,” saying that this has led to friction between the establishment and newer activists. McGrath echoed Reed’s sentiment, calling MassGOP members “country club Republicans.”

The comments were made in response to questions about the MassGOP’s decision to block members of the Massachusetts Liberty Caucus from attending the Republican National Convention. As GoLocal previously reported, Brad Wyatt and Carol Claros, both members of the Liberty Caucus who have been ousted from their position as convention delegates, are speaking out against the state Republican Party.
Shrewsbury Selectman George Lamothe said that he is “disappointed” by the controversy and that he believes Liberty Caucus members are pursuing their own agenda. But he was quick to qualify that statement.

“They are all good people and they will all do what they have to defeat Obama,” he said. “We need them supporting the Republican Party.”


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