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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida tea party leader gives Democrats material in Medicare debate



National Democrats are jumping on comments from the chairman of the South Florida Tea Party, who deems the House GOP's proposed Medicare overhaul a "public policy nightmare."

Everett Wilkinson issued a strategy memo that warned that pressing with the plan would help elect Democrats. "The Tea Party and the GOP need to drop all support for the Ryan Medicare plan. It is a political trap and public policy nightmare, and the Republicans are locking arms jumping off the cliff for it!" (full memo in jump)

Today, Democrats overseeing congressional races and the U.S. Senate race issued news releases highlighting Wilkinson's words.

"Republican Senate candidates love to pander to the tea party. Maybe this is one instance where they should actually listen and tell the Republican establishment in Washington to drop the Medicare plan," said Matt Canter, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Wilkinson's memo:

Dear Patriots,

I’ve been extremely busy in the past few months traveling to Washington, D.C.; New York City; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Atlanta. I’ve met with Donald Trump; Herman Cain; Roger Stone; Dick Morris; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.; Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla.; Rep. Adam Hasner, R-Fla.; former Sen. George Lemieux, R-Fla.; and many others. The common belief among everyone I met with is that America is at a turning point in history.

Americans can choose to do nothing and their future will be determined by others, or we can stand up and fight. I choose to fight for America. History will not have to be kind to me, for I, along with other Patriots, will write it.
Poll - We want your vote!

Last week a person from a well known GOP Political PAC called Tea Party Express said "Tea Party Members will support the GOP Presidential Nominee regardless of who it is, even if they don't hold the tea party values. - Take the poll and tell us what you think!
GOP’s Strategy to Win or Loose

The upcoming debt ceiling vote, expected in the next couple of weeks, presents a unique opportunity for Republicans and conservatives. How they vote will either cost them dearly or provide them with a springboard for success in the 2012 election.

Winning Argument
The Republicans will win if they vote not to increase the national debt and demand spending cuts, instead of supporting the Medicare plan presented by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. This strategy will likely result in a government shutdown, but on "spending cuts" versus harming Medicare. Polls have shown overwhelming support for a government shutdown on spending. This could kick start big wins for 2012.

Losing Argument
The Republicans will lose if they support the Ryan Medicare plan and, as a result, the government shuts down for refusing to abandoned his plan. Americans do not support the Ryan plan and less likely to like it more if it forced on them. Just past November the Democrats paid the price for forcing Obamacare on America. This strategy will propel huge Democrat wins in 2012. Expect the GOP to then blame the Tea Party for losses.

Ryan Medicare Plan - It's a TRAP
The Tea Party and the GOP need to drop all support for the Ryan Medicare plan. It is a political trap and public policy nightmare, and the Republicans are locking arms jumping off the cliff for it! Here are some of my reasons for shredding the Ryan Medicare plan:
1.    Under the plan, Medicare cuts won’t take effect for nine years. That means more elections and battles. Imagine waiting nine years for root canal. Sounds fun … not.
2.    There certainly needs to be cuts and adjustments, but touch Medicare last. Senior citizens and those affected by the plan are the largest block of voters. Former President Bill Clinton won his second term because the GOP meddled with Medicare. History has already shown that shutting down the government over cuts to Medicare will put a Democrat in back in the Oval Office.
3.    Give senior citizens and the public more options. Has anyone considered just raising the requirement age for Medicare benefits to 72?
4.    Although Medicare funding has increased by 12 percent since President Barack Obama has been in office, funding for welfare programs has increased by more than 30 percent. The fraud and abuse in welfare programs have also skyrocketed in the last several years. It’s time to cut welfare spending. Spending cuts to welfare are favored politically, because welfare recipients are the least organized and least active voters.

Tea Party Strategy To Win
The Tea Party needs to shift gears in the next couple of weeks from a focus on politics to policy. Gaining a seat in the discussions and debate with Congress is key to winning. I am not suggesting that the Tea Party become part of Washington, D.C., but rather be part of the equation for public policy. We must remain independent and vigilant in our oversight.

The primary objective for Tea Party success is to influence House Speaker John Boehner. We need to do more than just send him letters, e-mail him and call him. If the Tea Party secured support on the debt ceiling vote from at least 100 representatives, Boehner would have to work with the Tea Party.

The Tea Party can execute this objective by convincing members of Congress to become part of the Tea Party Caucus voting block, which plans to vote against the Ryan Medicare plan. About 60 members have agreed to join the caucus. More than 80 freshmen congressmen were elected in 2010, and we only need about 40 of them to join the caucus to influence Boehner and Congress. How good would it feel to pull Speaker Boehner in our direction?
You can help by calling your representative and telling him or her to join the Tea Party Caucus. It is simple and free.

[Last modified: Monday, June 20, 2011 2:28pm]


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