Five years ago there were no Tea Party groups in Hamilton County; today there are three: the Constitutional Patriots, the Hamilton County Patriots, and the Tea Party of Hamilton County. The question is what has caused the Tea Party menu to grow in our county? In the last presidential election 38.5 percent of the voters in Hamilton County voted for Barrack Obama. This seems hard to believe since there are no Democrats in elected office in the Hamilton County, and Republicans rarely have any Democrat opposition in local elections.
Dwight Lile, leader of the Constitutional Patriots, believes that Hamilton County has elected officials that call themselves Republican but govern as neo-conservatives with liberal social, economic and fiscal agendas. For example, Hamilton County is the richest county in Indiana but local government continues to look for more revenue and debt financing to feed spending. Many political leaders in local government also support Agenda 21 with its economic development program which mandates even what the outside and the inside of new developments must look like. Despite their actions, most incumbent politicians running for local offices call themselves conservatives.
Ed Sides of the Hamilton County Patriots believes that local Tea Party growth is related to the bad economy, excessive spending and constitutional infringements in Washington. It also seems that our local politicians running on a conservative agenda and governing as neo-conservatives has begun to worry many residents, especially as their net worth has been reduced to 1992 levels.
Don’t expect to see these Tea Party groups go away, but rather for them to be working hard to get real conservative candidates elected to local government positions. These groups will also continue to run programs to educate voters about what is happening in local government and about the candidates that are running for office. Look for Tea Party groups and their leaders at local community events throughout the year. They will have their work cut out for them, especially with the entrenched politicians that continue to win reelection throughout our county. However the Tea Party and the conservative movement are here to stay in Hamilton County.