Dale Volker’s Tea Party
by Geoff Kelly - posted 8:52 am, August 19, 2009
AV correspondent Geoffrey Anstey reports on last night’s fundraiser for State Senator Dale Volker:
On Tuesday, two separate groups gathered at the usually quiet Erie Basin Marina: one dressed in suits and ties armed with checkbooks, and the other dressed in t-shirts and slacks armed with angry signs. Both made it to the harbor on account of New York State Senator Dale Volker, and his desire to keep his 34-year hold on the 59th senate district in the fast approaching 2010 New York State elections. To help him to do so, Volker invited some of his finest friends (the generous types) to a nautical fundraiser, which local grass roots movements, such as Tea New York, Liberty Pursuit and Free New York, weren’t pleased about.
The common thread between these movements is the abhorrence of current state government and the feverish desire for radical change, so it’s not surprising they could agree on protesting the continued success that Volker has had during the long decline of the region. But as is often the case with these folks, focus was lacking, and while looking upon the crowd of two dozen people you couldn’t help but notice that only half the signs had anything to do with Volker himself, while the other half adhered to the separate groups’ different, general mantras—a natural chink in a coalition of libertarians.
When asked about the protesters Volker calmly, and politely replied, “They have the right to protest, this is the United States of America,” going on to say “these people are angry at state government and I understand.” Immediately he went on to show how he didn’t understand by saying, “They’re angry at state government because the Democrats took over and frankly created a lot of havoc…and then they’re protesting because of the stories in the paper about the dysfunction [the recent stalemate in the senate].”
Though the protesters’ political compasses were clearly aligned to the right, each movement represented claimed no partisanship—to them each party is a different flavor of poison. So had Volker actuallt asked the angry crowd about their problems with state government, they surely would have shown more outrage over the SEIU suits in Volker’s boat than the Democratic Party’s majority in the State Senate. And they definitely would have shown more concern over last year’s accusations from Kathy Konst supporters—who claimed that after signing a petition supporting Konst against Volker, he hired private detectives to intimidate and harass them—than over the senate stalemate. If these accusations were true, you would have to relate to the anger behind these grassroots “revolutionaries,” if not to most of the messages on their signs.
And here’s video from WNYMedia: