Over the last two years, many tea party activists have been contemplating leaving the Republican Party.After the great tea party victory in 2010, they have watched the Republican elites disregard the people’s call for a return to fiscal responsibility and constitutional governance. While I have shared their disappointment, I had not considered leaving the party until this morning’s news.
It’s bad enough, we have Speaker Boehner negotiating behind closed doors with Obama about the fiscal cliff, conservative republicans being removed from key committee leadership positions and squishy republicans publicly talking about ways to raise tax revenues.
But, in our own state, we see serious problems brewing with the republican leadership. The Herald-Tribune reports that Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford, who were sworn in last month, immediately hired new chiefs of staff and paid them more than taxpayers pay elected state Cabinet members. They are paying 62 top policy advisers and staff directors more than $100,000 a year each, and they gave pay raises totaling $252,000 to their 17 highest paid employees.
Tea party cannot ignore this cronyism and hypocrisy. We don’t just want to replace the democrats with ‘our guys’. This is not about party and power, this is about principles in governance. Perhaps Weatherford and Gaetz sense that the days of republican domination in Tallahassee are numbered and thus they want to make sure that they and their buddies get what they can right now.
While democrats are already organizing for 2014, it seems republicans are just lining their pockets. Can somebody tell me why I should stay in the republican party?