What Tea Party?

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Nationwide, if there is one story that stands out in the last election, it was the impact of the Tea Party. The Tea Party is a grassroots, loosely defined movement that sprung up primarily in opposition to what its members see as the tax-and-spend policies of the Obama administration. Topping its agenda, the Tea Party wants to overthrow the health-care reform it calls “Obamacare.”

The “mad-as-hell, throw-the-bums-out” Tea Party is rightfully credited for the Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives. There is no denying this was an incredible, even historic, accomplishment.

But our concern is this: Why didn’t the Tea Party show its face in Queens, especially southeast Queens? Is there a basic assumption on the part of this movement that the voters of this borough do not share its concern with being overtaxed and government waste? That is not true, although the anti-incumbent spirit did not take hold here in either state or national elections.

We have a larger concern, though. Does the fact that the Tea Party did not come to Jamaica, Laurelton or any other part of southeast Queens indicate that the Tea Party has written off black and Hispanic voters? This is a mistake the Republican Party made long ago, even though it was once the party of Lincoln. In the rallies that broadcast almost nightly on the network news for the last three months, we saw very few people of color.

Does the Tea Party not understand that southeast Queens is home to the largest number of minority, middle-class homeowners in the nation? They share many of the concerns voiced by the Tea Party.

We find ourselves in the odd position of being critical of a movement that we are not particularly fond of for not making even a token effort to gain a foothold in Queens.

Hail and Farewell

An era has come to an end in Queens. State Sen. Frank Padavan, a man who has represented the 11th Senate District for 38 years, was defeated by former City Councilman Tony Avella in one of the state’s closest elections.

TimesLedger Newspapers thanks Padavan for nearly four decades of outstanding service to the people of Queens, and we congratulate Avella and wish him well.

Updated 6:22 pm, October 10, 2011
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