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Tea Party Patriots co-founder: Slow the spending
While speaking in Corning on Thursday, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin was not a bit shy in sharing her history, including business decisions that led her and her husband, Lee Martin, into bankruptcy in 2008.
Martin said it was, in part, those very experiences that led her to co-found the Patriots movement.
"Because of bad fiscal decisions my husband and I made, we were having to break into our children's piggy banks to buy groceries," Martin said. "If feels wrong to take money from your child, yet that is exactly what our government is doing to our children today, stealing from their piggy banks because the government can't stop overspending."
Martin spoke at a Corning Tea Party Patriots meeting at the senior center. It drew about 50 people, many from outside the Corning area.
She emphasized the party's need to remain focused on picking the right battles, picking the right message and at the right time.
Martin said many people believe the focus right now should be on gun rights and the Second Amendment, but she said the battle to be fought concerns out-of-control government spending and the debt ceiling, while avoiding those issues politicians are using to "distract us while they raise taxes." Martin said she feels both the Democratic and Republican parties are part of the problem that is hurting the country.
"Both parties are playing games of manipulation. While spending time in Washington DC, I have seen new layers of evil and hell in politics that I didn't know existed," Martin said.
Noting upcoming dates related to important decisions to be made by Congress, Martin said those decisions could have great impact on the country.
"On March 27, the government's Continuing Resolution of last September is set to expire, and with that there is a potential for more increased spending and borrowing, instead of spending cuts," she said. "We have got to stay focused on this and keep our eyes on what else is coming out of Washington DC."
Martin emphasized that while the organization has lost some of its political battles, "we continue to learn from those losses."
"We can learn from the leftist Democrat blueprints. Look at Occupy Wall Street. The left picked the right battle with the right message for the right time," she said. "That is something we can learn from."
She encouraged the Patriots to thank those politicians who do make what the organization feels are the right decisions.
"They need encouragement just like anyone else," she said."Those who stand up and fight for what is right get discouraged. We need to keep fighting. Funnel your emotions and energy into productive activity."
The stop in Corning was part of a national trip Martin is making to meet party members across the country and discuss the organization's principles of fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government.
Jerry Lequia, local Tea Party Patriots memberm said he thought Martin's comments were interesting.
"I learned more about how it got started, its purpose and what is happening currently," he said.
"It was good to hear the Tea Party is still very in active in involved in what is taking place in Washington. Some people believe it has served purpose and is done, but listening to Mrs. Martin, it is not that way at all."
Marty Mathisen, of Corning, who described himself as a liberal Democrat, said he attended the meeting out of curiosity.
"I have heard a lot about her and thought it was significant that she came to Corning. "I didn't want to miss that."
Mathisen considered asking Martin questions, but said he didn't want to ruffle any feathers.
"I don't disagree with her comments about the government needing to become more fiscally responsible, but I do disagree with her comments about the state of the nation under President Reagan. That is my criticism. The country is in much better standing currently under President Obama than it was under Reagan's term," Mathisen said.