I am writing in response to Kevin Cooper's Nov. 29 letter falsely claiming that the TEA Party has somehow disappeared in Portage County and that the majority or our endorsements "shockingly" lost. Mr. Cooper can always be counted on to prove that he is a hateful and ignorant man who ignores the facts in an futile effort to tear down people who believe differently than he does.
So, let me remind Mr. Cooper that this newspaper has a policy that says that under most circumstances I can only write one letter per month. Plus, there have been several letters published by our members as well recently. With the election over, what exactly would you expect to be hearing from us, Mr. Cooper?
What Mr. Cooper does not want to hear from us is that our membership actually grew from 2,200 in September to 2,384 members today. That is about one out of every 55 adults in the county.
We are stronger than ever and far from hiding. In the three meetings we have had since the election, the room was over flowing with citizens who want to do more to help our townships, our county, our state and our nation.
Mr. Cooper uses the left's lame TEA Party attack lines to falsely claim that the majority of our members are Republican (most are Independents), males (the majority are female), non-ethnic (we have nearly every ethnicity you can name represented in our group) and a turn-off to minorities and young people. We have a few black members in our group, and everyone is welcome, but only 4 percent of the county population is black and only 1.2 percent is Latino, so is it really surprising that our membership is mostly white in a county that is 94 percent white? He also was not there to see the growing number of 18- to 30-year-olds at our last meeting who are finally coming to understand that they will be the victims of our nation's out of control spending and borrowing.
As far as the election results, the facts are, Mr. Cooper, that when all or our endorsements are counted our record was 19-19 this election. Who besides Mr. Cooper ever thought that our local candidates were anything but longshots and that the results were "shocking"? From Mitt Romney to Daniel Cartwright, who projected that any of our candidates were ever favored to win? But Jim Renacci did win, thanks to our help, as did Dave Joyce and Matt Lynch and Colleen O'Toole.
Are we happy with the results? Obviously not. What we did learn in this presidential election year was that it is almost impossible for groups like ours to even be heard let alone be effective with all the other media "noise," and we need to find a way to address that.
However, since our nation is a representative republic and not a dictatorship, Mr. Cooper, the president's chair is not the only one that counts, and what you can count on going forward is that our movement and our influence will continue to grow as more citizens continue to become Totally Engaged Americans!
Tom Zawistowski, Executive Director
Portage County TEA Party