Category Archives: Tea Party


Lets Call A Duck A Duck

It's a duck!
Yep, it's a duck!

Originally posted June 9, 2009. The quacking is getting louder, does anyone hear it besides me? It’s about time to make another visit to the pond, so to speak, so I’ll be following up on this very soon.

When something has feathers, a bill, waddles, and quacks…you’d think it would be difficult to deny…it’s a duck!

But there’s a lot of denial going around these days, in fact it seems practically epidemic. Despite any and all evidence presented, people do not want to believe what’s staring them right in the face.

What’s being denied primarily is bad ethics, but also, there is denial of questionable associations, and agendas.

The fact that bad ethics don’t seem to bother so many people sure bothers me, so I’ve actually spent a good deal of time thinking about it. I’ve realized that the difficulties we’re experiencing as a country are reflected in recent events within the movement to put a stop to out of control government.  So, lacking any other term, I must say, events inside the Tea Party “movement” are reflective of what has been plaguing us as a country.

Those of us who recognize the problem with bailouts that only spend money we don’t have and that do nothing to prevent big businesses from collapsing, see the huge deficits we’re racking up at unsustainable rates and we understand what it means over the long haul; big trouble.

But worse than any financial deficit we’re piling up, we have a deficit of ethics.  And unless we recognize the big trouble that is causing and will continue to cause us, it means worse trouble than anything having to do with money.

And really, should we be surprised? Debt, at its core is a moral issue. How moral is it to spend money we don’t have, to put off until tomorrow what we can’t afford today? It isn’t just government that’s racked up big debts. Americans are currently carrying an average of $8,000 – $9,000 in credit card debt. Many of us took on those mortagages that defy any notion of common sense.

So it isn’t just elected officials spending like drunken sailors. And who elected all of these big spenders to office, anyway? We did. And it wasn’t just one side of the aisle. Both parties have spent us into oblivion.

Sadly, Americans seem to be so inured to corruption, the line between right and wrong has been made so blurry, people aren’t much bothered by bad conduct when they see it.

I’ve been troubled by too many conversations to count in pointing out bad conduct to others and receiving responses like, “You must have misunderstood”, “That’s the way it’s always been done”, “But they’re on our side”, or perhaps my all-time favorite, “At least that person is trying do something!”

So, getting back to ducks, those kinds of conversations kind be likened to a situation where one person, seeing a duck walk past, turns to the person beside them and points out the creature waddling past, noting it has feathers and a bill, and the person says, “Nah! That’s not a duck, that’s a kitty cat.”

A duck in this context is someone with an axe to grind ranging from personal aggrandizement or enrichment to getting a particular candidate elected to office.

Not all ducks look or are alike.


The smooth operator with a plan. See that twinkle in his eye? That sly devil look? They’re there for a reason. Daffy knows just what he wants to do and how to get it done. He’s usually near the top of an organization, or he’s a party insider. He can usually tap into a nice, fat budget.
His ultimate goal is to maintain the status quo. If successful, this Tea Party stuff could mean limited government and decentralized power. That means he and the people he works for (see Uncle Scrooge, below) lose power. For Daffy, that probably means he’s out of a job.


Uncle Scrooge:

The big money and power guy. See that stash he’s sitting on? He likes it and he wants to keep it. He knows how to spread it around just enough to “prime the pump”, to get people elected to office and to keep organizations going that “play ball”. You’ll see his name as a donor for both major political parties. Smart ducks know, you don’t put all of your eggs in in one nest or basket.
His ultimate goal is the same as Daffy’s, only he’s got more than a job at stake, like that big pile of coin he’s always counting and the power he’s grown accustomed to.


Huey, Dewey, Louie:
These are the young whippersnapper types who might still be true believers in things like free markets, but they’re full of energy and ambition, so they’ll take positions or assignments from their employers (if paid) or the organization they’re signed up that will ensure advancement. If there work is for the party, they have visions of office in their heads.
You’ll often see Huey, Dewey, and Louie types all over the place. Online, you’ll see them as members of state-based groups where they don’t live, listed as part of the team of multiple organizations, and on the rosters of multitudes of NING sites.
They’re ultimate goal (they’ve often convinced themselves) is to keep their heads down and do what they’re told needs to be done so they can stay in the game and move up so they can have their turn, finally, at doing some good. Alternatively, their goals are more cynical; they want to move up the chain so they can have some power and influence some day OR they’re just looking to land in that really lucrative job real soon.


She is a female version of Huey, Dewey, and Louie, only smarter (and cuter.) She is today’s new political woman, a combination of some traditional values combined with feminism. She can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, but somehow still evoke images of baseball and apple pie.
Her ultimate goals are fairly identical to some combination of her male counterparts, but added to that is to be a role model to all young women, to show them that you can be a Conservative woman and still have it all.



Bob came to the pond late. He either didn’t hear about Tea Parties or was a little reluctant to step out and put one together until there were enough people doing them for it to be “safe”. Either way, Bob ducks want a piece of the action. Some of them see the opportunity to get some good will in their city for their business, some of them see a way to finally get that time in the spotlight they’ve been seeking, but regardless, they want to be a part of it all.

Bob’s ultimate goal is to enhance his own reputation or see increased sales.


The hapless state coordinator for a national group,  or the director or board member for a regional or state-based think tank. He doesn’t really know what’s going on at the top of his organization (no, really, honestly, he has no idea, he just works here, really…) he’s just trying to do some good here in your state. Yeah, he’s working with so-and-so from that other group whose actions are questionable, but he doesn’t really know that much about them. They share the same general goals, so that’s good, right?
While Donald appears to be one of those guys whose hair always seems a little mussed and his shirt needs tucking in, he’s actually a lot more put together. What he’s really doing is claiming ignorance, playing “the yokel”.
This duck’s ultimate goals are to keep themselves in the political game and grow their own reputation, so they can launch themselves into an even better position somewhere. Some may have convinced themselves they are doing good works and they are just trying to work with everyone possible because after all, we’re all on the same team, right?


This is a new breed of duck, not yet well studied, was created by the recent Tea Party “movement”. Once simply John Q. Public or Mary J. Citizen, they found themselves gathering crowds of hundreds or even thousands in their city or town and now have a big email database (which many people are now aware of and constantly asking to be used for certain purposes). They’ve been guests on all the local media outlets, some even national TV, and they’ve worked with national organizations in putting on their events.
They feel the wind at their backs and they are desperate that “the movement” must not die. They realize that they have people wanting to donate money to the cause, and they’re being advised by some of the folks from those national groups that they need to form an “official organization”.
So, they’ve formed a legal non-profit group and set up a bank account. They want to keep things going, so they must be a part of the most prominent national organization out there. They’re ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work on that national agenda that is being put together by that national group.
This duck’s head has been officially turned either by the allure of their quasi-celebrity status or by their newly discovered power, or simply in believing that they must do things the way they’re being told to do them by the “more experienced” and the “experts”.
This duck has the following rationale, when they sincerely believe they are doing good: “The country’s in trouble! We’ve got to do something!” Which often accompanied by, “All of these problems were caused by ‘those guys over there!’ (the Left, the Democrats, fill in the blank with the usual suspects).  It’s not our side, no!”
OR very often:
“We need to work together! So what if group X is doing this or that, we cannot let this thing fall apart! We cannot let the movement die!”

This duck is a new hybrid, never before seen in the wilds (that’s the political jungle), so there’s no image available. Would you recognize this duck if you saw it? Have you seen one?

So…what’s the problem with all of these ducks?

Ducks do, what ducks do. In the case of Daffy and Uncle Scrooge, they’re clearly not up to much good. They only want money and / or power or both. It’s fairly easy to pull out one of these ducks and show his feathers to someone and have them say, “Yeah, that’s a duck!” And it’s generally acknowledged, when their bills are moving, they’re lying.

In the cases of Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Daisy, Donald, and Bob, these ducks may really believe they are doing good. In dealing with groups, organizations who have engaged in questionable tactics, they believe they are making a good compromise, because, after all, even if that group has a problem, they’re working towards the same goals. Although some of these folks have become ducks themselves, they don’t even know it. They don’t recognize their own kind or see their own feathers in the mirror. Even though when they speak you might hear quacking, they don’t.

One of the saddest things of all, if you point out ducks you’re seeing, or even go “duck hunting”, you’re likely to become the target yourself.  It’s a bit like that particular episode of Bugs Bunny, “It’s wabbit season! No it’s duck season! No it’s wabbit season!”.

But, as long as there is an over population of ducks, we’re going to keep going around the same circles. The trouble is, we’re running out of time.

We can keep listening to the quacking and call it wisdom, or …. we can go hunting.


Tea Party Hijack By GOP and AFP in Progress in Lincoln Nebraska

Click to view larger version

I am aware of concerns and confusion about an apparent alignment of Grassroots in Nebraska with the Republican Party and AFP (Americans for Prosperity) to organize a Tea Party event on April 15. Please be assured that Grassroots in Nebraska will stay committed to being a truly grassroots group of Nebraska citizens committed to a return to a Constitutional, limited government. When we organize a Tea Party, we will abide by the no political party, no politician policy we’ve had since the beginning.

It has always been a point of principle that there will no affiliation of Grassroots in Nebraska as a group with a political party, and of course, no endorsement of a political party organizing a tea party. Further, there is agreement by the core, most active members of this group that it is impossible to align with AFP based on nearly a year’s worth of both dealing directly with and observing the conduct of that organization locally. For anyone who is not aware of the reasoning behind this position, we will be providing additional details in the next few days via email and website posts.

The Republican Party of Lancaster County, AFP Nebraska, and a handful of individuals are attempting to hijack and crush our event and group. There can be NO other interpretation.

Click to view in PDF

The unfortunate facts are -

  • Grassroots in Nebraska has had a permit for use of the North Steps of the Capitol from the Capitol Commission since March 11, dated March 10, for an April 15 5:30pm setup, 6:30 – 8:30pm event. Click HERE to view the permit in more detail. (Note that my personal address has been blacked out for obvious security reasons, the direct line to the Tourism Director blacked out as there is a general number available elsewhere on the form)
  • Kurt Hammond and Brad Stevens, both of AFP had requested use of the Capitol North Steps for Noon – 1pm April 15 then attempted to schedule for the evening, but were denied permission because Grassroots in Nebraska already had the permit.
  • Even before there was clarity regarding the Commission’s decision, Brad Stevens of AFP and others began distributing information about convening their event at the Capitol at 5:30pm on the north steps. Click HERE to view larger version – you may have to use zoom.
  • The Capitol Commission notified Kurt Hammond on March 9 that their request to use Capitol property during any other time than Noon – 1pm had been denied, AFP, the Lancaster County Republican Party, and others continued to distribute information that their event was being held at the north steps of the Capitol at 5:30pm
  • Despite the fact that the Capitol Commission has told Kurt Hammond to stop falsely advertising the location of the event to the public, false advertisements of the event continue to this day
Click to view larger version

One might wonder why this effort is being undertaken – why advertise our event for us if we have a rightful permit to use the location and they do not?

Because, according to the Capitol Commission and direct report from one of the planners, the GOP and AFP will be holding their event across the street from the Capitol on the Centennial Mall. They seem convinced they can capture the crowd prior to or on top of our event and then lure them away from the area completely by offering free food, free drinks, and a movie.

I hope they have a lower opinion of the average Tea Party goer than is reality.

In addition to the blatantly false advertising, blatant ignoring of admonishments and instructions by a a state agency, and blatantly offering freebies and lures, a number of tactics – besides the ones that are already obvious – have been attempted to get Grassroots in Nebraska to give up or share the steps with the GOP and AFP.

  • Brad Stevens of AFP tried to extract information from Linda in our group in late February about our plans. He said he didn’t have my phone number, but curiously it’s really easy to find. Besides the fact that Brad had called me a couple of times before and a number of his employees have my phone number, it is also listed in the phone book. I’m the only Shelli Dawdy in Lincoln, NE.
  • The Chairman of the Lancaster County Republican Party called on two separate occasions to get information from me. He never offered a cooperative effort (not that it would have been accepted) – his directly stated goal was to convene his event directly after mine so as to “piggyback off” of us. He dismissed my advice that people would not like it if the GOP were to have a tea party by saying, “That won’t be problem – we’re not going to tell people it is being organized by the GOP and AFP.”
  • A former member of our group who joined forces with the GOP and AFP contacted two other members of this group “offering a joint tea party”. She said she “couldn’t seem to get Shelli”. But I have caller id and her number had registered just fine in the past. I haven’t received a phone call from this woman in several months at least. When questioned directly about which groups she was representing with her offer, she said her own and “others”. Given the opportunity to be forthcoming, she failed to do so.
  • A fellow calling himself a Libertarian but somewhat a Republican called on March 30 to “extend his hand”. He said it was his idea to bring together all of the groups, that he was planning the event. He said the event was tied to the Capitol now and it could be done one of two ways; they would keep advertising as the Capitol Steps either way. One way it could be done is if after their speakers were through, people could stay and listen to the great message from Shelli Dawdy of Grassroots in Nebraska or they could go have food and drink and watch the movie. He didn’t give the other option. He pressed multiple times – would I cooperate?

    Click to view larger image

The last phone call I received was probably the most egregious contact of the lot. It just so happens a member of Grassroots in Nebraska was talking to me on Skype when I answered the call. Realizing the nature of the call, I put it on speaker so he heard the whole conversation. This is his assessment of the call:

“He wanted to rally on the steps during the allotted setup time, which would actually break the rules constructed by the Capitol Commission. He was a professional salesman (insurance business) refusing to take no as an answer and tried to intimidate you with an onslaught of false logic.”

Apparently, the idea of keeping the event completely detached from the GOP and AFP has been abandoned to some extent. There are invitations via email going out from AFP and a Facebook event from the GOP.

The few people who are aware of what has gone on, are completely disgusted with all involved in this hijack attempt. One of them sent the following email to Brad Stevens:

“You sir are a cad, and your organization is a shill for the Republican party. You have obtained my email address from another group with whom I am involved. They have permission to use my contact information, you do not. Do you have a permit for this event you are promoting at the Capitol? Please remove my address from your mailing list, and all of my personal information from your files immediately. I will be contacting Senator Fulton forthwith to make him aware of the character and tactics of the group with whom he has affiliated himself, assuming he is even aware that you are using his name in your unauthorized solicitations. And you need an editor with an understanding of English usage. The proper phrase is constitutional principles, not ‘constitutional principals.’”

The bottom line? This is has become David vs Goliath. There is a lot of power, influence, and money involved. And it apparently has decided it needs to smash us with its fist. If the WHY of that is not obvious , stay tuned. Linda has agreed to assist me in providing the background information over a period of a few days and we will release that information via email and website posting.

Right now, though, there are more immediate concerns:

My question – what shall we do about it? I need to know which choice people who regularly hear from us are going to make. Will you opt for the establishment Republican Party and a Washington, D.C. big-money group dangling “big name speakers” and free food and drink? *OR *Will you recognize what is happening here and push back against this effort to stomp out our group? The core active membership of this group understand it is the establishment – including both parties – and the groups whose primary function is to keep the establishment in power that are the problem. If you choose not to support GIN now, you’re really electing to maintain the status quo. The Republican Party has no need to accommodate our ideas if we can be assimilated into the existing party structure. Why buy the cow if the milk is free? — or, in this case, bought very cheaply — for the price of some lip service paid to our agenda by party politicians, some munchies, a few drinks, and a movie.

I and the people who usually pull the oars in this group cannot fight this fight alone. If we do not receive immediate support and commitments to help, we will decide to devote our time elsewhere.

All of the game playing in this has now put us behind. Because of the level of influence we are talking about, we have been halted several times in pursuing the arrangements for this event while making sure that some strings have not been pulled that may have resulted in the loss of the permit. I have now been assured by the Tourism Director that this will not happen.

If you are as outraged as those of us who have followed this hijack and wish to see a good turnout at our event, we need to know you are willing to back that up by helping.

As noted at the top of this message, we are turning our Monday meeting into an emergency meeting about the Tea Party. The number of people who show up, ready to help, will decide whether or not we go forward. If you are willing to commit your help, but absolutely have no way to make it to the meeting, please click HERE to send a message.

Information about Monday’s meeting:

Monday, April 5


Unitarian Church

6300 A St., Lincoln

It would be EXTREMELY helpful if people would RSVP “YES” to this meeting if planning to attend. Frankly, it would be nice to see a show of some support at this point.