Even before I had readied a press release announcing the April 11 Lincoln “Tax Freedom Tea Party” event, I was contacted by two members of the KLKN Ch. 8 news staff.
Clearly, Ch. 8, our local ABC affiliate, is anxious to cover a Tea Party.
One of the contacts was a reporter requesting to do a profile. Before that could be set up, I was contacted by the station’s assignment editor requesting an interview regarding statements made by Nebraska’s senior Senator, Ben Nelson.
Reille Creighton, a reporter I actually respect (gasp!) was assigned the story. She covered the March 15th rally in front of Senator Nelson’s office. She promised the organizers John Grieser and Angela Slack she would be fair and get their message out and she did.
As Reille explained what was to be covered, it became clear to me that I was going to be the “opposition” opinion on the piece. As I readied myself, it occured to me that we are truly living in the Twilight Zone.
After all, there is a State GOP headquarters much more conveniently located to the TV station than my house. (Just ask the reporter, she got lost.)
Even dismissing the Tea Party “hoopla”, just how relevant is the Republican party these days? A homeschooling mother of three, blogger, and passionate concerned citizen vs. the State GOP? …Okay
Like I said, I knew what the angle was. Senator Nelson vs. Tea Party Organizer. Ok, fine. It gets the word out about the Tea Party.
As one of “those” people, I get to wait for the Nelson attack machine which has apparently effectively struck fear in the hearts of the Nebraska GOP. On February 25, I called their Communications Director when I was looking for guests for the special three hour live show that had been arranged for the Feb. 27th Nationwide Chicago Tea Party on BTR’s Grizzly Groundswell.
As I was handling those arrangements, I thought, why not help out, as Grizzly’s Chad Everson would say, “in my own backyard”? After all, Sen. Nelson was at ground zero in ensuring the passage of the Stimulus Bill. Hopefully there was an emerging candidate who would oppose the esteemed Senator on the next round.
I had already been “treated” to the whiz bang NE GOP strategy for dealing with Sen. Nelson: wait until the vote occurs on a very damaging piece of legislation, then issue a press release that…no one pays any attention to. The day before the vote was scheduled, the new Director informed, “Rest assured, we are going to be issuing a press release.”
Oh, yes, I really will sleep well at night knowing the NE GOP is on the job! Despite this glimpse of brilliance, I was hoping for better. On Feb. 25, any illusions were quickly put to rest. The Communications Director had not heard of Rick Santelli, vaguely knew something about “Tea Parties”, but didn’t know of any candidates lining up to oppose Ben Nelson.
She stated that even if there were any emerging candidates, it would be unlikely they would “come out” this early. Nelson’s team would just get wind of it.
I wish I had taken notes for an exact quote, but that’s the gist. When I asked if anyone would like to be a guest on the Tea Party show, she said, perhaps the State Chairman (and this I do remember exactly) may “want to come and out and make a statement” but he was a busy attorney with ” a very busy schedule”. She kindly gave me his email address.
I determined that I couldn’t be the distruber of anyone’s “busy schedule”.
I think the report went fairly well. Of course, it’s always frustrating which particular clips are ultimately used. As my husband pointed out, finishing up with my response regarding Sen. Nelson’s statement that he wouldn’t currently vote for the budget as it exists would have been a better way to end the story.
I had stated that it would be difficult to believe. After all, Sen. Nelson said he was opposed to the Stimulus Bill initially. Despite the fact that nothing substantively changed about it, he voted for it anyway. He did so with calls 9 to 1 against it from his constituents.
Regardless, I hope that it helps get the word out to my fellow Nebraskans; they are not alone in their opposition to the Senator’s votes, and they hopefully got the message that I’ve received lots of emails and phone calls stating precisely that, whatever Sen. Nelson wants to make people believe.