A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Clinton Township Tea Party

Flo Solano's sign read: "Time To Clean House"

The Brown Township woman's sign for Sunday's Tea Party rally was a play on what she sees as the end game to the conservative free-market movement: get more conservative politicians elected.

"For me, success would mean Tea Parties around the country would actually make a change in the (U.S.) House and Senate," Solano said. "To me, that would be more important than defeating (President Barack) Obama."

Solano said without control of the House and Senate, Obama's power evaporates.

About 4,000 people showed up in Clinton Township for the final leg of the national Tea Party Express tour.

With crowds showing up Friday through Sunday in the thousands, many Tea Partiers discussed what they would consider "success."

Sheri and Phil Allor of Grosse Pointe Park said part of success for the Tea Party movement will involve the education of the masses about just what their politicians are up to.

"It would be successful if they call out the candidates so we know exactly where they stand," Sheri said.

The Allors said that way, politicians can be held accountable for their record and not other intangibles.

"I think we vote personality. We vote sound bytes," Sheri said.

"We are a center-right country," Phil said. "And we have a left-center government. Now, how could that happen?"

Although all the Tea Partiers interviewed Sunday said getting more conservatives elected was key, some didn't want a Republican takeover.

"I don't think we need to take control (of the U.S. House and Senate)," said Kristy Daniels of West Bloomfield, who carried a sign that read: "Since you're not using the Constitution, can I have it?" "We just need a balance. We don't want just Republicans. They are going to get out of control, too. Politicians get out of control."

Ty Filipiak of St. Clair Shores agreed that balance is what is needed. "I realize you need a little bit of liberalism," Filipiak said. "But now they've gone so far left."

Filipiak also said the success of the Tea Party involves education.

"People don't know anything about the Constitution," Filipiak said. "We are losing our liberty and people aren't aware of it."

Two women have hit the trail trying to get term limits passed in the city of Grand Rapids. Their efforts could be a barometer of public sentiment as some Lansing politicians discuss the merits of eliminating term limits for state lawmakers.


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