Why couldn’t the Tea Party hand out candy, not bumper stickers?

We’ve been to most of the local Fourth of July parades since we came here, and have ridden in some. We have an 8-year-old, so we like to bring him to an old-fashioned parade in our town. This year we went to Lake Tahoe instead.

According to Russ Steele’s blog, “There were five Tea Party Patriot vehicles, one ATV, one 18 wheeler and three classic cars” at this year’s parade, held in Nevada City. I dare say it was the only 18 wheeler in the parade.

Russ added that “100s” of Tea Party bumper stickers were handed out, too, along the parade route.

If you go to the Tea Party website it reads: “Mark Meckler, the co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, will be leading the parade again. We’d like you to join us this year and help us make our presence known to all. You don’t have to be a member to join us in the parade. Just show up with friends and family in a red shirt.”

If the group is nonpartisan, why doesn’t it just hand out candy, not bumper stickers? Why does it have to make a statement?

Meanwhile, over on his blog, vocal Tea Party member Barry Pruett makes a snide comment about the recent survey by Congressman Tom McClintock that showed a right-leaning bias. “Build the Auburn dam,” people who responded to the survey said. (For full disclosure, Barry’s wife is one of Tom’s staffers).

“That may be all well and good…but the district is turning ‘purple.’ My tongue is firmly in cheek,” Barry writes.

No, Barry the county is going “purple,” not the district. It voted for Obama, Brown and your opponent, Greg Diaz. (McClintock, if you recall, referred to Greg as the “left wing” clerk-recorder at a Tea Party rally).

Nobody is commenting on Barry’s blog — a statement in itself.

Up here in Tahoe, the air is much clearer. Nobody cares about partisan politics on the Fourth of July. It is very refreshing!

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

35 thoughts on “Why couldn’t the Tea Party hand out candy, not bumper stickers?”

  1. Taking overall first place among entries in the parade was the Artemis Studios and… The Peace Center tribute to Utah Phillips.

    Overall Second prize went to the Firehouse #1-Local Nisenan Tribe

    and Overall Third place goes to the Nevada County Search and Rescue.

    Best Individual Entry goes to Austin Simonson

    Best Auto goes to the Studebaker Drivers Club

    Best overall Fire Department went to the City of Nevada City Fire Department.

    Best Band honors go to Nevada Union High School

    Best Junior Group goes to Gold Country Gymnastics

    Best Commercial entry, Coldwell Banker Realty

    Best Marching Group goes to the NUHS Football Players and Cheerleaders

    And There were 5 honorable mention Ribbons

    -Gold Country Celtic Society

    -Marching Presidents

    -North Star Mining Museum

    -Nevada County Marrow Gauge Museum

    -Friends of Nevada County Military Blue Star Moms

  2. Nevada County Narrow Gauge Museum also used an 18 wheeler to haul their homebuilt steam engine, which was fired up, with whistle blowing.

    TP handed out lots of small flags, and, curiously enough, the NC Republican Committee appeared to be handing out identical flags. Then along came the Lion’s Club, handing out much larger flags. Kids quickly made the swap. The Grandmothers for Peace float handed out folded paper cranes.

    1750 photos, so I am spending a lot of time winnowing them down before publishing.

    The Ophir Band played very professionally. The Democrats also handed out Boxer stickers, and the Libertarians and Ben Emory were there as well. Segways were used by the parade marshals.

  3. Jeff,

    I am confused: Why do bumper stickers have to be partisan? Should you not have at least found out what they said before making such a comment?

    If they were “Vote Republican” or “Vote Democratic” then it would certainly violate their ‘non-partisan stand.

    But what if the bumper stickers said, “Throw the Bums Out” or “Balanced Budget Now” or better yet “Broadband for Nevada County NOW!” Would those be partisan?

    And finally your suggestion that they pass out candy would really have exposed them as a right-wing partisan group because everyone knows that kids should not eat candy and only the Democrats care about the health of our children! 🙂

    Hope you had a great 4th and I bet the Lake was beautiful!


    1. John,
      The Tea Party is not being transparent. On the one hand, it says it is “nonpartisan.” On the other, it is supporting a very conservative cause. Glad to see the list of winners reflected more of an “old fashioned,” hometown parade.

      1. Jeff, it may be a surprise to some, but the two major parties are not the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. There are self described conservatives who are registered Democratic and self described liberals who are registered Republican. This is not the strangest feature of US party politics.

        TPP’s don’t speak for me, and I really don’t care what they choose to pass out. If you don’t want their bumper stickers, don’t take one.

      2. My issue with the Tea Party continues to be one of transparency. Is it a nonpartisan political group or an “arm” of the right?

      3. I think Greg brings up a great point about the parties because labels are difficult. I use conservative for those who want limited government and progressive for those who look to government to solve our problems, which I think is generally fair and after all we have to have some categories.

        But does that mean it is conservative to oppose big wars in far off lands? Most of the conservatives that I know think so, and yet the media would certainly put both the advocates of such wars and conservatives on what Jeff is calling “the right.”

        Almost everyone would agree that being against abortion would make you on the “right” and yet in my thirty plus years of fighting the killing of the unborn, those most likely at my side are Catholics which are as a voting block generally on the left.

        This is why having discussions is so much more important than labels and name-calling.


  4. The theme of the 4th of July parade this year was “Hometown Heros”. There was at least one float dedicated to a hometown hero: Utah Phillips.

    I watched as Judith Lowry (Artemis Studios) came up with the concept for the float (and spent many hours working on it), contacted Utah’s widow, Joanna, (to get her blessing), and also the Hospitality House, and others, who might be interested in participating in celebrating this remarkable and interesting man (the Hospitality House was a no-show but not before taking one of Judith’s paintings for one of their benefit auctions). Judith also hooked up with the Peace Center and it was a pleasure to have their company during the preparation and in the parade.

    As we cruised down Broad St. we were greeted with clapping and cheers (and I was told Joanna came out to thank everyone) but also several times with “This is California, not Utah”, usually by kids demonstrating (I guess) their new-found mastery of geography.

    Brad Croul

  5. Jeff, sorry you missed the parade, but bet Tahoe was great. Videos of the parade will be playing for a while as NCTV were there to film. I intend to watch it. One disadvantage to marching in the parade is not being able to see it. I was with the Democrats, and our candidate running against Tom McClintock, Clint Curtis from Roseville, came up to be with the Democrats contingent. We were told by viewers along the parade route that the Tea Party had this huge group of vehicles and marchers, far more than our 28 and 3 vehicles. My reply was, but our group of Democrats were all Nevada County Democrats (Curtis the lone Placer County Democrat). We do not bus in Democrats from other areas, nor would we invite them to be a part of our group marching in out Nevada City/Grass Valley hometown parade. We are not carpetbaggers, nor do we import such from SoCal to run for Congress to represent our NorCal District 4.

    1. re Pat’s “We do not bus in Democrats from other areas, nor would we invite them to be a part of our group …”

      Pat, in the TPPs’ defense, it strikes me as unlikely that they’d be busing people in from some other county on July 4 – don’t all counties have their own parades?

      And even if you should see a TPP group emerging from a bus, rather than jump to conclusions IMO it’d be wise to ask them where they’ve come from, since busing a group in from LOP or Penn Valley would be eminently sensible.

  6. “Why couldn’t the Tea Party hand out candy, not bumper stickers?”

    Seems like a sensible call on their part…would you let _your_ kid eat candy from the Tea Party Patriots?


    – Sid

  7. Anna, all counties do not have their own parades. The parades in Grass Valley/Nevada City are special and draw many attendees from out of the area. Businesses in these towns are heavily dependent on tourism, and the parades are organized by chambers of commerce and downtown business associations, as are other events designed to aid small businesses in the area. Last year, when the parade was in Grass Vally, busses of red-shirted Tea Partiers were seen unloading. No, people do not need to be bussed in from Penn Valley. It’s only 8 miles and they drive in all the time. Stan Meckler admitted there were non-locals in their TP contingent last year, said they were just visiting here, never admitted to the bussing. I’m sure the TP needs defending. Their candidate Barry Pruett just lost an election here against Greg Diaz by 69% plus. The Tea Party is not that popular in western Nevada County.

    1. > “… all counties do not have their own parades. The parades in Grass Valley/Nevada City are special and draw many attendees from out of the area….”

      Thanks Pat, I didn’t know this.

      FYI, I had a chance to speak with a Tea Party Patriot woman before the parade started – I wrote a post on our global warming exchange (link) on NCFocus.

      They don’t seem to have good quality information channels.

      1. Anna,

        I reviewed your post and it appears that you might be the one that is in need of more up-to-date information.

        I see several “scary” charts that have been completely debunked and no mention of the controversy about whether increased CO2 emissions cause higher temperatures or whether the increase in CO2 levels are the result of increased temperatures caused by something else like solar storms or sun spots. The graphs have a relationship but a close examination seems to confirm the later.

        I could go on, but it would be much better if your information was a little more balanced.


  8. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-hoggan/lies-concocted-by-climate_b_629520.html



    You know John, I have a feeling that sooner or later the only people coming here are going to be you, Jeff and the few who either don’t mind your BS, of those who are just too ignorant to see through it. Which, with the exception of Jeff, makes a perfect stable of possible converts for your little circus of idiocy.

  9. But as long as I do remain a reader here, when you spout your distorted, dishonest BS, I’m going to call it out whenever I see it, so get get used to it.

    1. Bruce,

      I appreciate the interaction: Of course the three posts that you link talk about “climategate” which I did not mention, not that I would accuse you of throwing up a red herring.

      I was giving Anna some food for thought on the claims made primarily in Al Gore’s now famous video.

      And speaking of Al’s video: The English Courts found significant errors and it cannot be shown in their schools without a disclaimer. Do you point these out to folks that you recommend his video too?

      You can see the list here: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2007/10/09/court-identifies-eleven-inaccuracies-al-gore-s-inconvenient-truth


      1. John,
        Did you actually read your own links?!? Did you read the links to the links. I don’t think they say what you think they say. First off, your link is a right-wing, biased one. Not a real reliable source for this blog.

        The guy was suing because he didn’t think it was right to show a film based on Al Gore, a political figure, presenting a case. He didn’t argue global warming, he didn’t think it was right for a politician to make the point.

        You’re too old for this sort of thing.

      2. John Stoos, it’s always a good idea to check with a credible source, before repeating what you’ve heard. And also to think about how important your item of focus is, in the larger scheme of things.

        What I’d do with a claim like this – and I recommend you do likewise – is use the Warming101 Custom Search at
        (which helps you avoid a whole lot of dreck, since it only searches on credible sites)
        and, in this case, search for
        “inconvenient truth” court

        …which brings up a number of posts shedding light on this delayer talking point.
        Best might be Deltoid’s, pointing out that “[judge] Burton is not even trying to decide whether they are errors or not.”

        Thinking more broadly, here (link) is what looks to be an excellent piece on how to think about & weigh the evidence & the factions. It’s kind of a “See Jane Do”, “pink”-flavored article, but the points it makes are excellent.
        (like, for a scientific issue, maybe the thing to do is listen to the scientists?)

        also very worth reading – do a w101search for
        climatesight “credibility spectrum”
        and read the post. Since without being able to intelligently assess credibility, there’s no way you’re going to be able to tell which end is up, climate-science-wise.

        Remember, John, “We were appointed stewards of the earth . . . there is a Landlord, and the ‘web of nature’ belongs to Him, not to us.”

        Think you’ll get your security deposit back, if you trash the place?

    1. Bruce,

      I remember my Dad telling me that he read the Chico Enterprise Record and the Sacramento Bee so he could see how both sides “spun” the news, though I don’t think that was the word that he used.

      I think you have the same with Media Matters and Media Research. I get the alert from both of them and it is often very helpful to see how differently they see the same “news” event and the subsequent coverage.


      PS: I did not follow all of my father’s advise because he strongly used me to never talk about religion or politics! Guess he knew me well enough to know how much trouble I would get in.

      1. We’re not talking about interpretation of events. We’re talking about dishonest opinion and misrepresented facts vs empirical data and facts. I interpret events for myself, but not based on opinion posing as fact. Numbers, data, relatively objectively observed events. You brought up “charts” that you felt were useless or inaccurate. Those are just your words words. Put something up here that’s tangible and provable to state your point. Newbusters is absolutely useless in any venue except for the amusment of morons.

    2. Bruce,

      I did mention my concern about the charts: They give one side of the story and ignore the fact that there is an ongoing debate about what causes what as I did bring up in my comments.

      There is not much of a discussion if you insist that anything anyone says on the other side are just words while all that you say are facts.

      Allow me to use an example I brought up a lot on the radio. Take a row of fossils that show the advancement of the animal kingdom as we would study them in biology.

      These are real and should be considered as facts or evidence. I look at them and comment that I see how they have similar characteristics which confirms my belief in the account of Genesis: They have a common Creator. Now I have interpreted the facts.

      You look at the same fossils and comment on how they show the various stages of development which confirms your belief in evolution. All life as we know it today has evolved. Now you have interpreted the facts as well.

      We are both being honest in terms of interpreting the facts in light of our world view. But, we have a major disagreement when it comes to our conclusions. This is where the good discussions should begin: Respect for each others position and then honest debate to try and determine who is right.

      There are many today who believe that truth is relative, so we can both be right and not have to worry. I am old school here and believe there is real objective truth and that the quest for the truth is a good thing.


      1. You still are presenting straw man examples. Talk specifics. Put the specific “facts” and concrete examples up here for us both to look at. Your above post is still completely fact free. “For example” presents absolutely nothing of substance to work with. You hardly ever present any specific empirical data to work with, only approximations which allows you to pull your “facts” out of you know where.

        Put up links to the “fossils” you’re speaking about and the appropriate arguments from “scientists” on both sides, then we can talk. Otherwise you’re just blowing smoke.

      2. Bruce,

        I think my example was pretty clear but here is a site to consider: http://tinyurl.com/399mhgg

        You would say AMEN to what the author present [or whatever affirmation you prefer] and I would say as I did above that these are example of a common Creator. The fossils are still the facts.

        This also bring up another point of disagreement: The facts point to what is called Cambrian Evolutionary Explosion: Again something that is real.

        The evolutions have their theories of how to explain it and I would simply say it is exactly what we should expect if Biblical history is correct.


  10. Chris,

    You keep bring up my age: It is a good thing I am not sensitive about that 🙂

    I don’t see why a “right-wing” link is any more suspect than a “left-wing” link. I thought the point of these discussions was to evaluate such things.

    You state the case correctly, but the point I was making for Bruce and Anna to consider is that an English Court [not the right-wing link or teacher] found significant errors in Mr. Gore’s film and ordered that it could only be shown to English school children if those discrepancies were pointed out.

    Now if you want to take on some of those eleven points and show where the court was wrong, then we might get into some really good discussions.

    Good in fact for all ages!


  11. Bruce,

    I would be happy to give up NewsBusters if you don’t make me read any more from Huffington 🙂

    However, I would have to point out that it was President Obama who encouraged us to read those sites we are not comfortable with in his school speeches this year. Oops, I heard that on the Limbaugh show so I guess I can’t bring that up even though I think the President was right.


  12. OK John,
    I agree that wacko is wacko rather it be from the left or the right. However, in my experience with wacko websites, is they have the tendency to cherry pick info, use confirmation bias, and see things that aren’t there.

    In regards to the link you posted, I’ve been able to find the original court transcript. It’s 235 pages long. I skipped to that back 15 pages, hoping for the final conclusion, and I don’t see any of the claims your link purports.

    What I see is an argument whether a public (politician) figure should be allowed to present, what is considered an opinion piece, to a classroom.

    Granted, I’ve not gone through all 235 pages of court transcript.

  13. “However, I would have to point out that it was President Obama who encouraged us to read those sites we are not comfortable with ”

    And I agree completely with that sentiment, but he didn’t say read websites that churn out garbage. That’s a different kind of uncomfortable…outrage at complete BS. I relish reading sites that make me uncomfortable when they present cogent, factual articles, not half truths strangled into submission by morons. And I read quite a few, but I won’t say MANY, because you don’t have to take your shoes off to count them.

  14. And actually I’m probably more uncomfortable with BS sites when they come from the far left because it diminishes the more progressive arguments and gives fodder to sites like Newsbusters.

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