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Tea Party Overtakes the Library

Ninety people came out last night to listen to a Tea Party sales pitch. By the end of organizer Dean Slack's 80-minute presentation, audience members like Ron DeFeo were ready to contribute to the cause.

“I have a level of dissatisfaction in our government, a government that is not doing its part to balance the budget,” said DeFeo. The Terex CEO added that unless something changes, the nation’s children will be stuck paying for this generation’s mistakes with huge tax bills and an unstable economy.

Organizer's expected a crowd of no more than 30. The crowd was so large, the doors were propped open so the people in the hall could hear Slack. Scattered among the residents were three Republican political candidates: Peter Schiff, Nitzy Cohen and Alan Levy. Cohen and Levy were there drawing support for tonight's Republican caucus. They are both running for the party nomination for Rep. Joe Mioli's (D) seat in Connecticut's 136th District. Republican Stephen Rubin is running against them. A petition was circulated to put Schiff on the primary ballot against party-endorsed Linda McMahon for U.S. Senate.

While the politicians were eager to make their presence known, Slack said some of the merchants told him they were worried about being seen at there. He requested that media not interview or photograph attendees, despite the public meeting format.

“I think it is unfortunate but the concern is very real,” said Slack. He explained that the concerned merchants felt that once they were associated with the Tea Party they could lose business in the heavily Democratic community.

Slack told the crowd he views his Tea Party as more of an organizational and community action group, and less of an actual political affiliation. He doesn’t plan to push his own set of political candidates. He also doesn’t want people to think of his group as a political action committee. Some of the crowd seemed dismayed and confused by his stance, arguing they “had enough friends” and were looking to get more directly involved with the elections.

Slack told them in the future there might be room for that level of involvement, but for now he needs volunteers and funding to help advertise and get their message out. “It doesn't take much, just $20 here or $40 there,” said Slack.

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