The Twin city tea party had its monthly meeting at the Border Grille and Bar yesterday. That in itself isn’t big news.

What WAS big news is that it included a candidates forum and two sitting DEMOCRATIC members of the General Court attended.

Jennifer Flanagan
(Sen 4th Worcester district) and Jen Benson (Rep 37th Middlesex District) along with their opponents Neal Heeren (4th Worcester Senate) and Kurt Hayes (37th Middlesex) showed up and took audience questions and stayed to talk to the people at intermission!

The significance of this can’t be overestimated. For over a year the media has been painting tea party members as wild eyed extremists. Congressmen and women have avoided town hall meetings in fear of encountering them and now sitting democratic members of the General Court attend events.

Both Jens deserve a lot of credit for doing so, it shows a respect for the people who will be voting in this election, but more importantly it shows that they are smart enough to realize that pretending a portion of the electorate must be ignored is a losing policy. Rather than giving the floor to their opponents they engaged the tea party members as voters to be persuaded.

Did they win any votes? I don’t know but I think both were impressive and helped themselves. Just as it is hard to stereotype the tea party when you actually interact with them it is hard to do the same with candidates who take the time to talk to you.

Incidentally I’ll have video uploaded and posted later in the day.

Is this an anomaly or is this the shape of things to come? Well as goes Massachusetts…

Update: Instalanche! Thanks Glenn, welcome all take a peek around. Find out why Foster Kamer is Vizzini, why the Iranians are just cowardly bullies, check out my cynical look at Church Closings and Dave Weigel and of course my Amazon reviews.

Update 2: This is actually the Second bi-partisian event held by the Twin City Tea Party. The First was on Flag Day and included the mayor of Leominster. The evidence of change in drawing local pols is evidenced by this video:

When local pols in the most liberal state in the nation feel comfortable being seen at tea party events the worm has turned. I think tea parties nationwide should take a good hard look at what the Twin City Tea Party group is doing and copy it.

Update 3: Here is the video of Flanagan and Heeren

Update 4: And here is the video of Benson and Hayes.

  1. […] IN MASSACHUSETTS, Democratic candidates starting to attend Tea Party forums. […]

  2. Joe says:

    Thing is, I believe what I believe. I don’t care about one or the other party winning, as long as the party that wins is advancing the things I care about, with fiscal conservatism and limited government at the top of the list, along with strong national defense. So it wouldn’t break my heart to vote for fiscally conservative Dems now and again – though I have concerns with Congress that my vote would help keep San Fran Nan in power. Guess I’m much more open minded about it when it comes to the state candidates. They’re more responsive and less nutty anyhow.

  3. smitty says:

    What about Barny Frank?

  4. Roxeanne de Luca says:

    Wish I didn’t have to work last night. Wow.

    Smitty: guess who is moving to Barney Frank’s soon-to-be-old district? Guess who?!?

    (Just ignore the redhead jumping up and down at the chance to vote Frank out of office.)

  5. Let’s see what happens in November. How many of the 9 incumbent house members running, will lose?

    Not to mention Gov. Coupe Deval.

  6. […] was the same thing mentioned at yesterday’s Twin City Tea Party Meeting, a member who called urging opposition to the bill was told that there […]

  7. […] things are different now. Reports are surfacing of Democratic candidates for local office actually showing up at Tea Party gatherings: The […]

  8. […] de Luca is hardly alone in that belief: DaTechGuy just posted that the Twin Cities Tea Party (which covers Leominster and Fitchburg) hosted not just conservative candidates, but their liberal […]

  9. […] By datechguy Here is the video of Jen Flanagan and her opponent Neal Heeren at the Twin city Tea party on the […]

  10. […] Twin City Tea Party candidate forum Democrats attend! « DaTechguy's Blog […]

  11. J says:

    Come on guys. MA elected a republican senator who usually votes with the dems… think electing a so-called MA dem will lead to fiscal restraint?
    There just must be something in the water.

  12. […] Jen Benson and Curt Hayes at the Tea Party forum By datechguy Yesterday we had the video of the State Senate candidates, today we have the candidates for State rep for the 37th Middlesex District at the tea party candidate forum. […]

  13. […] Brown? An Evil republican extending unemployment? That’s has to be as unlikely as democrats showing up for a Tea Party […]

  14. all democrats aren’t left wing liberal nut jobs. just as all republicans are right wing conservative whack jobs.

    Now lets see the TC Tea Party invite some liberal republicans and have some nice words for them and see how well they do.

    The fact is a conservative votes for someone who is more conservative in their views. A liberal votes for someone with more liberal views. Simple as that.

  15. […] heard from the Candidates… By datechguy …at the Tea Party Forum, now what did the people who attended have to […]