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Lawrence: Flagler Tea Party’s Four Values–and Aims

| April 15, 2010

Tom Lawrence

Tom Lawrence, chairman of the Flagler County Tea Party Movement (FCTPM), summed up what he termed the “four values” of the movement as it conceives itself locally, and its aims in the next six months. Lawrence spoke to FlaglerLive during the Tea Party’s Tax Day rally in Palm Coast on April 15. You can hear a fuller, 12-minute interview with Lawrence here.

First of all, we value fiscal sanity. And we look at what’s happening in Washington and we think spending is out of control, we think we have fiscal insanity. Second thing we value is limited federal government. And we think it’s getting too big, and we think it’s not following the Constitution. We also value strong national defense, and we think we’re getting weak on national defense. And our fourth value is the private sector. We think what has caused this country to grow and become an exceptional country is the capitalistic system, and we think what’s happening is beginning to tear away at it. And eat away at it.

So those are our values, and what we’re hoping to do over the next six months is to find–is to vet all the candidates, all the candidates running for local office, and federal office that we can vote for here.” That includes school board members, county commission members, city council members. “We’re going to send everybody a questionnaire and ask them to answer it, and we’re going to look at them and see how their answers stack up against our values.

And then we’re going to send out a scorecard and say, OK, these are the people that we think best will walk the talk about our core values, and try and get people to go out and support them. And I think it’s important to note that we are not partisan, you know, we’re not going to go out and support R’s or D’s or I’s. We’re going to just support the most conservative candidate who supports our values.

To learn more about Palm Coast’s Tea Party or to join: The group meets every third Tuesday of every month at the Flagler Palm Coast High School cafeteria (on State Road 100), at 6:30 p.m. Meetings last about an hour to an hour and a half. The group’s Web site isn’t up yet, but for additional information, call Chairman Tom Lawrence at 931-3255.

The following is provided by the Flagler County Tea Party Movement:

Mission Statement

The Flagler County Tea Party Movement (FCTPM) is a grassroots, non-partisan group of individuals. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize fellow citizens to support:

  • Public policy consistent with our United States Constitution
  • Our core values which are: Constitutionally Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility, Strong National Defense, and Free Markets
  • Our objectives relating to public servants

Core Values

Constitutionally Limited Government: The FCTPM is inspired by the Nation’s founding documents and regard the United States Constitution to be the supreme law of the land.

Fiscal Responsibility: The FCTPM believes a constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty, must be fiscally responsible to prevent subjecting its citizenry to high levels of taxation.

Strong National Defense: The FCTPM stands up for a strong National Defense, secure National borders, and pro-American foreign policy.

Free Markets: The FCTPM supports a return to the free market principles on which our nation was founded.


  • Elect public servants committed to uphold the United States Constitution
  • Champion our objective to enact Term Limits for Congress
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10 Responses for “Lawrence: Flagler Tea Party’s Four Values–and Aims”

  1. Jim R. says:

    Value 1– Fiscal sanity. If by Fiscal sanity, they mean stop wasting money maintaining military bases around the world.
    I Agree
    Value 2– Limited Govt. If by limited govt, they mean stop illegal wire tapping and spying on American citizens.
    I Agree
    Value 3– Strong National Defense, If by strong National defense they mean stop invading and occupying foreign countries for dubious reasons.
    I Agree
    Value 4– The capitalist system, If they want to bring back the Glass Steagall act, and start regulating the excesses of Wall street speculation and re institute the progressive income tax.
    I Agree

  2. Pierre Tristam says:

    I’ve just switched from Earl Grey to Jim R.

  3. Van says:

    Tom Lawrence’s contradictions are showing. Conservatives have been bellyaching about “tax and spend liberals” for decades, while it is in fact Republicans who have spent the country into perdition, most glaringly under Reagan and Bush. With about 55% of our tax dollars going to military spending, Lawrence has it all backwards that we’re “getting weak on national defense.” Where is that weakness supposed to be detected? In a trillion dollar plus military budget? Could that be an example of fiscal insanity Lawrence has failed to notice?

    All we’re about is war, preparing for more war, starting as many wars as we can and never shutting up about how threatened we are even as we never cease threatening the entire world with our military aggression, and this clown thinks we’re weak on national defense? As for our glorious but also threatened capitalist system, it is the reason Lawrence and his fellow Mad Hatters of the Tea Party are so lathered up over all these issues they presume they’re getting to the bottom of. Capitalism as it actually is practiced has offshored most of our jobs, made possible the banking mafia that has destroyed the economy, and then made inevitable the obscene Wall Street bailout courtesy of Obama and the Democrats.

    These tea baggers trust no one but hardened “conservatives,” who in fact are the very people who have spent the past 40 years systematically wrecking the entire fucking country. Sorry, but I don’t buy an ounce of their “values.”

  4. elaygee says:

    Tin foil hat wearing teabaggers seem to be using the same handbook as Joseph Goebbels. His 7th principle of propoganda was to repeat the same lies over and over until they were perceived as truth. The Creepublicans spent us into obilvion with fake wars and giant gazillion dollar gifts to their corporate cronies. They gave away multi billion dollar tax “relief” to multi millionaires.

    Now they want us to believe thatit all didn;t happen and we should go back to the “good old days” that caused this depression so we can give whatever pennies we have left to the billionaires running and financing this “Tea Party”

    If it wasn’t so horrible, you could laugh at these senior citizen welfare cases sticking up for the little billionaires who need our help.

  5. BW says:

    I think the Tea people like Tom are examples of frustration in America today, but it is never clear to me exactly what they expect to be done. We could all go out and shout generalistic types arguments but that solves absolutely nothing. Here we are again when a Tea person has the opportunity to be very clear citing specific examples and specific alternative, but all we get is the same tired rhetoric.

    Maybe someone can explain to me how ‘strong national defense’ can be ‘limited government’ and not cost a load of money? In fact, we had a very strong ‘conservative’ presence in government for 8 years and what did they do? So we are to believe that ‘conservatives’ should be the best resource for who is most suited for office of any sort?

    Two more things. For one, ‘conservative’ is not a group. It’s a political and social philosophy. For many it’s become a ‘club’ of sorts with membership being that you simply agree with everything that is said else you must be an evil ‘liberal’. The truth is that conservative and liberal thoughts are both beneficial. It is the reason our country has always been so strong. The ability for various thoughts to flow is crucial to progress. Yes, I said progress. I know Glenn Beck thinks that’s evil but I’m sure he likes driving a car rather than being pulled in a horse drawn wagon. People have conservative thoughts on some issues and liberal on others. Just like many ‘conservatives’ support the Fair Tax thing which is an extremely liberal (by it’s radical nature) and socialist theory.

    Second, this is NOT a non-partisan movement by any means. No Democrat has yet to backed by a Tea group. Every single spokesperson is a Republican. And leaders nationwide have said that they do not want to see voters vote Democrat. Lastly, it’s heavily backed by Republican lobbyist groups. So this is a group telling people that Republicans are the answer when Republicans had the ability for 8 years to correct the issues they let get out of hand. As for ‘fiscal conservatism’, where was this group while President Bush grew the federal government by 30% and spent unimaginable amounts of money? Interesting that they only decided to organize after losing the election to President Obama.

    Here’s my angle on this as a NPA voter, I would love to see their list and most likely will vote the opposite. Because they will not obviously fully research their candidate choices and simply choose who tells them what they want to hear. We lived with that for 8 years and look what it got us. If I was a candidate, I’d return the questionnaire unopened and say ‘thanks, but no thanks’.

  6. I am not a joiner or a political hack. I am a concerned American about the this current government killing the goose (capitalism) that has made America the greatest country in the history of the world. I am a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. My wife and I attented the Flagler County Tea Party meeting in May and decided together before we went that if they were a bunch of racist nuts (like the media and those above would have you believe) we would leave early. I was surprised to see approximately 230 people at the meeting, all well behaved, and not one looney sign or racist comment was to be heard or seen. Tom Lawrence ran the meeting and it was apparent to me that the majority of attention was on LOCAL politics, not Obama.

    I have three kids in the United States Marine Corps, two presently serving in Afganistan. I want to see this war over and my kids come home today. Defense spending is clearly in the Constitution of the United States and we all agree that the Federal government needs to defend the nation. Please someone show me where it says the government can buy companies, pick winners and losers in the market place, and require I purchase anything? It is not there!

    Did you know that 20% of Federal employees make over 100K per year? Did you know that the average Federal employee gets $72K a year when in the private sector the same job pays $46K? (Dept of Labor).

    Not one Federal worker has had to worry about a pay cut or layoff. Folks, we are passing on to our kids and grandkids a bill they will have to pay. Is that what you want?

    The Tea Party movement is a conservative movement and we do not endorse any candidate. I would say that the Republican platform may more closely align with our values but there are Republicans in Name Only (RINO) that I am sure most Tea Party folks will not support. I would support a Conservative Democrat before I would support a Liberal Republican.

    Our group has grown from under to 100 in April to nearly a 1000 now. Flagler County Tea Party Movement is a way that the average person, who is frustrated with the direction they see the country going, to unite with other people and help educate the public and take collective action to support candidates that share our values. This is as American as apple pie.

    I invite all Flagler County residents, of all parties, to visit our website at and to come to our monthly meetings held at the Flagler-Palm Coast High School Cafeteria on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30PM. Find out for yourselves what the movement is all about. I think you will find that what the media wants you to think and the reality are two separate things.

    I think we all love this country, I know my family does. We may differ on how to fix problems, but let us agree to disagree respectfully and to use the ballot box on November 2nd to elect those that share our values.

    May God Bless America!

    Mike Tennyson

  7. tim harris says:

    what candidates do es the Tea Party suggest in Palm coast, Fl. elections?

  8. tim harris says:

    what candidates are most agreeable with tea party’s values

  9. Rocky Mac says:

    To any Tea Party member can you answer a few questions to enlighten me?

    1) Can you explain and/or justify using hatred and bigotry at Tea Party rallies? Is this the exception to the rule?

    2) Are any members here in Flagler County planning on being at the polls en mass as many other groups through out the country have been doing or plan to do on election day?

    3) If Flagler County Tea Party’s main objective is elections here in our county, why is it that one of your members blames Obama for every little and big event that has occurred in this country? Is she just an exception or this the theme of many of your goals (although not stated)? I know you cannot be responsible for all members, but it seems to be a theme in the Tea Party.

    4) Who was the Democrat who formed the Florida andor Flagler County Tea Party? Is she/he still active in the organization?

    Thank you for your attention to my questions. Peace!!

  10. Rocky Mac says:

    One more question: what is the reason for the “true to vote” program? Why does the party believe they have the right to question or intimidate voters, especially minorities, at the polls?

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