Sen. Baddour a Frequent Attendee
At Tea Party Meetings
By: Tom Duggan – October 08, 2010
Democrat State Senator Steve Baddour of Methuen has been seen networking and even speaking at Merrimack Valley Tea Party meetings in Andover, and North Andover.
Given the hostility that leaders in his own political have for the Tea Party and given the guaranteed negative media that accompanies any Tea Party meeting, we caught up with Baddour to ask him his thoughts on the party and the way they are treated by Democrats.
VALLEY PATRIOT: Senator, what do you think of the Tea Party?
SEN. BADDOUR: I like the Tea Party. I enjoy going to the meetings, I love the give and take. I love the fact that there are people there who agree with me, don’t agree with me and aren’t afraid to express their concerns.
So, I think the Tea Party is going to be an integral part of the election process going forward and, quite frankly, we need it on a local level. We need it on a national level and on the state level, too. Anytime we can bring in people and engage them in the process, it’s a good thing.
VALLEY PATRIOT: Let me ask you this, when Jack Wilson was running, I kept encouraging him to go to the Tea Party meetings and he said that he was worried about the Democratic insiders attacking him if he goes. You are a Democrat insider, you are an incumbent, what advice can you give to other Democratic candidates about going into the Tea Party and networking with those people and working the crowd?
SEN. BADDOUR: First of all, I wouldn’t say I was a Democratic insider, look at my voting records…
VALLEY PATRIOT: Come on, Senator you are an incumbent Democrat on Beacon Hill, you ARE an insider!
SEN. BADDOUR:. Ok, so, I am an incumbent, I agree. There is a difference, though between an insider and an incumbent. But to answer your question, I would say go! Listen! Listen to what they are saying. Those are the people that you have to represent. They have legitimate concerns about government.
There are Democrats and Republicans. The Tea Party values are a lot like Democrat values.
There are similarities between the Democratic values, you know, fighting for working families, smaller government, lower taxes. Small business, private, let’s put people back to work, that’s what it is about.
VALLEY PATRIOT: Aren’t you worried about being called a racist? Aren’t you worried about the mythological narrative the media has created about those who attend Tea Party Meetings?
SEN. BADDOUR: Yeah, look, there’s a fringe element to the Tea Party, that’s true. But there is a fringe element to the Democratic Party! I think the media overlooks the similarities there.
Look, it wasn’t too long ago that Democrats were holding signs saying “Kill Bush” or “Bush is a Nazi”. So, there are radicals on all sides in every party. You have to forget about them, ignore them, push them to the side and go to the heart of what matters: that’s working ordinary citizens, who care about their government, who want to see America and the Commonwealth move forward.”
TRANSCRIBED BY DAWN RATTELADE-BRANTMULLER, ASSISTANT TO THE EDITOR
Tom Duggan is the president of Valley Patriot, Inc., a former Lawrence School Committeeman, the former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance and hosts the Paying Attention! Radio Program on WCAP, 980AM, every Saturday from 10am-noon. You can email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org