The mission of the First Coast Tea Party’s is to promote the principles of our Founding Fathers — individual liberty and responsibility, limited government, and moral leadership.
 
Our primary responsibility is to educate our membership about the issues that impact our mission.  We also encourage our members to activate their citizenship and educate themselves about the candidates who are running for office because they are the ones who will help us achieve our mission.
 
The First Coast Tea Party was formed in 2009 to protest the federal government's runaway debt, oppressive taxation, and attacks upon liberty that have so threatened this great nation.  To that end, we succeeded in changing the course of history by ousting incumbents who did not adhere to their Constitutional restraints and fiscal obligations, and we helped defeat candidates who displayed progressive, liberal, or socialist political philosophies. This resulted in the unseating of the Pelosi House of Representatives, the election of Marco Rubio to the Senate, and Rick Scott as the Governor of Florida.  We have only just begun to impact the political landscape of our nation. We believe that the Tea Party must play a major role in shaping the election of our next President, the Senate seat currently held by Bill Nelson, and several Congressional seats as well.
 
Locally, The First Coast Tea Party takes a strong interest in all elections to promote candidates to positions of authority who believe as we do in small government and  fiscal responsibility. We have followed the race for Mayor of Jacksonville with intense scrutiny and vetted the candidates through our process – A Search for Leaders with “Vision, Values and Valor”.  This process consisted of:
 

  • In-depth questionnaires
  • Personal video taped interviews
  • Internal and external research
  • Public forums
  • Straw votes
  • Membership polling
  • Leadership Council review

You can find the questionnaires, videos and straw votes on our member website at:  www.fctpcommunity.org
 
We applaud all who seek positions of public service and we are thankful that so many have done so during a critical time in Jacksonville's history.   We especially thank the Mayoral candidates who participated in our process – Mike Hogan and Rick Mullaney, (both Republicans) and Warren Lee, (Democrat).   One Republican, Audrey Moran, and one Democrat, Alvin Brown, chose not to participate in The First Coast Tea Party’s process. 
 
We believe that it is important that the voices of the people – sometimes referred to as the silent majority – are heard.  The Tea Party Movement has provided that opportunity, and we do not take this responsibility lightly.  Our Leadership Council has met and dissected the information that we have gathered from our search for leaders with Vision, Values and Valor, and we have arrived at the following conclusion.
 
REGARDING THE CITY COUNCIL ENDORSEMENTS
 
On September 28, 2010, the Jacksonville City Council voted once again to raise our property taxes.  More than 200 people from the Tea Party Movement showed up to beg them not to raise our taxes.  They did not listen to us.  Instead, they voted to pass into law a huge tax burden for the citizens of Duval County.  At the conclusion of that vote, many council members were seen congratulating themselves with high fives, as the people of Duval County watched in stunned amazement. 
 
However, a handful of council members did not vote to raise the mileage rate which would have increased our property taxes. Instead, they did everything within their power to stop the passage of this oppressive piece of legislation, but in the end, they were defeated.  We stand with those who stood with us and the following candidates are receiving our endorsement:
 
Clay Yarborough – District 1
Bill Bishop – District 2
Richard Clark – District 3
Don Redman – District 4 – unopposed
E. Denise Lee – District 8 - unopposed
John Crescimbeni – At Large, District 2

 

 

Those who voted for the tax increase did NOT stand with us and they are NOT receiving our endorsement. They are..........
 
Michael Corrigan – running for Duval County Tax Collector                               Jack Webb – District 6
Johnny Gaffney – District 7 - unopposed
Warren Jones – District 9 – unopposed
R. Brown – District 10 - unopposed
Stephen Joost – At Large District 3 – unopposed
 
It is unfortunate that so many are running unopposed. 
 
There are many other great candidates running for office.  The First Coast Tea Party encourages every citizen of Jacksonville to review the research provided on our website www.fctpcommunity.org to make a well-informed decision and find better representation from their opponents where possible. A new team from The First Coast Tea Party has accepted the challenge to hold the new city council accountable as we move forward.   We will introduce the new city council members to our team as soon as they are sworn in to office.   
 
MAYORAL ENDORSEMENT
 
Elitism has played a major role in politics – at the Federal, State and Local levels.  Our economy has crashed due to intended and unintended mismanagement and corruption and many citizens are aware of the stark realities that we must now face.  The voters are openly questioning the intentions and challenging the integrity of condescending elites, and they believe it is time for the people to reclaim the power that was established for them by our founding fathers.  Now is the time for us to embark on a new era of power, prestige, and productivity for all citizens rather than a handful of elected and appointed officials who see themselves as an entitled ruling class.
 
The men and women who run for public office are usually evaluated on their oratory skills rather than on the basis of their character and expertise.  We believe character counts and our membership based our endorsement of this candidate on the following:
 
  • His alignment with the values of the Tea Party Movement
  • His willingness and ability to deal with Pension issues
  • His experience in labor negotiations
  • His work experience in both the private and government sectors
  • His firm understanding of local politics – the good, the bad and the ugly
  • His willingness to seek the input of citizens on most issues
  • His transparency throughout every aspect of our vetting process including financial disclosure
  • His track record of personally answering every e-mail from his constituents
  • His humility. He has a servant’s heart
  • His promise not to raise taxes on all for the benefit of some
  • His record as a leader, making one of the city’s most active offices more efficient, effective, and responsive to the citizens that it serves.
  • His message has been consistent and principled.
  • His demeanor reflects the courage of his convictions
  • His family’s roots are deeply planted in Jacksonville, and his love and passion for our great city strongly resonates with him

Our endorsement for Mayor of Jacksonville goes to Mike Hogan and we encourage our membership and those outside the tea party movement to vote for Mike Hogan on March 22.
 
We now encourage our members to Get Out the Vote for Mike and all of the candidates that we have endorsed.  Find a candidate you want to work with on this list and support their campaign in any way that you can.  Volunteer; send them a donation ; put a sign in your yard; host an event for them in your home and tell your friends and neighbors to vote for these exceptional people.  You will find contact information on these candidates at www.fctpcommunity.org.
 
Finally, we understand that this announcement may trigger a wave of personal and political attacks. We stand by our candidates and we urge the voters not to be swayed by this vitriol, and remember that the truth has no agenda.
 
Hank Madden
Connie Turner
Billie Tucker
Carole McManus
Murray Goff
Lynne Holicky
 Michael Jackson
Morgan King
LeAnne King
Gayla Reed
Andy Sanfilippo
Randy Tucker
Patsy Underwood
John Daley
Debbie Gonzales
Lori LoSchiavo
Pat McBride

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Comment by Roma and Tom on March 4, 2011 at 8:37am
correction:  On mike Hogan's website his phone number is: 374-5894
Comment by Gayla Reed on March 4, 2011 at 8:21am
After receiving many, many calls from members asking for the FCTP to "get in the game" and endorse a candidate for Mayor the leadership council and an elections team set in motion a program to find the candidate that most closely reflects the values of the FCTP. I can't begin to count the hours that volunteers spent on this task. I will not defend or debate the reasons we chose Mike Hogan as that has already been made public via this website, newspaper and television.

I will however defend Billie Tucker and the Leadership Council the FCTP. The decision to endorse Rick Scott and now Mike Hogan was not a decision that Billie made on her own. All decisions made at the FCTP are made by a TEAM of volunteers. It is no longer enough to just put information out there we must get active and work to put in office people who we believe will work for us. The endorsement was not made as a request for anyone to vote for a specific candidate. It was a statement telling you that after much contemplation and review of all of the compiled information, Mike Hogan stood out to US not just Billie as the best candidate for the job. We have always urged citizens to do their homework and cast their vote accordingly. The attacks on Billie and the FCTP made in this forum are mean spirited and certainly not deserved by any of us. I would ask those of you writing these nasty comments "how mug time have you spent in the trenches of this movement"?
Comment by Roma and Tom on March 4, 2011 at 8:16am

Ditto on lets get back to work.  We are not always going to agree amongst ourselves, and that is OK (as long as we do it respectfully).  

 

What is important are the documented facts found in the research done not only by the leadership, but by everyone here. It is the responsability of each citizen to be informed, and not to expect others to spoon feed us.

 

If we allow others to spoon feed us, we can be too easily mislead like sheep to slaughter.    If we can take the time to express our disagreements, we can take the time to do a little research and post it here.

 

Bill Baltar, what you point out is a valid concern, but please provide links to your research, and let's  call Mullaney's office, and question his reasoning. 

http://mullaneyformayor.com/plan/

Phone; 399-1816 (and ask him anything else that you want to know about)

 

It would not be a bad idea either to make sure that Hogan understands that if elected we

1.  expect him to stand up against   collective bargaining, which really means forced labor union dues).

2,  He needs to understand also that the Federal ID and the Patriot Act are a violation of the Constitution, and we expect him to uphold his oath to protect the Constitution.

http://fctpcommunity.org/profiles/blogs/into-the-breach

Phone: 374-5824 (also ask him anything else that concerns you, and post your results

Comment by ALLEN R. WILLIS on March 4, 2011 at 6:54am
Sorry to cause dissension among the group,but it does make you think and get involved. I believe the real problem lies with my opening statement "I know the mayoral candidates are a pretty poor group to choose from" Here we are again trying to pick the candidate we think will do the least damage. I would rather be supporting someone that I believe has the best interest of all citizens of Jacksonville not just there special interest. Is it time to start promoting and nominating people that owe no political machine?
Comment by Leslie Mead on March 3, 2011 at 9:26pm

AMEN Billie!!!!  People are so quick to speak hate and call others names when they are behind a computer screen.  I personally appreciate what the Tea Party has and is doing. I also am happy that the Tea Party is pointing out who they THINK represents them. I also read the questionnaires and watched interviews and well I know Mullaney and although he is a great guy, I do not think he is the right man for the job. Now before you Mullaney fans get your panties in a wad, this is nothing more than MY OPINION!!   However if the Tea Party decided to endorse Mullaney then you guys would be singing a different tune.  Our country is great because we have the right to use our brains and vote for who WE want not because we are told who to vote for.  But to go as far as to say that you have lost all faith is a little dramatic.  You should not put your faith into anything or anyone except God.  The Tea Party is within their right to say who they endorse just like you are Mrs. Sharp.  We are adults here so to call people names is extremely childish and honestly it just makes you sound bitter.

Billie, Thank you!!

Comment by FCTP on March 3, 2011 at 7:27pm
Rebekah:  Your facts are wrong.  The First Coast Tea Party endorsed Rick Scott and everyone knows it.  It wasn't after he won that we "boasted" we supported him.  We did make a change to our mission statement last year when the tea party said we could no longer sit on the sidelines and not get active.  True conservative candidates needed to be supported so they could be our leaders in DC and Tally.  That is why we got in the game.  We made a difference.  We helped Marco, Bondi and Scott win and we are very pleased wtih the work they are doing now.  We made an endorsement locally and that is all it is.  Everyone in the tea party movement and in this local tea party are smart and can make their own decisions.  This was our suggestion based on all the interviews, questionnaires and background investigation.  If you do not like it - you have a right to not like it and you can vote anyway you desire.  Calling me names last year over Rick Scott endorsement and accusing me of taking a bribe from him was over the line and I let it go.  You evidently have a serious issue with me so please feel free to contact the Leadership Council who signed this endorsement and let them know your concerns about me.  I will not publicly be called names and take this type of behavior by saying you do not trust me unless you can come up with facts to prove your accusations.  Please get them together and send them to the Leadership Council for their review. 
Comment by Rebekah Sharp on March 3, 2011 at 7:04pm
As usual, the Tea Party has it wrong again! Very disappointing to see the endorsement of Mike Hogan for Mayor.  I do not think that the TEA PARTY should be endorsing any candidate.  Do questionaires and report the answers and let each individual decide.  Billie Tucker is not to be trusted and I see the new website has a different mission statement than the original one.  It use to read and I quote "We are NOT affiliated with any political parties or interest groups and do not - as a group - support any political candidate."  But that didn't stop Billie from endorsing Rick Scott for govenor, which she denied doing then but is proudly boasting she did so now that he has won.  I only became a member of the FCTP, AFTER reading that mission statement wherein I thought Freedom and Liberty is about each one of us individually choosing and deciding on a candidate based on reliable information.  Shame on anyone who votes in this election by merely relying on the endorsements of the FCTP.  I am voting for Mullaney, instead of the politics as usual Mike Hogan, union backed tax collector.
Comment by tamara stephenson on March 3, 2011 at 6:40pm
I guess why I don't like the endorsements in general is that it created a lot of vitriol before the 2010 elections that I wish could have been avoided.  I don't want to see the same thing happen for the Jax races.  It was not a fun time, especially if you didn't support FCTP's endorsements.  That being said, I know it's not easy for the Leadership Council to make such decisions, and I appreciate the time and effort that goes into it.
Comment by Leslie Mead on March 3, 2011 at 5:54pm
The Tea Party can endorse whoever they want to, but as a registered voter, it is my RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to do my OWN leg work to see who is more in tune with my morals and beliefs. My mind has been changed a couple of times. I do not think that the Tea Party is trying to sway anyone's votes. They put together a GREAT questionnaire I just wish more of the candidates took the time to answer it. End the end it will be my vote and my vote will be based on who I think is the best choice. Thank you to the Tea Party for giving us another set of eyes.
Comment by Jeffrey Evans on March 3, 2011 at 4:13pm
I attended the Tea Party meeting last week. The straw poll was a joke. Any rational person listening to the three mayoral candidates answering the audiences questions could see Rick Mullaney is clearly the best candidate. Not answering questions? Let's start with Hogan's response (or some lack thereof) when asked how he could effectively try to reform Police and Fire Pension when he has their endorsement. He did NOT answer the questions. And what about Hogan's lack of attendance at Mayoral Forums (including tonights televised debates on local TV)? Hogan's consultants know what the voting public is now starting to figure out. Mike Hogan is trying to ride name recognition into office and he has absolutely no plan for the future of this great City. The Tea Party should be ashamed. This is "politics as usual", something I thought the Tea Party was above. If you care about the future of this City, then Vote For Rick Mullaney!

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First Coast Tea Party
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Ponte Vedra, FL 32082
904-392-7475

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