March 19 04:02 AM
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Lapeer County TEA Party group misrepresented in column

To the Editor:

To whom it may concern. My name is Bill Gavette. I am involved with the Lapeer Tea Party Patriots group. I have lived here in Attica since 1990. I have a 11th grader and an 8th grader at Lapeer East High school. I am very disappointed in the column that was written by Catherine Minolli (Sept. 9) regarding our group.

We are a group that are all local to Lapeer County. We do not subscribe to any national group or organization. We have members from many different backgrounds. I first met Mrs. Lowerey at the Tea Party in April. I and a number of other folks encouraged her to keep the ball moving and to try to get people informed on the issues. I personally believe very much in education. I volunteer and run after school tutoring programs in a few of the schools in Lapeer schools. We as a organization have absolutely agreed that everything we present to people be verified as much as we can. If you take a look at our Web site, we offer links to the actual sites where the information is so that people can read the legislation for themselves that our Congress is writing for us. In Ms. Minolli's column, "Grass roots run wide and deep these days,' It does not appear that she has even taken the time to review our Web site or the information that we are presenting, though she does not hesitate to lump us into other groups who may have not had open minds. If we are going to "generalize" people, then maybe we should let the people of Lapeer County know Ms. Minolli would rather get information from people who to my knowledge have not had any dealings with the Lapeer Tea Party group, than to research us as a group.

We are a group with a board of directors and would have been happy to answer any questions. I personally am not a hard person to find as are none of the others who are involved in our group. At our healthcare forum, we made every effort to get a representative from either of our U.S. Senators. We were told that they did not want to put their staff in a "dangerous" situation. I did not see any mention of that in Ms. Minolli's column. At any of our events we go to great lengths to make sure that no one's view goes unheard. Freedom of speech is one of the freedoms that has made our nation great. If Ms. Minolli is aware of any unsavory things said by any of our group or that material that are non-factual, I would certainly like to know as I am sure the rest of our group would. It is a sad to see that the news on such a local level can't be reported accurately or without the bias that we so often are accused of having. If I have a question about something or someone, I ask them directly. Maybe Ms. Minolli should try that approach, they might get more of the facts correct. I find it interesting that Ms. Minolli finds the sharing of information between groups a bad thing. Funny, I thought that that is how you folks made your living.

William C. Gavette, Webmaster of the Lapeer County Tea Party Patriots Attica
September 16, 2009

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