Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 12:33pm

Tea & Cupcakes

Posted by admin


Carol Knighton, co-founder of the Leesburg Regional Tea Party, wanted to give away cupcakes in downtown Leesburg the weekend of February 25, 2012, to mark the third anniversary of the Tea Party movement.  The Leesburg Tea Party sought to have a Community Cupcake Festival in conjunction with the Leesburg Saturday Morning Market.  It appears that they got a firsthand look at what is wrong with America.  According to a string of emails that Ms. Knighton forwarded to our group (Click for Emails), the Leesburg Tea Party was given the Royal Flush in runarounds.

According to Joe Shipes, executive vice president of the Leesburg Partnership, the Leesburg Partnership’s events are not “political forums” and they do not allow candidates or political parties to participate in events and parades.  From what we have seen, the Leesburg Partnership has been consistent in their policy, and it appears Shipes is not singling-out the Leesburg Tea Party.

So, should the Leesburg Tea Party be quiet and accept that the Leesburg Partnership and, by default, the City of Leesburg have a policy of no political forums and candidates at its events?  Our answer is “No”.  Unless the Leesburg Partnership and the City of Leesburg usurps the United States Constitution, the Leesburg Tea Party should have the right to participate in the Leesburg Saturday Morning Market, and all candidates should be welcomed to participate in all events.  On that point, shame on Shipes because in the Leesburg Mardi Gras Parade on February 18, 2012, Lake County School Board member and candidate Rosanne Brandeburg was allowed to participate as a judge at the parade.

First and foremost, the Leesburg Partnership is a great organization.  We don’t believe it means malice toward the Tea Party – at least, we hope not.  Based on the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, if the Leesburg Tea Party wants to give cupcakes away on Main Street in Leesburg to celebrate its anniversary, then let them eat cake.

In addition, candidates should be allowed to participate at all Leesburg Partnership events because they are held on public streets, and political speech and discourse is a protected part of our Constitution.  The City of Leesburg and Leesburg Partnership were wrong to deny the Leesburg Tea Party the opportunity to give cupcakes away.

Maybe this is why the Tea Party movement was born.  Everyday, the rights of ordinary Americans are being trampled and discarded through the silent appeasement of bureaucrats.  Whether you agree with the Tea Party movement or not, the people’s right to political speech should be protected. Maybe it’s time for the Tea Parties from across the county to descend on Leesburg for tea and cupcakes.

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