Categorized | Opinion

Bob Shannon Asks: What has happened to the M.T.P ?

In  2013 the Mechanicsville TEA Party made the decision to begin using commercially produced signs, recognizing the need to change the messages more frequently and the limited number of volunteers we had. Over the 3 previous years we witnessed firsthand the impact these powerful tools could have, starting with the retirement of a local overpaid school official after we had posted the bloated salary he was being paid, the dying of a very bad proposed traffic law , increasing fines into the thousands of dollars, and being championed by 2 legislators who also happened to be ” attorneys–specializing in …..traffic law”, and the reduction of 1 assistant principal at a local high school that had 4, prior to our signs publicly ridiculing any school having 4 assistant principals.  No doubt the effects of the signs were pronounced. Local government officials knew they were now on our radar and in our sights.

Recognizing the additional costs associated with using commercially made signs a concerted fund raising effort was launched to help defer these new costs.  Members of the Mechanicsville TEA Party and our supporters in the community responded, and responded generously , with one couple sending our group a check for $500., along with a hand written letter Thanking us for our efforts and stating how they wanted to help with the sign costs because the signs were “so effective”  They went on to tell us how much they looked forward to reading the new hard hitting messages aimed specifically at political spending and policy folly . It was indeed heartwarming to have support like that when we so desperately needed it.

In the last week or so it was brought to my attention that one of the unelected officers of the MTP took it on his own to take a chain saw and cut down the very prominent TEA Party sign that we had constructed in 2010 on a large farm field just off Northbound 295, south of the Creighton Road exit. The reasoning was linked to a Confederate flag flying on the same property in the background, not on our sign, nor constructed by our group.  The message at the time on our sign was a Congrats to Dr. Dave Brat, the republican nominee in the 7th Congressional District race.

Apparently the Brat campaign, and the Federation ( VTTP ) Chair. Mr. Travis Witt were very troubled by the image this projected, particularly with the Confederate Flag flying in the back drop.

Now,  Larnie Allgood may have consulted with someone , perhaps had others who agreed with his action, but I want to ask a few relevant questions before I decide what I might consider a prudent course of action.

  1. Just when did the Federation start deciding what the Mechanicsville TEA Party policy should be on our signs, paid for by the donations of hundreds of supporters, and constructed by members of the group ?   I wonder if it ever crossed Mr. Allgood’s mind what the people who paid for and constructed those signs might think on his arbitrary decision ?
  2. Has anyone in the Mechanicsville TEA Party asked the members, has a vote been taken, allowing a political campaign, or the Federation to dictate what goes on our signs, where they are located or when they might be taken down ?
  3. On who’s authority does Mr. Allgood act ? He wasn’t even elected to begin with.  Did the members or the people that paid for these signs have any input ?
  4. Did anyone just consider taking the candidates name off of the sign, changing the message to avoid the loss of one of the most prominent locations we ever had ?

Watching what has happened to this group, the obvious selling out of any principles, the rather telling indicators of how the group is being operated by people not intelligent enough to even grasp what useful pawns they have become is almost more than I can bare. When  these groups  stop functioning as independent non-partisan groups , and begin doing the bidding for the local republican party establishment, they no longer serve any valid purpose.

Perhaps it was inevitable when volunteers, often without any political training or understanding of the political process , and how it really works are left to make decisions governed by blind partisan political party loyalty.

I hold out faint hope that new leaders, leaders who have some vision and are not themselves partisans step up to right the ship soon.  Anyone watching this, particularly the people who worked so hard to establish an independent civic voice in Hanover,  morph into a republican party apparatus has to be saddened by this glaringly obvious coopting that has taken place. Shame on Larnie Allgood for advancing the demise of what might have been.

Bob Shannon  Founder  Mechanicsville TEA Party

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

5 Responses to “Bob Shannon Asks: What has happened to the M.T.P ?”

  1. Eric McGrane says:

    “….the rather telling indicators of how the group is being operated by people not intelligent enough to even grasp what useful pawns they have become is almost more than I can bare. ”

    Getting personal greatly diminishes any valid argument that is attempted.

  2. Bob Shannon

    Perhaps given that I spent hundreds of hours often in rather brutal conditions constructing some 100 or so of these signs gives me some appreciation for what it took to get them up there to begin with. I appreciate all that my fellow Patriot have done but you Sir were not a part of this.

    When anyone watching this that understands what has happened to that group refuses to speak up, shame on them. Maybe it warrants that the problem is in fact interference from outsiders who didn’t like the direct and confrontational style the group employed, with some effect I might add.

    Today the signs are messaged with historical quotes and evangelical messages that erase their original intent. The MTP was a grass roots civic political organization, a non-partisan organization. Today it serves as a mouthpiece for the local republican party , orchestrated with a focus that is being driven by a PAC that now has coopted both the Federation and a number of these groups.

    Perhaps if Eric was aware that Mr. Allgood in January told me he was going to come down on MY PROPERTY, and remove a sign I had put up on Del Chris Peace YES budget vote from last year, he might just have some appreciation for how this became very personal long before I wrote this blog piece. Keep your opinions to yourself unless you have all of the facts.

    Bob Shannon

  3. Travis Witt says:

    Sad to say Bob but you do not have the facts. I did not know of a missing sign until your email was forwarded to me several days ago. Would have been courteous to call me and verify my involvement before you mentioned my name.

    • Eric McGrane says:

      This was my point. That’s its irresponsible to levy charges against someone without checking original sources.

      I’m not debating the details of this specific event…I’m talking about responsible “reporting” standards regardless of the issue….not only mentioning an individual, but also bringing the state organization into discussion.

      I love the signs across the area and appreciate all the hard work erecting them…my comments have nothing to do with them.

  4. Cheryl Lavene says:

    If it is true that a Tea Party sign was removed because there was a Confederate flag flying in the background, then it is good that the sign was removed. The Confederate flag is seen as a racist symbol to many people. The Tea Party is always being accused of racism, so why would we want that flag flying in the background? Whether intended or not, people would see the two together and make the connection, “See those Tea Party people are just a bunch of southern redneck racists”. I would rather not encourage that connection.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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