To: All TEA Party and Liberty groups in Indiana
From: The Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate Board
Date: Monday April 4, 2011
This letter is to update TEA and Liberty groups in Indiana on the process of creating our caucus to select a strong conservative candidate for the 2012 US Senate Race. In addition, we will be addressing and clarifying several issues that have been asked about in recent weeks.
We want to thank all of the Hoosier TEA Party and Liberty groups who came together in January of this year to stand in support of the idea that the TEA movement needs to stand united and select the best possible candidate to challenge Senator Richard Lugar for the United States Senate seat from Indiana 13 months from now.
The mission statement of HFCS presented in January still stands as our guiding principle:
To ensure the United States senatorial representation of Indiana reflects conservative values and is in strict adherence with the constitution of the United States as worded and originally intended by the writers of this sacred document.
Even though we have over nine months until the deadline for entering the GOP primary passes, the mission YOU, the TEA Partiers of Indiana, gave to your HFCS board is moving forward.
HFCS is committed to establishing a fair and equitable process whereby YOU the TEA Party and Liberty groups in the state of Indiana can come together and select the candidate YOU want to stand behind in May of 2012. To that end, we are establishing a sub-committee that will be developing the plans for the upcoming caucus.
Keeping this caucus fair to both the Indiana TEA and Liberty Groups, as well as fair to the candidates running for the Senate seat, is our number one priority, so that YOUR choice to represent Indiana in the US Senate is made loud and clear and in a manner that no candidate can dispute was fair and accurate!
We are currently looking at locations and dates for a the caucus. We anticipate a date toward the end of September - based on the availability of a facility at which to hold the caucus. We will release the date and location once we have those details finalized, so that your group may begin planning.
Why not caucus now?
There are many reasons - pro and con - for caucusing to select a candidate in the fall.
The primary reason we are guided by in selecting a fall date is that the presidential primary field should begin to dominate the news after Labor Day this fall. Indiana's own governor may be a candidate in that primary race. Our message in the race for the Senate seat will be lost in that news cycle. Even without Governor Daniels in the race for the Presidential nomination, the news cycles are sure to be dominated by the Presidential Primary race.
Holding a caucus in late September will give us a news cycle in the fall to draw attention back to the candidate that you the TEA Party choose. Since the primary election will be a full eight months following the proposed caucus date, we won't be wasting our media capital too early. Caucusing in the fall gives our candidate a day they can shine in the media spotlight - and draw needed attention back to their race when the Presidential field is dominating the media and the donation field.
YOU can still support!
YOUR efforts, however, can be used NOW to help your chosen candidate. If your local group decides to support a candidate - we encourage you to do so. Media attention is on our state right now, and YOU and your local group can affect that coverage.
Help your favorite candidate by attending events where the candidate is speaking, and donate time energy and money to their campaign. Help that candidate as much as possible so they can build strong momentum to carry them into our fall caucus.
We realize that many TEA Party folks do not want to see a crowded field running to challenge Senator Lugar. Many folks would like to see the TEA and Liberty groups come together NOW and be used as a club to keep all other challengers out of the race.
We can look back at the primary race in 2010 and see that September was the month that the 2nd and 3rd challengers to Senator Bayh emerged. Congressman Hostettler and Senator Coats entered the race at the end of 2009 in Dec and Jan, respectively.
The HFCS board does not want to be viewed as a heavy club used to intimidate other candidates from entering the race. We understand that having a single challenger will make our task of getting a true conservative to represent us in the Senate much easier. But, we, the HFCS board, have decided to "take the high road" and avoid actions that can be viewed as intimidation tactics in this race.
In addition, the board categorically denies the accusations that we are encouraging other candidates to enter this race. We the board support our Constitution, and the rights of all Americans to seek office - or not - based on their personal preferences. We, the HFCS board, will never deny a candidate their rights, and we encourage all TEA and Liberty groups to adopt a similar stance. We either stand for Principles and Values, or we are no better than the worst of our opponents.
Building our Campaign "House" from the ground up:
In the meantime, the HFCS board is getting many requests as to what can be done now. Please think back to the meeting where we discussed building our "House to win the Senate seat" from the ground up.
The first step in that process is to educate the potential GOP Primary voters about Senator Lugar, and his voting history and stance on issues. The HFCS research team is working on developing materials that your groups can use in this effort. Please contact your HFCS district reps if you have need of such materials - or if you have your own researchers and want to share information or "marketing" materials with other groups.
The second step in building our "House to win the Senate seat" as we discussed at the January meeting, will be candidate education. That will entail educating TEA Parties about the declared candidates in this race, so that you can make an informed decision as to which candidate you and your group wish to support.
The third step will be candidate vetting, followed by the Caucus this fall - where your group will be part of the Liberty and TEA voices who decide who to support to challenge Senator Lugar. This is the most critical step. This is where YOU the TEA Party or Liberty group member direct your group's representative on who YOUR group wants to support. The caucus is where all groups come together and select the candidate they wish to support. The HFCS board will have no say in this - beyond any vote that each TEA/Liberty group has in the final caucus. This is a vote for YOUR groups to make - not a decision from the HFCS board. The board's function to create a fair and impartial method for the TEA/Liberty groups to come together and chose the candidate YOU want to support.
Local group efforts NOW:
What can we do now to help HFCS? Many things.
First, inform yourself on Senator Lugar's voting record and stance on issues and principles. HFCS has put together a research team. We will be happy to put your group in touch with them. Please use the website link below to contact us if you wish to help research, or to receive information from our team.
Second, get the word out to your voters. Your HFCS Board district rep will have ideas on who to contact, where to find that information, and ways you and your group can begin to educate the likely GOP Primary voters about Senator Lugar's record. Again, please contact HFCS via the link at the bottom of this article and we'll get you in touch with the appropriate person.
Who are the groups involved?
The HFCS board wishes to emphasize that we have been entrusted with the private information of over 140 individual TEA Party and Liberty group members from the initial meeting in January 2011. Many folks, from media to political operatives would like to get that information. The board is committed to the promise made before the January meeting that the information would not be distributed to anyone. We respect that promise, hope that you support our board's efforts to protect the privacy of those who attended the meeting in January.
Who speaks for who?
Our board members would also ask that you remember that they wear many hats.. As such, please remember that the board members have leadership roles in their own local groups, and may have spokesperson roles in those groups. Our board members will attempt to be very clear when they are speaking for the HFCS board. Please remember, that the HFCS board is not your local group. If one of our designated HFCS board spokespersons speaks on behalf of the board - they are speaking only for this board.
In all cases, unless the board members state that they are speaking specifically for HFCS, please regard their words as representing either themselves, or their local groups.
The strength of the TEA/Liberty groups is their local independence and local leadership. The HFCS board has one role in this movement: developing the caucus where your group and the others in the state will combine your voices for the candidate YOU want to support. Our board's spokespersons do not speak for YOU or your local group in any matter not relating to how that caucus will work. YOUR group's spokesperson is the only one who can speak for your group.
Please look for more information coming soon as to the details about the fall caucus date and location. Also, if you would like to share in the research efforts, have need of marketing materials, or have ideas that you'd like to share with groups statewide about what has or hasn't worked in your area for voter education, please contact the HFCS board via our website at: http://hoosiersforconservativesenate.com - or you can call: 317-620-1527.