I must take issue with the salient point of Greg Garland’s Oct. 26 Inside Report in The Advocate, that being that the Baton Rouge Tea Party should not have joined the effort to recall Councilwoman Alison Cascio (Gary) because the effort was unsuccessful. The BRTP chooses its battles wisely, based on limited resources, but especially based on principles. One of our core values involves fiscal responsibility, and the councilwoman’s swing vote last year to approve the downtown library demolition/rebuilding, as well as supporting incredibly expensive and bloated bond issues prior to that, warranted the scrutiny of our group.
We recently lost the battle over the demolition and rebuilding of the downtown River Center Branch Library to the tune of $19 million. The new facility will double the size of a branch that is near the bottom in patronage and circulation in our library system. So to spend this amount to build a new library “palace” there seems unreasonable to us, as well as to the councilwoman’s constituents, who were ignored in order to follow the downtown interests instead. A poll at the time reported 61 percent opposed to the River Center Branch Library project. The BRTP joined the recall effort of her incensed constituents.
Garland comments, “The Baton Rouge Tea Party serves as a check on politicians who always seem to be looking for more ways to spend other people’s money, sometimes not particularly wisely.” Absolutely. And there is no stigma attached to our efforts to employ a legal remedy, as provided in the Louisiana Constitution, against what we consider to be bad governance.
To abstain from engaging in a political battle because success is not guaranteed is the real way to lose credibility; but there is no dishonor to engage and be unsuccessful. We Americans are thankful that George Washington didn’t succumb to such illogic as he went against overwhelming odds to oppose the British; he led the efforts to persevere nevertheless. We in the Tea Party will persevere as well, opposing what we see as unresponsive and out-of-control government at all levels.
Mike Thibodeaux, president
Baton Rouge Tea Party