Most members of Idaho’s largest tea party organization want the group’s efforts to remain nonpartisan, according to a survey released by Tea Party Boise to its membership Wednesday.
About 350 of the group’s 2,000 members responded to the online survey in December and January. Of those, 62 percent said the year-old group should stay nonpartisan. Eighty-four percent of respondents said both Republicans and Democrats are “responsible for big government.”
Brendan Smythe, a co-founder of Tea Party Boise, told the Statesman earlier in the week that the survey results and the group’s strategy for the 2010 elections will be discussed at the group’s first annual meeting later this month.
Symthe said Boise Tea Party members have been discussing whether to join with Republicans, form a third party or work on behalf of independents. That question will be a key topic at the annual meeting, he said. A date has not yet been set for the meeting.
Smythe was traveling to Nashville on Wednesday to attend the three-day national Tea Party convention that begins Thursday.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents supported collaboration with the national Tea Party movement; 95 percent said the group should “encourage good, conservative candidates to run for office;” and 92 percent said they would support independent candidates.
98 percent said career politicians aren’t good for America.
97 percent said special interests “have more influence than us.”
97 percent said Idaho should reduce its reliance on federal funds.
97 percent said politicians use earmarks “primarily to buy votes” and 94 percent said they opposed earmarks even when they benefit Idaho.
94 percent said Tea Party Boise should be an advocate for the
Constitution and U.S. history being taught in public schools.
93 percent said Tea Party Boise should “become a voice for conservative principles” and evaluate candidates and publish results on the Web.
91 percent favored terms limits.
77 percent said the group should host debates “for both
traditional and non-traditional candidates.”
Of the respondents, 79 percent were from Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell and Eagle. The balance were from 34 other cities, including several from outside Idaho.
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