To the editor:
The year 1773 marked two important events with unquestionable relationship to a third historic event.
First, the Regulating Act of 1773 placed increased government controls on the East India Company, which held a Royal Charter of Company Rule over India and was granted a monopoly over all tea trade to North America. Second, the Tea Act of 1773 set in place a special tax abatement for the EIC with which to undercut the prices of smuggled Dutch tea preferred by the rebellious colonies. This led directly to the defiant “destruction of the tea” in Boston by more than 30 protester of British Corporate Cronyism.
I read with amusement another episode in the ongoing struggle for legitimacy between extant Tea Party groups in so-called “conservative” Montgomery County. As we know, the recently minted and built to suit TCTPC was labeled by the Texas Patriots PAC and I think also by the Montgomery County Tea Party as “the fake Tea Party” partly because of its lack suitable longevity and partly because of its apparent propensity to prefer RINOs over bona fide “conservative” patriots.
What makes me question which is the “real fake Tea Party,” you ask? The July 15,2014, article “Complaint alleges coalition violated election code” included a statement embedded in a TEC complaint attributed to the treasurer of the TPP as follows, “that some of the donors to the coalition might be companies or firms that do business with the county.” Fair enough. If that proves to be true, we could be concerned with possible conflict of interest. We all know there is more than enough of that to go around in our county and we should object to such corporate cronyism just like the brave real patriots of 1773. Am I right?
Well, when I read the TPP concerns, it strangely remind me of an email exchange I had with the good treasurer just this past week. You see, while using a well know search engine to find the treasurer’s email address, I came across the TPP 2013 donors list at http://tinyurl.com/pwefmdh.
There I learned the second-highest donor ($5000.00 ) for the year 2013 was one Petroleum Wholesale Lp. I already knew that company as a favored tax abatement recipient receiving 100 percent property tax abatement for 2008 –17. http://tinyurl.com/oysxovu Tax abatements are alleged to be granted to top companies that return a net benefit to the good-hearted and trusting taxpayers that is blessed to receive them into their community. The second thing I knew bothered me. In 2008, PWI was the subject of an eight-week trial for improper fuel dispenser calibration (http://tinyurl.com/nbfzqdw) and in 2011 a subject of fuel dilution allegations (http://tinyurl.com/noyqjqj). One report reveals “5,766,243 gallons of gasoline and 727,339 fraudulent sales transactions. The jury found Petroleum Wholesale LP liable for $18,765,411 in restitution, $8,494,212 in civil penalties and more than $2.7 million in fees to the state.”
So a misplaced tax abatement granted to a company involved in consumer fraud is a major underwriter of a high-profile Tea Party group. I figured the TPP would give the crony capitalist cash back when alerted. They replied in part, “We see no problem accepting funds from this group.”
I’m confused about what Tea Parties stand for. If 1773 is any example, will the real fake Tea Party please stand up?