Tea Partiers unveil results of Contract From America survey 

Tea Party Patriots, one of the major groups within the greater Tea Party movement, has posted the results of its Wikipolitics-like effort to give voice to the growing national citizens protest in the form of a Contract From America.

The Contract From America campaign was launched in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which, with an estimated 10,000 attendees, was the largest single annual gathering ever of conservative, independent, libertarian, and citizen activists.

In contrast to the original Contract with America in 1994 in which Republican leaders in Washington selected poll-tested positions that drew at least 70 percent support in national polling, the present Contract From America is an Internet-based effort to translate the views of millions of grassroots citizens activists into a platform political leaders across the spectrum are challenged to support.

Contract From America organizers say their effort is "a clarion call for those who recognize the importance of free market principles, limited government, and individual liberty. It is the natural extension of a movement that began in the local communities and quickly spread across America in response to unprecedented government expansion, reckless spending, and a blatant disregard by our leaders of the nation’s founding principles."

And they claim that "during the past several months, hundreds of thousands of Americans have debated thousands of ideas to solve our nation’s most pressing problems. More than 450,000 votes were cast. It has been an open process and has provided a genuine opportunity to give voice to a broad cross section of concerned Americans."

The most popular provision of the Contract From America is a requirement that every piece of legislation approved by Congress must include a specific provision of the Constitution that authorizes the bill. This provision was supported by 82 percent of the respondents.

The next most popular provision was rejection of the proposed Cap and Trade anti-global warming bill that would put the federal government in charge of regulating all activities using carbon-based fossil fuels. This provision was supported by 72 percent of the respondents.

The third most popular provision would establish a movement for a balanced budget amendment and a requirement that tax hikes be approved by two-thirds majorities in Congress. This provision drew the support of 69 percent of the respondents.

There will undoubtedly now be claims among Tea Party critics that the Contract From America is not representative, but what cannot be denied by critics or supporters is the fact the new contract represents a touchstone for the politics of the 2010 congressional elections.

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Mark Tapscott

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