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Tea Party Debt Commission Holds First Meeting in Utah

Tea Party Debt Commission

The first field hearing took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thursday, September 1, 2011. Hundreds of local activists and interested citizens packed into the standing-room-only meeting at Noah's Conference Center in South Jordan, Utah. Attendees also included a large number of local elected officials and aspiring candidates for office.

"We are about to start the Tea Party Debt Commission meeting. Standing room only. There must be 200 people crammed in here. I am one of 12 national members on the commission (to mirror the 12 congressional members). Our kick off meeting is in Salt Lake City tonight. The people are suggesting solutions to our nation’s debt problem. This is exciting," said David Kirham of Utah Rising. [via Instapundit]

Dean Clancy Speaks at TPDC

Participants lined up to offer numerous ideas for specific cuts and reforms. After introductions by local activist Dan McCay and FreedomWorks President and CEO Matt Kibbe, the audience heard a presentation on the budget crisis by Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks, who presented initial findings from the group's online budget poll (, which allows voters to prioritize spending cuts.

"The line to speak is out the door. There is a lot of passion in this room. The politicians don’t see us rallying in the streets because we are rallying in meetings and on campaign staffs. Our greatest hope is they underestimate our resolve to get our government spending under control," said another activist. [via Instapundit]

Members of the Utah Advisory Committee of the Tea Party Debt Commission sat at the dais, listening to budget-cutting suggestions:

  1. Kim Coleman - Salt Lake 9-12, Utah Rising
  2. David Kirham - Utah Rising (Mr. Kirkham is also a national TPDC commissioner)
  3. D.J. Schanz – Austrian Economics Club of Utah, Campaign For Liberty
  4. Peter Cannon – Davis County 9-12
  5. Dan McCay – Utah FreedomWorks
  6. Jacqueline Smith – The S.T.A.R. Forum
  7. Austin Linford – Republican Party
  8. Kim Weis – Box Elder 9-12
  9. Michael Stoddard – Austrian Economics Club of Utah
  10. Mia Love - Mayor, Saratoga Springs, Utah

"Therefore, just as the tea party grassroots took matters into their own hands in the 2010 elections, generating a bottom-up 'Contract From America' that became the unofficial platform of the tea party movement, so the Tea Party Debt Commission will tackle the enormous fiscal challenge that our political leaders seem incapable of addressing," said Clancy.

  • The Tea Party Debt Commission’s charge will be to propose a comprehensive, detailed set of recommendations designed to balance the budget within no more than 10 years and stop the national debt from growing, without raising taxes.
  • Modeled on President Obama’s National Debt Commission, the Tea Party Debt Commission will consist of 18 members. These members will represent local tea party groups in the critical battle-ground states that will determine the outcome of next year’s presidential election.
  • To gather the best ideas for reducing the debt, the Commission will hold field hearings across the country and host a web site that enables millions of Americans to take part in the process and help shape the final proposals.
  • The Commission will present its findings to congressional leaders at the end of this year."

FreedomWorks will continue holding field hearings in key cities across the country. The next hearings are scheduled for September 23 in Orlando, FL, and Thursday, September 29 in Philadelphia, PA.

Clarence Crosby

Please help me , I am more than a little thick , what does Utah rising mean ? I am a tea party supporter of cuts and reforms , including the size and scope of government . I support a complete return to the constitutionally established government . This alone would would create a fantastic debt and tax reduction .

cduffy's picture
Colin Duffy

Joanne, that quote about keeping Republican members in line came after the 2010 elections, and meant keeping the new Republican majority in the house in line with the Tea Party principles that put them in power. A better quote came last week from the US News and World Report, saying "FreedomWorks ... has come to represent the purest of the pure among the conservative, limited-government Tea Party movement."


I don't have anything against Dick Armey but I have to wonder about this group too. On the 'About' page for FreedomWorks it says that Armey started FW back in 1984. Then one of the comments about the group says the following: "Perhaps no group is doing more to keep Republican members in line than FreedomWorks." —Washington Post, November 16, 2010

Considering how completely out of touch & basically screwed up the Republican party (and it's members) have increasingly been since 1984 are we actually supposed to feel ASSURED that this 'Tea Party' group is really doing anything HELPFUL?

I'm just asking...

Jan GIlyeat

I'm with you American Patriot! I'm very leary of these poser groups. Have you heard of Freedom Works supporting anyone but a Republican. FW is doing good things across the countryby connecting people and keeping individuals engaged, however, have you heard of anyone that FW has supported that isn't a Republican. really,both parties act the same when they have power and control. They don't have all the answers and have yet to prove they can execute. Dick Army is trying to usurp the Tea Party movement to the advantage of the Republicans. So much for standing on principle!

American Patriot

I have been a TEA Party leader for 2 and 1/2 years, starting 2 groups in 2 states. It is news to me that the "Contract for America" became the unofficial platform of the TEA Party. Although we need to stay connected, be very watchful of groups like these saying they represent TEA Party groups when they don't. If you look at the Utah TEA Party advisor commission, how many are TEA Party founders or leaders are on there? We all need to be watchful and diligent in this area. Alos, which TEA Party group is representing Michigan? I have not heard of one.

gary price

I took the survey, and I know it is very difficult to cover all the ground that a budget covers. However, some of the "either- or" choices does not accurately reflect my views. For instance, I might want to cut 1/2 out of one choice and one-half out of the second choice. I hope these meetings flesh this out.