Supposed Tea Party Leaders Support Resorts World Miami Casino

Categories: Politicks
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Recent research seems to suggest that the Tea Party is just the old, trusty religious right wrapped up in a shiny new package. Apparently, South Florida Tea Partiers didn't get the memo. Two Tea Party leaders in the area, which neither appear to be very powerful, have voiced their public support for Genting's Resorts World Miami project, including its casino. This, despite the fact banning gambling was a major plank of the religious right's agenda.

Here's a snippet from the release from a group calling itself "Tea Party Miami":
"After careful consideration and debate, Tea Party Miami has endorsed Genting's Casino Destination Resort proposal and efforts by Rep. Erik Fresen to legalize three casinos in Miami-Dade and/or Broward Counties," said Diane J. Thorne, Chairwoman of Tea Party Miami. "The Fresen proposal fosters competition and will create a boom of economic growth Miami sorely needs."

"We in the Tea Party are fiscal conservatives, not social conservatives," said Thorne. "The Fresen proposal makes good financial sense for Miami and for Florida," she said. Thorne said her organization had received no contributions from any casino gaming company including Genting and that they would not accept any casino company money.
Thorne says her group has 23,000 members, but its website lists no other officers. A Google search on Thorne also reveals little previous activity in the Tea Party. In fact, the largest section of their website is a page supporting the casino. Very curious. Why or how this woman decided to speak for the entire Tea Party, we're not entirely sure.

However, Thorne isn't the only Tea Party "leader" speaking up. Everett Wilkinson, president of the South Florida Tea Party, also released a statement in support of the project. He has a bit more history as a Tea Party gadfly (his Twitter handle is "TeaPartyCzar"), and lives in Palm Beach (mind you, not anywhere near downtown Miami).

Here's what's interesting about Wilkinson's letter though, it starts saying, "I have to admit that I was less than thrilled when I received an invitation to attend the unveiling of destination casino resort in Miami last week."

So, wait, Genting is actually targeting Tea Party "leaders" for support by inviting them fancy unveiling events? Seems like it, and the strategy worked. Wilkinson has no short supply of good things to say about the project.
The company was rolling out an incredible, beautiful resort, not a ugly cheap casino. The architecture was iconic, Genting, the developers, had also taken great lengths to invite all members of the community to participate in the roll out of a world class resort casino. I noticed African Americans, Dominicans, Haitians, small business people and both Republicans and Democrats. I can't begin to applaud the level professional presentation and attention to details. The actual design which resembled giant sails or sea shells was the most unique breathtaking design I have for a casino! I would be proud to have such a beautiful building in South Florida.
Geez, tell us how you really feel.

Of course, the Tea Party is an amorphous movement with no true leaders (well, maybe the Koch brothers), and these appear to be the personal endorsements of two relatively unimportant people basking in their perceived Tea Party leader status. We'll have to wait to see what other elements of the right in Florida, including those that still stick to religious principals, have to say as Genting's fight to get a gambling license unfolds.

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12 comments
Joe
Joe

Been looking for common ground with the Tea Party?  WELL HERE IT IS.  This Thorne lady makes sense and her group seems to have integrity (not accepting $$ from casinos).  As a liberal I could not agree more with their position.  We need the JOBS and the investment and this Genting project will be great for our area.

Pass me a cup of that Tea - cheers! 

GGmerrer
GGmerrer

The reporter never even contacted either of the Tea Party leaders for his story. That is extremely irresponsible. I wonder what his motives are???

Miamitaxpayer
Miamitaxpayer

I am a member of Tea Party Miami. They just changed their name and built a new website. The Casino article is one of several others that are also listed on the site regarding other South Florida Issues. I receive news stories from them all of the time. It seems like this reporter already had a story idea ready to tell but he needed a few Tea Party leaders to cast dispersions on to give his story some merit. This is very sloppy journalism. Everett Wilkinson is one of the largest Tea Party leaders in the State. Note to reporter - learn how to use google search.

factchecker
factchecker

Apparently the author has no idea about the origins and founders nor influence within the organization of the people he discusses in his article.  Any google search would pull up numerous bits of information concerning these people.  Everett Wilkenson was one of the leaders of the movement especially in South Florida.  The author even spelled his name wrong.  Good article....wonder what the agenda is here and why the need to down play the significance of these people.  It seems obvious by the article someone thought they were significant enough. check your facts. I am no fan but at least know who you are talking about when you discuss politics.  

Miamilocal
Miamilocal

Tea Party Miami has a duty to report to it's members any relevant local Miami news. It's narrow minded to think that all Tea Party groups are similar. They are made up of activists in their local area who are fighting for fiscal responsibility and true leadership. Tea Party Miami was at the presentation BUT this reporter "Kyle" was not even in attendance so how can he even report intelligently about any of this. It seems like New Times just needed to cause some meritless debate and fighting - like they always provoke. Why does the New Times hate the casino plan so much? Who is paying them? I understand that the Seminole Indians OWN the editor and owners of the New Times. shame on the New Times for being so underhanded.

Huh
Huh

I dont understand the hatred towards the tea party

anon1
anon1

Teabaggery, douchebaggery, no differencey.

blahblah29
blahblah29

So since the Miami Tea Party is only fiscally conservative and not socially conservative I guess they will now support pro-choice!

seep
seep

They generally tend to be loudmouth, Bible-thumping racists.

Guest
Guest

tea party has no official position on abortion and never has.  just group who like to cite the tea party for anything they try to advance.  this is why people have these strange views of the tea party. it would be like saying every democrat is an eco terrorist

MK
MK

Have you seen the videos of the leftist rallies? Pretty hate-filled. They can even be described as loudmouth, Marxist promoting racists. In any case, Tea Party members don't seem to be bible-thumping at all. Albeit, they don't hate God either.

seep
seep

Leftists are easier to relate to IMO because they get high and have more sex.

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