Eric McGrane, President of the Richmond Tea Party, just asserted to me that laws should be universal, applying to all groups equally, but the fact that RTP has well documented issues requiring compliance and expenditures somewhere between $8,000 and $10,000 that were forced upon the group over the last three Tea Party events in Richmond shows that all laws do NOT apply equally.
“The fact that they are not and the fact that mayor Jones refuses to enforce the law and choses to empathize with the OWS movement shows that city leadership endorses anarchy over lawfulness in Richmond.”, said McGrane.
I remember the mounting requirements and impediments as we planned the first Richmond Tea Party. At first we were told that as long as the first event was mobile, i.e., not stationary, that no permit was required. Once it was determined that our Richmond Tea Party group was too large to unleash on the streets of Richmond we complied with every single demand from the city, including acquiring a Special Events permit, a million dollar liability policy, spending for police security, a medical emergency team, portable toilets, vendor licenses and a myriad of other obstacles.
McGrane stresses that Richmond Tea Party maintains a good working relationship with the various departments, including parks and recreations, and the police, but their beef is with the mayor and city leadership that penalizes a law abiding organization like Richmond Tea Party, but gives a pass to the anarchists, communists, socialists, and community organizers from the Occupy movement.
A refund for the over $8,000 in expenses incurred over the last 3 RTP events is justified and appropriate.
One last point. The Governor that sat in the Richmond capital in 2009 was former DNC Chair and Senate Candidate Tim Kaine. Nothing that happens in the capital city goes without the notice and approval of the Governor. Did Tim Kaine advise that the mayor erect such roadblocks? Just curious.