I just received an e-mail from Colleen Owens of the Richmond Tea Party who writes at Right Side News of what happened after the Tea Party group gave an invoice to Democrat Mayor Dwight Jones. They received an audit from the city.
Two weeks after the Richmond Tea Party delivered an invoice to Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones for costs incurred for previous rallies; we received a letter from the City of Richmond formally stating that the city is auditing our Tea Party. Coincidence? This audit is an obvious attempt to intimidate and harass us for standing up against the unfair treatment and discrimination against our Tea Party.
...The Mayor not only allowed the Occupiers to break the law, but he visited them in the city-owned park. “Jones said that as a ‘child of civil rights’ and protests, he had allowed the group to remain in the park but understands his mayoral responsibility to uphold laws of the city,” reported the Richmond Times Dispatch.
Apparently his mayoral duties included preferential treatment for a group he sympathizes with ideologically at the expense of the taxpayers.
The blog Virginia Right reported that the city provided services such as portable toilets, trash pickup etc. The incomplete invoices obtained from the city totaled $7,000. This was only a portion of the actual costs to taxpayers because the costs of police, helicopter and incarcerations were not included. Also not accounted for was the 24-hour police protection of the Mayor’s home after the Occupiers moved their camp next door to the Mayor’s house. The Richmond Tea Party, conversely, paid for all services for our rallies, including the police, portable toilets, park fees and permits, amounting to approximately $8,500.
...On November 14th representatives of our Tea Party attended the City Council meeting to speak to the Mayor and Council during the citizen forum. Mayor Jones, apparently too busy to listen to his constituents, got up and left before we spoke. He had no problem inviting members of the Occupy group to his office for a closed door meeting days later, at the same time refusing to meet with us.
His administration, however, found the time to send us an audit letter (provided in full below). No need for the city to audit the Occupiers, because, as the Mayor knows, all of their costs were provided by the taxpayers of Richmond.(Gateway Pundit)
City Audit Letter Notification
In the audit letter signed by Cynthia Carr, Field Auditor for the City of Richmond, it states that our Tea Party is delinquent in filing of Admissions, Lodging, and Meals Taxes with the city and as such our group has been targeted for a comprehensive audit. Well aren’t we special? In fact, as part of the Business License we have with the City, a form is filled out by our treasurer every month (as required). We have never charged admission, or had lodging or meals associated with our rallies. Every month the forms are appropriately filled with zeros. Ms. Carr goes on to say that if we don’t respond within 15 days, the City will make a statutory assessment- meaning they’ll pick an amount to charge us.
So the City and Mayor apparently feels that the Richmond Tea Party has not paid its fair share for use of Kanawha Plaza. We challenged the Mayor’s unequal treatment between groups and he responds with even more unequal treatment.
This story has also fired up other Tea Party groups across the country that have had the laws and fees applied unequally in regards to Tea Party rallies and Occupy protest camps. The message coming from mayors in numerous cities is that they are willing to spend millions in taxpayer money to accommodate the Occupiers that are breaking the law but have no problem charging Tea Party groups that follow the law exorbitant fees and making them jump through hoops to acquire permits.(Yahoo News)
Obviously, Democrat Dwight Jones and other liberal cities who pull this kind of garbage ignore that the First Amendment applies to all, not selective groups. Neither do I think the Founders had illegal squatting, public defecation, masturbation, rape, lawlessness, disobeying law enforcement and assault as part of freedom of speech.
Here is the contact information for the Richmond City Council, as well as the Mayor. Contact them and let them know your displeasure (keep it respectable, please). This is bullying and abuse of power for liberals who side with lawlessness because it matches their liberal agenda.