Op-ed by Kansas City Tea Party leader Jim Meyer, endorsing Patricia Lightner for Congress: It’s Time to Get Off the Fence

Jim Meyer helps lead ResistNet, a local tea party site.

It’s Time tot Get Off the Fence
by Jim Meyer

Note: The following viewpoint is solely my own. It does not represent an official endorsement by ResistNet or its partner organizations.

Even if the time hasn’t come for all ResistNet members to decide who should be the “Tea Party” Candidate for Congress in the Kansas Third Congressional District, and even if the time hasn’t come for ICaucus to render its judgment on the matter, I believe that the time has come for me to decide–and to announce–which candidate I personally favor in the Third District Congressional race.

I support Representative Patricia Lightner to represent the Kansas Third Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.

For all practical purposes, the contest for the Tea Party/9.12 vote in the Third District Republican Congressional Primary has featured three candidates: Representative Lightner, John Rysavy and Daniel Gilyeat. All three of these fine individuals have waged honorable and above-board campaigns. All three have made sound, if not compelling, cases for themselves as candidates. And all three have articulated solid conservative principles and beliefs that are in complete harmony with those of the Tea Party/9.12 Movement. The Kansas Third District would be genuinely privileged to have any one of these excellent candidates as its Congressional Representative.

I should take this opportunity to pay my profound respects to Messers Rysavy and Gilyeat. These two fine gentlemen are both excellent candidates in their own right. Mr. Gilyeat is a genuinely earnest and sincere man, and he has clearly earned the respect and gratitude of an entire Nation with the sacrifices he has made in defending her. Mr. Rysavy is a very thoughtful, intelligent, serious and affable gentleman. He has no shortage of great ideas, especially on the critical issue of health care, and in the absence of a more qualified candidate such as Representative Lightner, Mr. Rysavy would truly be an excellent choice to carry the Tea Party/9.12 banner and represent the Kansas Third District in the US Congress.

There are two factors that tip the scales in Representative Lightner’s favor: Her experience and her desire.

Most of Representative Lightner’s critics have zeroed in on her experience in the Kansas Legislature as a disqualifying factor; as a reason to reject her as a candidate. Because she is a former State Representative, they say, she is part of the “Establishment”, and as such, she has nothing whatsoever in common with the Tea Party/9.12 Movement.

I politely differ.

Representative Lightner’s legislative experience is actually a tremendous asset to her as a candidate. And it would also be an equally tremendous asset to the Tea Party/9.12 Movement in the campaign if she is chosen as the “official” Tea Party Candidate, and in Congress, if she is elected.

In the GOP Primary campaign, Representative Lightner’s experience as a State Representative would enable her to debate on an equal footing with her likely opponents, Kevin Yoder and Nick Jordan. Her experience would serve her equally well in the general election campaign against any of the likely Democrat opponents. And her experience would also give her a dramatically short “learning curve” if elected.

Over the last eight months, no other candidate in the field has courted the Tea Party/9.12 vote more assiduously or more aggressively than Representative Lightner has. She has made her presence known and felt at various Tea Party/9.12 events since last summer. She has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and the Mount Vernon Statement. And she has publicly and repeatedly pledged her vote to repeal the potentially ruinous Obama-Reid-Pelosi government medical insurance scam if it becomes law and if she is subsequently elected to Congress.

If you attended the Congressional Candidates’ Forum in Overland Park the evening of March 5th, Representative Lightner’s ardent desire to secure the support of Tea Party/9.12 voters in this campaign would have been readily apparent to you. Neither Mr. Rysavy nor Mr. Gilyeat displayed anywhere near the passion that Representative Lightner exuded. She said all the right things, and she said them with sincerity, with conviction and with unbridled enthusiasm.

In short, Representative Lightner has done everything except get on her knees and sing “Mammy” to win the hearts and minds of Kansas Third District Tea Party/9.12 voters. And I have it on very good authority that she could do that, too, if she felt the need or thought it would help!

If there’s anything Representative Lightner has left unsaid in her quest to secure the loyalty of Tea Party/9.12 voters, if there is anything she has left undone, I honestly don’t know what it could be.

So I now ask you, my ResistNet compatriots:

What ARE you waiting for? How much convincing DO you need? What more can Representative Lightner say? What else does she need to do? How can she convince you that she truly does share our beliefs and our concerns? How can she prove to you that she’s NOT a part of the so-called “Establishment”? How can she demonstrate to you that she would always do her level best to act in the best interests of the District and the Nation if we choose her as our Representative in Congress?

I earnestly implore you to cast aside–as I have–any doubts you may have and join me in supporting Representative Patricia Lightner for United States Congress.

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