Political season is in full force, as evidenced by former Commissioner A.J. Pritchett’s assault on the local tea party. Mr. Pritchett’s broadside is also an attack on the First Amendment, which guarantees the right of the people to peaceably assemble. But Pritchett would be satisfied with chilling that right by imposing whatever unconstitutional, bureaucratic hurdles that he could muster.
As a quick reminder, Mr. Pritchett was elected as a Republican before subsequently endorsing a Democrat for the commissioner’s post. For that action, the local Republican Party attempted to remove him from its county committee. In the most recent election cycle, he attempted a last minute attack on Rep. Mike Dudgeon. Perhaps Pritchett’s fears were warranted since the popular Dudgeon has been a tea party poster child in just his first term.
All of this begs the question, what is really going on with his complaint? Pritchett seems to be upset that Dennis Brown might be benefitting from his association with the local tea party. Why would Pritchett be troubled by that? Let’s examine who Dennis Brown is challenging. That would be Brian Tam — the same Tam that, like Pritchett, actively opposed Rep. Mike Dudgeon in the last election cycle.
Clearly this is a ruse designed to benefit Commissioner Tam in some way and to dishearten the local tea party, whom I suspect Commissioner Tam rightfully fears. It is an open declaration of war on those that are attempting to hold the local establishment class accountable for its actions. However, I think Pritchett and Tam have desperately miscalculated. The local tea party, unlike the current iteration of the local GOP, is not a shrinking violet. Its leadership has demonstrated that it is up for the fight.