Maryland Delegate forms Tea Party Caucus

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February 9, 2011

State legislative candidates endorsed by Tea Party organizations

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland: Last Thursday, Maryland Delegate Mike Smigiel stood up for "old American"[1] ideals and formed a new Tea Party Caucus in the Maryland House.

The Tea Party Caucus, a caucus focusing on smaller government, fiscal responsibility and Constitutional adherence, was announced just before session adjournment last Thursday.

The newly created caucus was met with mixed sentiment, drawing both boos and cheers from Delegates. After the announcement, Keith Haynes (D) stood and jokingly announced "that the 'coffee caucus' would not be meeting."[2]

Despite the adverse remark, others took the announcement more seriously. Approximately 15 Delegates attended Thursday's first meeting.[1]

As for bi-partisanship, the Caucus is open to both parties, but has not garnered much Democratic support. In fact, Democratic Delegate Curt Anderson was the first Democratic Delegate to join the Caucus,[3] but revoked his membership within three hours of joining. Anderson apologized to his "embarrassed" colleagues, stating that he only joined because he shared the Caucus' views on lower taxes.[4]

The Tea Party Caucus joins the New Americans Caucus, the Legislative Black Caucus, the Veterans Caucus and the Women Legislators of Maryland Caucus.

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