In response to Mark Belling’s comments on his show yesterday about the Rock River Patriots, Nathan Friedl from our group, also responded. Mark’s response is very intriguing: “Why is your group vetting anyone?” Nathan Friedl responded. Below is the email exchange.
From: Nate Friedl
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 7:51 PM
To: BELLING, MARK C.
Subject: Rock River Patriots
Mark, my name is Nathan friedl with the Rock River Patriots in Jefferson County WI.
I personally have not heard you mention us on your program but a number of people have told us you have made reference to us including on your show this afternoon (Wednesday July 14).
Forgive me if my information is not correct but we were told you stated our group was one of those Tea Party groups who are endorsing candidates.
That is absolutely false. We have never and have no intention of ever endorsing anyone. We have a vetting process for candidates and ask the same or very similar questions to each one.
Obviously, you can make any statements you like on your program, it’s your program. Having said that, please make certain your facts are accurate if you chose to talk about our group.
Please feel free to visit our web site or you, or one of your staff, contact us if you would like to know where we stand on an issue before you state where we stand on an issue.
From: BELLING, MARK C.
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 1:55 PM
To: Nate Friedl
Subject: RE: Rock River Patriots
Why is your group “vetting” anyone?
|From: Nate Friedl|
Sent: Thu 7/15/10 3:22 PM
To: BELLING, MARK C. (MarkBelling@ClearChannel.com)
The same reason any one of the over 70 Tea Party groups across the State are doing the same thing!
Is this a new revelation for you? Many groups across the State have been doing this for more than six months Mark.
Many of the candidates are running for local office, some for State, and some Federal.
Each group asks questions important to the group to give each group a better understanding of what the candidate believes. We do not care who the Democrats or Republicans endorse. We would like to understand where they stand on Constitutional issues.
Are you suggesting the Tea Party groups should not invite candidates to come and answer questions related to the issues important to each group?
Not one group in the coalition presumes to speak for the others, including the Rock River Patriots. Never once have we even suggested such a thing. EVER!
We would appreciate you correcting the record about our group.
We DO NOT speak for the other groups. The Coalition does that. I don’t remember seeing you at the Coalition meeting in June when we decided these things.
You stated we are passing judgment. On what or whom Mark? Please provide one specific example of that. At least before you pass false information to your audience about us.
You stated we are NOT the real Tea Party movement. Why do you assume the right to pass that judgment without even so much as speaking with us?
Not the real Tea Party movement? Please provide the Coalition with your approved list of Tea Party group members so we know who to tell who can start their own grass roots group and who can’t and which of the over 70 groups are legitimate in your eyes and which are not.
Mark, does this have to do with Ron Johnson’s question and answer (vetting) session with us?
If not, why have you all of a sudden begun to mention our group after that event? Why not anytime in the last year when we had two other candidates for US Senate come in, not to mention many local candidates?
Did you watch his session with us? If so I believe you will see we were courteous and respectful. I must admit, we were shocked at his complete lack of knowledge regarding the constitution.
That may not matter to the Republican Party but it matters to our group.
We are not looking for publicity. In fact, we would be very happy if you were to correct the record about our group on air and never mention us again.
If you would like to know where the Tea Party stands in Wisconsin please contact the Coalition and stop singling out one of their member groups. (You will in fact find that not all the groups agree on every issue).
Once again to your question. Is it your position that the Tea Party groups should stop inviting candidates to their meetings to ask questions and find out where they stand on issues important to the groups?
Maybe we should just trust our futures and our children’s futures to what either of the two parties and or talk show hosts tell us and not take responsibility for getting involved in a real way.
I have heard you often promote the idea of an informed electorate, of people taking responsibility for themselves, of becoming more than sound bite voters. Have you changed your position regarding those things?
I have listened to your program, when time allows, for many years and would be shocked if you had a problem with that. Unless your loyalty is to a specific party rather than the principled positions important to the many groups throughout the State then I can not understand your personal interest in mentioning our group specifically on your program and stating things that have zero basis in fact about us.