HAMILTON, Ga.—The Harris County Tea Party near the Alabama border campaigned far and wide in this month's midterm elections. Donations were mailed to tea-party candidates in Nevada and Alaska. There were multiple overnight bus trips to rallies in Washington, D.C.
The next stop, however, is closer to home: the local school board.
"Don't get me wrong, we're still going to engage in Washington, but now we're going after what is here locally. Our focus is turning to our community," said Kathy Ropte, the group's founder, over cola at a Blimpie sub shop, a popular local tea-party meeting spot off the town square. Aware that education consumes a big chunk of local property taxes, group members are combing through the salaries of every county school employee from the superintendent down.
After fighting for several months on the highest level of American politics, the leaders of many local tea-party activist groups now plan to take their agendas of limited government and penny pinching to their hometown governments.
Most say they'll stay involved in watching Congress, and dozens attended a recent Washington summit organized by national umbrella group Tea Party Patriots for newly elected members of Congress. But the local leaders say that to truly stem spending, they also must stage what Steven Vernon, vice president of the Tea Party Manatee on Florida's Gulf Coast, calls "a ground-level attack."
"We have to start at the lowest level and take our country back," Mr. Vernon said.
Read it all! - and remember "all politics is local". -SP