LAKEWOOD - Speaking to a large crowd recently at a general meeting of the Southern Tier TEA Party Patriots held at the Lakewood American Legion, state Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-Chautauqua County, said, "Keep your eye on the big picture. The role of the federal government in the role of individual rights, both majority and minority members, is so critical, and the only way we will continue as a strong democracy is that the citizens always demand the appropriate level of government noninterference with our lives."
He added, "Tea Party members are playing a critical role in the future of our country."
"Are we heading in the right direction as a nation?" Goodell asked.
He reminded members that the Founding Fathers were government scholars, that their study of history's great writers formed the basis of a "finely tuned" U.S. Constitution, with its checks and balances, protection of minorities, protection against our own government, and an independent judiciary. Importantly, he reminded, "just because a majority feel one way today, doesn't mean it's the right way." Increased government power, he said, comes at the expense of citizens.
TEA Party members have been active in fighting what they term the Common Core federal takeover of education in New York. They were requested to sign Assemblyman Graf's petition at www.fixnyschools.com to repeal Common Core. Goodell said Stalin and Hitler indoctrinated students by taking control of the schools. Data now being collected about children, parents, and grandparents is "very dangerous," he said. Traditionally, focus has been on local control of schools, which Tea Party Patriots officials said is in jeopardy.
Goodell addressed several other topics: the NSA, the federal deficit and New York's SAFE Act. The NSA is required to obtain a warrant to look at private information. If money for entitlements is removed from the federal budget, only $1.2 trillion remains.
"We're borrowing 100 percent of money our government needs for entitlement programs," Goodell stated "and losing our independence to China."
Because Gov. Andrew Cuomo wanted to "beat Obama's announcement on gun control," the SAFE Act was passed during the middle of the night, according to Goodell. Godell said the legislation is political "papier-mache," declaring victory but ignoring the underlying issues.
The Southern Tier TEA Party Patriots will sponsor a town hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, on Sept. 13 at the Prendergast Library.