Tea Party
10:27 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Bridge Magazine looks at the Tea Party's influence in Michigan

Tea Party Alliance members Gene Clem (right) and Sharon Lollio in photo from Bridge Magazine story
Credit Pat Schellenbarger, Bridge Magazine

Interview with Pat Schellenbarger

Bridge Magazine contribute Pat Schellenbarger says the Tea Party is better at blocking things they're opposed to rather than getting something passed. 

Schellenbarger takes a look at the Tea Party's role in Michigan politics. He says they have become a force in the Republican Party. He says that's primarily through the threat of primary challenges. Schellenbarger says few GOP lawmakers or other "establishment Republicans" were willing to talk on the record. 

Some members of the Tea Party, including Gene Clem of Kalamazoo, have said the group needs to work to improve its image. Clem says "I don't like people shouting at me, and I don't do that."

Schellenbarger says there are fewer protests, and more an effort to work behind the scenes. He says the Tea Party is now working more within the system, but they want to change it

The Tea Party's efforts in Michigan have focused on the Republican party. Schellenbarger says their goal is to move the Republican party farther to the right. He says "In many respects they seem to have succeeded in that."