You may have seen our earlier post on the Richmond Tea Party's dispute with city officials. A dispute that centers on Tea Party group's assertion that city is requiring them to reimburse the town coffers for expenses connected to past rallies...when the city does not seem to be requiring similar action by Occupy Richmond. Well, guess who is siding with the Tea Party? Occupy!
The Richmond Tea Party has found an unlikely ally in its fight against a City Hall tax audit: the Occupy movement.
Despite any ideological differences, Occupy Richmond has come out in support of the local chapter of the conservative Tea Party movement, which has accused city officials of a double standard in its dealings with the two movements.
“Occupy Richmond believes in absolute free speech, including the right to criticize the government without fear of retribution," Occupy Richmond said in a statement posted Thursday on its website. "Given the duplicitous and violent manner in which the city government chose to raid our peaceful occupation, it would not surprise us if the recently announced city audit of the Richmond Tea Party were retaliation for their criticism of the mayor.”
"The Tea Party and Occupy movements disagree on many, many issues," Occupy Richmond's Thursday statement said. "This should not stop all Americans from proudly standing together against government abuses."
The statement ultimately called on the city to drop the Tea Party audit and refund any money the group has paid to secure "free speech and assembly privileges."
Richmond Tea Party spokeswoman Colleen Owens said on Friday that the group "never really had any kind of beef with the Occupy people."
"I'm glad the Occupy group agrees with us," she said. "We just think it's very coincidental that they (the city) would issue audits, and we also believe that we filed everything that was required of us and never owed any taxes."
While sitting in for Glenn Beck on his GBTV program last week I talked with key Richmond Tea Party leader Jonathan Wakefield and Less Government's Seton Motley about the dispute...and the differences between the Occupy movement and the Tea Party movement: