A few members of the Tea Party have wondered why when they hold a rally in a city they have to pay for permits, put up port-a-potties, pay for police details, etc. The Occupy Wall Street protesters don’t seem to be required to do this.
Yesterday, Big Government reported:
Two weeks after the Richmond Tea Party delivered an invoice to Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones for costs incurred for previous rallies, we received a letter from the City of Richmond formally stating that the city is auditing our Tea Party.
The Tea Party sent the invoice to illustrate the fact that Occupy Richmond had occupied Kanawha Plaza for two weeks without having to meet the city’s requirements for a rally.
The article reports:
The blog Virginia Right reported that the city provided services such as portable toilets, trash pickup, etc. The incomplete invoices obtained from the city totaled $7,000. This was only a portion of the actual costs to taxpayers because the costs of police, helicopter and incarcerations were not included. Also not accounted for was the 24-hour police protection of the Mayor’s home after the Occupiers moved their camp next door to the Mayor’s house. The Richmond Tea Party, conversely, paid for all services for our rallies, including the police, portable toilets, park fees and permits, amounting to approximately $8,500.
The response by the city of Richmond to the Tea Party invoice? The Richmond Tea Party received a letter from the Richmond Department of Finance saying that the city was going to audit them and requesting some of their financial records.
The article concludes:
The Richmond Tea Party stands for constitutional adherence, and clearly this has been unequal treatment under the law. We stand for fiscal restraint, and this is a case where a mayor used taxpayer money for his personal agenda. We stand for virtue and accountability in government and that is why we have taken a stand. We will be submitting a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request for all city correspondence pertaining to our Tea Party and its decision to audit us. We will not be intimidated and we will not back down. A Richmond attorney and fellow Tea Partier is currently reviewing our situation. Also, the ACLU has also contacted us inquiring about this matter.
The Tea Party and the ACLU working together? This is going to be a very interesting case because it will impact cities all over the country that have charged the Tea Party for rallies while letting the taxpayers pay for the expenses of the Occupy people.