Tea Parties and other conservative grassroots groups are rapidly becoming a major force in Republican politics. As an indication of the movement’s clout, gubernatorial candidates Tom Corbett and Sam Rohrer trekked out to Carbon County earlier this week to appear at a forum sponsored by a local 9/12 Project. 9/12 projects, which have formed across the country in the past year, take their direction from Fox News host Glenn Beck. They organize around a set of nine principles and 12 values, including the statement, “the government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.” The two candidates took two hours of questions on topics like property tax reform, the new federal health care law, the state budget and illegal immigration. At one point Rohrer gathered sustained applause for his plan to eliminate property taxes, which he calls unconstitutional. “Not one person sitting in this room, or across this commonwealth, own your homes tonight. Not one person owns their private property. I guarantee you, you fail to pay your rent to government in the form of that tax check, and your landlord, the government, will throw you out of your home,” said Rohrer.
Corbett spent a big chunk of his opening statement defending his recent lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law. “What we are doing is protecting the individual’s right to choose. The individual’s right, in this case, to do nothing. Not to engage in commerce,” said Corbett.
Listen to a longer version of this story from reporter Scott Detrow.