Pattye Benson

Community Matters

National Tea Party Review Magazine Hit the Newsstands in February – T/E School Board Member Dr. Richard Brake, a Featured Contributor

Whether you lean to the left, to the right, or somewhere in between, there are periodicals dedicated to your political point of view . . . The New Republic, Harper’s, New Yorker plus countless others.

However, did you know that there is a magazine dedicated to the Tea Party movement, the Tea Party Review? Billing itself as the “first national magazine for, by and about the Tea Party Movement”, the new magazine had its debut in February of this year.

According to their website, the Tea Party Review provides a place “for Tea Parties to come together, to trade ideas, to resolve disputes . . . a place to develop plans for taking our country back from the elitist, arrogant, obnoxious, corrupt members of the Washington establishment and their friends in Hollywood, the news media, faculty lounges, and on Wall Street.” Those are some strong words from the Tea Party Review!

Although this new periodical hit the newsstands in February, I only discovered it today. Beyond my initial surprise that there was a magazine dedicated to Tea Partiers, I was further surprised to find that one of our T/E school board members, Dr. Richard Brake, was a featured contributor in the magazine, recently writing Negative Learning – Why Obama Needs the Youth Vote.

Further online research indicated that Brake has written extensively on the tea party movement. Here is a sampling of Brake’s prolific writing:

Militant Libertarian contains an article, Elected Officials Flunk Constitution Test written by Brake. The Militant Libertarian website claims to contain articles and information on “fighting back against the New World Order, the Banksters, the Police State, the System, or whatever label you’d like to give the screw job that is happening to our liberties.”

Listed as a featured columnist for the conservative news magazine, Townhall Conservative, a recent edition contains Brake’s article, George Washington and the Need for Enlightened Citizenship.

On the Capital News website, there is a post by Brake, which contains ” . . . I think it’s a great thing that Tea Party members are making it a priority to educate themselves. You can’t read the Constitution with all its ‘Congress shall nots…’ without coming to the conclusion that the Constitution limits government.”

I discovered Brake was featured on Liberty Line Radio, which is hosted by Andrew Langer, an experienced DC politico and Tea Party Activist. Brake’s radio podcast featured his recent survey from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), his employer.

Grant County Tea Party in Indiana hosted a conference a couple of weeks ago, Whose Capitalism, Which Free Market? The conference description was billed to ” . . . include remedies to today’s crony capitalism by exploring the moral dimensions of a truly free and prosperous market order”. This Tea Party conference at Taylor University in Indiana featured Brake as the guest speaker.

There were many more links for Brake but I suspended my research after I was directed to the Chester County Patriots Tea Party website. Listed as a member of this tea party organization, Brake also appears to host an online blog for the Tea Partiers. The mission statement for the Tea Party organization states, “Chester County Patriots is a grassroots organization that promotes a return to limited government, personal responsibility, and upholding the U.S. Constitution. Our goal is to educate and motivate the public to embrace these founding conservative principles in order to maximize prosperity and freedoms for future generations. The Chester County Patriots will also encourage and support individuals with conservative principles to become more involved in local and federal government.”

ISI and Tea Party Patriots
Posted by Richard Brake
View Richard Brake’s blog

I’d like to introduce your group to my organization: the Intercollegiate Studies Institute Our mission is to educate for liberty – by transmitting to the next generation of Americans the political, economic, and moral principles that founded and continue to sustain our constitutional republic.

Clearly, your mission and ISI’s mission overlap – so we are now reaching out to grass-roots organizations like you to offer a helping hand of partnership.

And, as a resident of Chester County and local school board member, I am deeply interested in the same issues that motivate you and your membership.

I look forward to meeting you at an upcoming meeting.

Rich Brake, Ph.D.

Besides discovering that Dr. Richard Brake, a political scientist, is also a prolific writer, it is fascinating to learn of Brake’s Tea Party connections.

Tea Partiers claim that they are a community committed to standing together, shoulder to shoulder, to protect our country and the Constitution. Recently, the country witnessed the battleground in Wisconsin as thousands of Tea Party activists rallied together in support of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker against organized labor.

The TESD School Board will begin teacher contract negotiations next year. Based on other school district – teacher union contract negotiation experiences; I suspect the process in T/E will also prove challenging. Considering Dr. Brake’s tea party membership and claim of support to the local Chester County Patriot tea party organization, can we assume that as a School Board member, he will not be directly involved in the teacher contract negotiations? Or . . . maybe there is no conflict for this Tea Party member.

I will reach out to Dr. Brake and see if he would like to offer a comment for Community Matters.

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  1. >>can we assume that as a School Board member, he will not be directly involved in the teacher contract negotiations? Or . . . maybe there is no conflict for this Tea Party member.<<

    Dr. Brake made no secret of his libertarian policies when he ran for the board, and I do not believe any partisan leanings would make teacher contracts a conflict of interest. The negotiators are chosen by the Board President….being a Tea Party supporter would be no bigger conflict of interest than being a parent of kids in the schools. Again — we need to pay attention to who gets elected.
    Will look forward to your exchange with Dr. Brake.

  2. “Considering Dr. Brake’s tea party membership and claim of support to the local Chester County Patriot tea party organization, can we assume that as a School Board member, he will not be directly involved in the teacher contract negotiations?”

    How on earth does this rationale follow and why might one assume such a thing?

    Also, and I think this might be some sort of pun, but what we know as the “Tea Party” seems to be rather a fluid thing, consisting as they do of loosely affiliated, geographically oriented groups. The perceived shortcomings of one group ought not to be visited on or presumed of another, for example. My point in all of this is that we ought to form our opinions of Dr. Brake by looking at his writings and considering his actions, as opposed to holding him up against our notions formed by media coverage of the most strident exemplars of the “Tea Party.”

    1. “I am still waiting to see what “Give em a Brake” really means. ”

      Means “A thousand points of light,” “Change we can believe in,” and “Twice the shine in half the time.”

      Ajax is stronger than dirt, I’m a Pepper, and nothing beats a great pair of L’eggs. It’s all just selling soap powder.

  3. Ok, I am a little confused about where this guy’s head is at. He is a member of the Tea party also calls himself a Libertarian, so what is he doing sitting on the school board. As a Libertarian I thought this was one of the groups that think there should be no Department of Education, too much government. I guess if you are on the inside, you can really change things, SCARY.

    1. “Gee…too bad for the hindus, muslims, etc”

      Why? Do they not subscribe to the moral norms of Western civilization?

  4. Perhaps the flurry of writings is because of a PR tour to promote ISI’s survey and cause rather more than general Tea Party activism. There’s clearly an overlap, but there’s no evidence from the School Board so far that Dr Brake embraces union abolition, birthers or any other lunatic fringes. He’s not averse to comparing data from a sample size of 165 to that from one of 30,000, though, to make his point!

    ISI bemoans the lack of civic education and core curricula in colleges, but that does reflect the free marketplace it surely supports. We can chose a school that has a core curriculum, that has an exclusive technology focus, or that majors in partying (not with tea!), for example. Hopefully the work of ISI and other advocacy groups might make us at least move away from the last of these!

    The good news is that the ISI data does show that a college education is correlated with a higher propensity to vote. As others have said here, voters should have known what they were getting with Dr. Brake.

  5. If school board members have to recuse themselves from representing the district in contract negociations because they have political affiliations, there will be no one to negotiate. I dont understand how affilation with democrat, republican or tea party groups has any bearing whatsoever on the qualification of a school board member to participate in negotiations on behalf of the school board.

    What would scare me is any notion that only “certain kinds” of elected representatives can represent the district . . . . and that a person who might believe in controls on the rights of public employees to organize is somehow to be disqualified . . . .

  6. We need more citizens like Rich Brake to support public policy that is consistent with the core values of fiscal responsibility, constituionally limited government and free markets. Excessive government spending and taxation must stop (and that includes TESD!)

  7. the birth of the Tea Party is a direct result of the disgust with the looney left wing destroy America agenda promulgated by our paper tiger president and those who supported him. What do you expect? Who is this Mr Obama???

  8. Thank you for posting this. There is a difference in my opinion between having conservative fiscal values and being a Tea Party member. While the second quality usually includes the first, the Tea Party also espouses other views on the environment, gun control, and general “getting along” that I often disagree with. That Brake is an active Tea Partier is telling.

  9. Meredith, what is it telling about. I enjoy the discussions here, but this is devolving into an area that frankly is old, Why don’t you say that what is “telling” is that the liberal majority of voters here in our district, who voted for Obama, now are reaping what they have sewn, and of course many are in denial that it is Obama care that is one of two if not the sole driver of outsourcing of the aides.
    you want to get into this, go ahead. frankly I thought what Dr Brake said last night made more sense than the rest of the board, ignorant as they looked. So do what liberals do, dig up “dirt” as you define it, and be distracted from the task at hand, another mo of the liberal elite.

    1. Flyersfan
      The Affordable Care Act is being used by some as an excuse for outsourcing etc. The numbers are not what they (school board) say and people like Brake are intentionally misrepresenting the laws and effects. The amount of misinformation in the public about ACA from corporate interests etc. is staggering and is allowing them to play this card. If you are going to comment that the actual costs (vs. the misrepresentation and fear of “Obamacare”) is what is causing outsourcing then back it up. Because I have already commented in previous posts and shown that it is not.

  10. let me get this straight. businesses are using this an an excuse? This is not born out in the numbers? You cannot tell me that businesses would rather NOT hire, would rather NOT profit, and that ACA as you put it is not a deterrent to growth.

    You can site tea party rhetoric, but it is matched by liberal non economist rhetoric. I tend to believe numbers, and tend to try to understand ramifications of government overreach, no matter how well intentioned it is…. I frankly I don’t think its well intentioned, just liberal rhetoric. And if it was so good, why so many waivers? lets get back to the task at hand…

    1. Im going to look up affiliations of every democrat on school board and condemn them for every opinion of those affiliations. Now I sound like you…

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