Home > Uncategorized > Dean Preston – Tea Party Leader Should Apologize Over Voting Rights Comments

Dean Preston – Tea Party Leader Should Apologize Over Voting Rights Comments

From the California Progress Report:

Tea Party Leader Should Apologize Over Voting Rights Comments

Posted on 02 December 2010

By Dean Preston

Tenants Together

Judson Phillips, President of “Tea Party Nation,” recently stated that restricting voting to property owners “makes a lot of sense.” Phillips’ comments about disenfranchising tenants were shocking, even coming from the Tea Party.

Phillips made the comment in his weekly Tea Party radio program on November 16, 2010:

“The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who got the right to vote. It wasn’t you were just a citizen and you automatically got to vote. Some of the restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of them was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. And if you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested stake in the community than non-property owners do.”

Over 95 million Americans rent their homes. Renters are one third of the U.S. population. In the 18th Century, states restricted voting to property owners, but these restrictions were phased out in the early 19th Century.

Phillips owes tenants an apology, both in writing and on his radio program.  His support for the disenfranchisement of tenants is appalling. We are increasingly witnessing an era in which right-wing extremists will say anything to spark division and controversy.

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