A standing-room-only crowd of 50 attended this morning’s post-election meeting of Philadelphia-area tea party groups for a panel discussion moderated by journalist Chris Freind at a conference room at The Union League of Philadelphia.
The panel was Diana Reimer of the Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots, Jennifer Turner Stefano of the Conservative Leadership Coalition, Lisa Esler of Delaware County Patriots, Diane Canney of Valley Forge Patriots, Teri Adams of the Independence Hall Tea Party Association PAC, and Kevin Kelly of The Loyal Opposition, which hosted the event.
Before the discussion started the group was given a bit of good news from the Washington D.C.-based Americans for Tax Reform which reported that it was expecting the Bush tax cuts to be extended, in their entirety, for two years.
Much of the panel discussion involved the problem of Philadelphia which gave the Democrats 280,000 more votes than the GOP on Nov. 2. It was noted that if Philadelphia margin had been the same as it was during recent presidential elections — Democrat votes in the city exceeded Republicans by 478,000 in 2008 and 412,000 in 2004 — Democrats Joe Sestak and Dan Onorato would have won the senate and governor races respectively.
The last time the Democrat margin of victory in the city was less than 300,000 during a presidential year was in 1988 which was the last time the Republicans won the state.
Kelly, who has been battling the city’s Republican establishment, again expressed his belief that Philadelphia Republicans are not interested in winning due to a corrupt and cozy patronage relationship with the Democrats in power.
Members of the audience involved in city politics expressed agreement.
The generally collegial event ended in fireworks when Dr. Robert Sklaroff blasted Kelly and Freind for refusing to condemn military re-enactor Rich Iott who was the unsuccessful GOP candidate in the Ohio 9th District congressional race and who was photographed wearing a Nazi SS uniform for one of his re-enactments.
Mrs. Stefano pointed out to Dr. Sklaroff that military re-enactments require the enemy to be depicted as well. This, however, did not appear to appease the good doctor.
Update: There is a report that Iott socialized dressed in his SS uniform. Depending on the context of the socialization — how long it occurred after the re-enactments and such — perhaps Dr. Sklaroff might have a point.