Lehigh Valley Project 9-12 Tea Party Group

Serving Lehigh and Northampton Counties

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Lehigh Valley Tea Party Statement on IRS Targeting of Tea Party Groups

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The Lehigh Valley Tea Party has followed the rules since its creation in 2009. Our organization has tried very hard to do everything the way we're supposed to. We consulted lawyers and advocacy experts about legal options for non-profit grassroots organizations, and applied to the IRS for tax exempt status just like non-profit groups engaged in all kinds of activities do all over the nation every day.

We believe that the Lehigh Valley Tea Party provides a vehicle for patriotic Americans with a wide variety of political affiliations to voice their opinions and become more educated about the important issues of the day. We are not a political organization, and our group's bylaws specifically prevent us from endorsing or opposing political parties or candidates.

Although the Lehigh Valley Tea Party group was not selected by the IRS for an audit, news of a sudden flurry of harassment spread like a panic among all Tea Party organizations nationwide. In many cases, the IRS demanded that tea party and other patriotic groups who were engaged in the application process report on every comment on their Facebook pages, or to turn over lists of attendees or donors. It was understood by the groups which were targeted in this way that this was uncommon treatment, and many groups attempted to inform the media about this clear discrimination against conservative groups, but there was little coverage of the issue.

Suddenly, as a result of the news of enhanced scrutiny of some tea party groups, no one knew what we were allowed to say or whether we were permitted to take public positions on important issues at all without affecting our ability to obtain tax exempt status. This uncertainty had a chilling effect on our every undertaking. Some of our members even expressed that they believed we were allowing the IRS to bully us into silence.

Although our application seemed to have been held up for over a year, the Lehigh Valley Tea Party Group has recently been granted 501(c)(4) status as a non profit group focused primarily on education, which has been our organization's mission since the group was formed. We are grateful that we were not specifically targeted for enhanced scrutiny, but recognize that we could have been.

It is outrageous that the Internal Revenue Service would target organizations for special scrutiny based upon their view of our government's policies, and whether or not those organizations agree with any presidential administration. While our group espouses responsible fiscal policies such as balanced budgets and lower taxes, the last time we checked the Constitution guarantees us the right to express those positions.

It's frightening to think that any administration would direct the IRS to make it more difficult for groups which disagree with its own point of view to obtain the non-profit status which should be available to all legitimate organizations, regardless of ideological positions. Our concerns about this powerful entity are magnified because the Internal Revenue Service has been tasked with implementation of many of the provisions of the new health care law. Obviously, we don't know yet who directed the IRS to single out Tea Party organizations, but we will be watching the ongoing investigations very closely and support Congressional hearings to find out exactly who is responsible for this outrage.


Video from our April meeting

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The Right to Bear Arms Protection Act

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Last Updated on Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Governor Responds


Are the postcards we send out being read?

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Everything is amazing and nobody's happy...

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Last Updated on Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stopping the Smart Meter Dictatorship Established By PA Law

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A member of the Energy & Environment Action Committee wrote to Governor Corbett to ask if PA Law allowed customers to OPT-OUT of the Public Utility Commission (PUC)  Smart Meter deployment program and law in PA. The answer below from the PA PUC was a loud NO! unless Tea Party members contact their PA Reps. and PA Senators and DEMAND that they pass a customer OPT OUT for this dictatorial, individual-rights-violating program.

The justification for the Government-ENFORCED, energy usage reduction Smart Meter program is that the power companies cannot supply enough electricity into the future because:

1.) the environmental movement is using every means possible, including backdoor legislative deals and frivolous lawsuits, to eradicate or delay new power plant construction,

2.) environmental activists have taken over government environmental agencies and are using their regulatory power to FORCE the shutdown of large numbers of coal-fired power plants that are the backbone supplying U.S.  energy needs.

3.) these same environmental activists (aka fanatics) oppose nuclear power, oil-fired power plants, and natural gas power (aka hydraulic fracturing) plants, that is, every inexpensive energy source known to man.

4.) environmentalists plus solar and wind lobbyists have conned PA legislators into a sweetheart deal where the PA legisaltors have MANDATED by law (HB-2405) an annual ratcheting-upward of "renewable energy" projects onto the backs of the power companies.

These "renewable energy" projects are unjustifiable from:

a.) a moral (redistribution of wealth, discriminatory subsidizing of government-favored industries) perspective,

b.) an engineering perspective (every solar or wind project requires installation of completely-redundant, duplicate, back-up power capacity using natural gas-fired turbine power) which wastes taxpayers money, and

c.) an economic perspective (Europe is abandoning renewable energy because it is causing customer electric bills to skyrocket).

My comments on the letter contents below appear in square brackets  [  ].


Dear Ms. X:

Chairman Robert Powelson asked me to respond to your inquiry to Gov. Corbett concerning the legislative mandate for the development and deployment of smart meters in the Commonwealth, and the ability of electric customers to “opt-out” of the smart meter program. We appreciate your inquiry and the issues that you raise.

Currently, Pennsylvania law does not provide for a customer “opt out” of their utility’s smart meter program. HB 2186 and HB 2188 were introduced by Rep. Mike Reese (R-Westmoreland and Somerset) to amend Title 66 (Public Utilities) that would partially repeal Act 129 and allow consumers to opt out of having smart meter technology installed at their premises during a mandated 15-year period, as well as require consumer consent in order to share information from electric meters with government agencies. Legislative hearings have been held on the proposed bills, however, to date neither bill has passed the General Assembly and, as things stand now, there is no opt-out provision for electric customers wishing not to participate in their utility’s smart meter program.

By way of background, the deployment of smart meters is a result of PA Act 129 of 2008, which puts the PUC in charge of implementing the law and guiding consumers and electric utilities toward achieving the overall goals of reducing energy consumption and peak electric demand. The state’s seven largest electric distribution companies (EDCs), including Met-Ed, are required to develop energy efficiency and conservation plans (EE&C) and adopt other methods of reducing electricity used by customers - including the use of smart meters by residential customers. This is mandated in the law. [FrownThe only reason these energy reduction laws exist is because of environmentalist activism based on their scientific myth - the global warming crisis.]  If there were any changes to the law, those changes would need to be initiated in the General Assembly. At this time the PUC is not aware of any proposed changes to Act 129 so the PUC and the EDCs continue to fulfill their responsibilities under the law.

The utility industry is in a phase of rapid change due to rising energy demand, increased number of customers and their demands, market de-regulation, increased cost, energy theft, etc. As a result, the industry has identified demand side management as an essential solution – and smart metering is seen as a key component in the implementation of an effective demand side management program[ FrownDemand-side management is a cutesy leftist term to cover-up the fact that government is violating the customers' individual rights just like in a totalitarian state.] As noted above, still being weighed in the General Assembly is the feasibility and practicality of a smart meter “opt-out” program at a time when Pennsylvania’s major electric distribution companies are quickly moving forward with the development and deployment of smart meter technology across the Commonwealth.

Under Act, 129, reductions are achieved in phases through both EE&C and demand side response programs, which are approved by the PUC and include such things as high efficiency appliances and HVAC rebate programs; and smart-meter technology plans that permit two-way communication, can record usage on an hourly basis, and provide automatic control of electric consumption by the customer, utility and a third party with customer consent. [ Frown This is a sad joke on us because the "utility" (the power company) takes orders from the government and, thus, without your consent, the government can order the power company to shut off your heat or air conditioning.] At present, smart meters are to be installed in new construction and at the customer’s request, with the goal of all customers utilizing smart meters by 2021. [ Frown Here is the eco-fanatics and statists end goal -- to have every PA customer under the totalitarian power of the state by 2021. Bye, bye Freedom and free personal choices.]

All meters, including smart meters installed by an electric utility must meet the rigorous and comprehensive accuracy and reliability requirements contained in the Commission’s Regulations at 52 Pa. Code §§ 57.20 – 57.25. Smart meters are capable of recording total electric use on at least an hourly basis. The Commission has directed electric utilities to pursue the ability to provide 15-minute or shorter interval data to support rate programs or conservation programs that utilize this level of granularity. Such capability is to be offered and provided only upon customer request. While a smart meter may have the capability to record customer usage every 60-minutes or less, it cannot identify or record what appliances or equipment are using the electricity or any activity associated with the electric use. The recorded data simply allows the electric customer or that customer’s designee to know their total electric use for each hour or whatever interval the customer requests.

The Commission believes that it was the intent of the General Assembly to require all covered electric companies to deploy smart meters system-wide, and to do so in a manner that empowers a customer’s ability to control their electricity use, as well as their privacy. [ Frown This is statist arrogance par excellence. They must think we are all idiots. To declare that a dictatorial government takeover of the control of your electricity usage "empowers a customer’s ability to control their electricity use" is the height of statist brazenness.] Thus, the Commission will continue to ensure that the electric utilities implement the universal installation of smart meter technology in a manner that meets the intent of the General Assembly.[ Frown This states that the PUC Gestapo wil continue to implement the "universal" final solution onto the power companies for ending your control of your electricity usage.]

Thank you for your inquiry and interest in this issue. I have copied Chairman Powelson’s office on my reply.


Dave Hixson

PA Public Utility Commission

Office of Communications

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

(717) 787-5722


James Madison on the Destructiveness of Too Much Law

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 "It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be to-morrow."

--James Madison, Federalist No. 62, 1788

All that it takes to destroy freedom is make the law so extensive that it becomes totalitarian.


The importance of supporting the troops

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Major David Repyneck

At our last general meeting we had Army Major David Repyneck with the 109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment address the membership. He related the importance of hearing from the folks back home and how the packages sent out are appreciated. The Major also answered questions from the audience. Also at the meeting "Support the Troops" (run by Blair & Valerie Ferguson) collected Christmas cards to be delivered to service members stationed in Afghanistan in addition to the regular supplies donated.

Please remember to bring something for the troops or help out financially if you can. More information on Support the Troops Inc. can be found HERE.

Blair & Valerie Ferguson with Major Repyneck

Last Updated on Saturday, December 29, 2012


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This is not a revenue problem or fiscal cliff

In response to the current 2013 Government Spending Crisis (deceptively called the “fiscal cliff”), the Lehigh Valley Tea Party (LVTP) asks our Representatives and Senators, as a first step toward a solution to this crisis, to vote for legislation cutting the size and power of government.

The federal government cuts should start with eliminating the wasteful cost of departments performing improper functions of government at the federal level. The first federal departments to be abolished with the control of these functions picked up by the states are: Education, Energy, Health & Human Services, Commerce, and the Environmental Protection Agency.  These department eliminations will help to eradicate costly waste in addition to the abuse of power by government operatives and regulators.

Further, the LVTP asks our Representatives and Senators to work on legislation dissolving the Federal Reserve System and returning the banking function to its rightful place in the private sector. The Federal Reserve has failed to maintain a sound currency which should have been its primary function.

The LVTP asks our Representatives and Senators to work on legislation that replaces “baseline budgeting” by the federal government with “zero-based budgeting” to terminate the perpetual and unjustified growth of Big Government.

The LVTP asks our Representatives and Senators to fight against and vote against any future attempt to raise the debt ceiling, and especially to fight against any unconstitutional attempt by President Obama to seize Congress’s rightful power to control the debt ceiling and, thus, government spending.

The LVTP judges that these dramatic cuts to government size and power and reductions in government interference in the economy are the only morally, politically, and economically justifiable method for delaying the effects coming from massive and unjustifiable government spending. We hope that these measures will delay the American people having to suffer the collapse of the dollar by inflation or the enslavement of future generations by massive government borrowing. The destructive inflation would be caused by the Federal Reserve System printing outrageous amounts of money (i.e., Quantitative Easing, QE1 & QE2) in order to support unjustifiable government spending. The destructive borrowing would be the result of incurring massive debt to foreign nations that are hostile to Individual Rights in order to support unjustifiable government spending.

Executive Board of the Lehigh Valley Tea Party


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