Tea Party Speech, Tax Day 2011

It was an honor for the Bergen County (NJ) Tea Party (http://www.njteapartycoalition.org/) to ask me to deliver a speech at the Tax Day Event on the Green at the Hackensack Courthouse.

What a great event. Great speakers like Barbara from Harlem, Mark Del Maestro and others. Thank you to the organizers and to all those who attended. For those who may be interested, here is the text of my speech.

Over the last 36 years our ordinary American family has experienced some of the very best and worst of America.

In 1975 our father Frank Connor was murdered by terrorists in NYC. In 1999, we felt the injustice of President Clinton’s clemency grant to the unrepentant FALN terrorists that proudly claimed our father’s murder. We eye witnessed the attacks on 9/11 in which we lost our cousin. I testified against Attorney General Eric Holder at his confirmation hearing only to see him confirmed.

Finally, just this year, we gained some redemption by keeping a terror leader in prison.

Through it all we have no doubts about American exceptionalism.

It is up to us here in Hackensack and others throughout New Jersey and the rest of the states to ensure that exceptionalism; that our founding principles survive for the next generations of Americans.

Our father, Frank Connor, was a great dad, husband, friend and son. He was only 33 when he was murdered along with 3 other innocent men by the Puerto Rican terrorist group FALN’s cowardly 1975 lunchtime bombing of NYC’s historic Fraunces Tavern. It was the most deadly of the 130 plus FALN attacks in the US between 1974 and 1983.

He left his wife Mary (who is here today with my step father, Gerry, my wife Danielle and our kids). He left his mother Margaret who, with her common sense approach to life was the finest person I have ever known. He left his 2 sons, Tom then 11 and me, then 9. He left his boys with his legacy, a sense of justice and the will to stand up for what we believe. And so we have. My folks didn’t raise no quitters.

The leftist terrorists of the FALN chose Fraunces to kill, in their own words, “reactionary corporate executives” but also for its symbolic value. It was where the grandfather of all Tea Partiers General George Washington bid farewell to his Continental Army officers after our victory over tyranny in 1783. Frank Connor was killed by those who wanted to re-impose tyranny. In the early 1980s the vast majority of these Marxist punks were arrested, convicted and sentenced to appropriately long prison terms of between 55 and 70 years. The bombings stopped and Americans went about their lives with one less threat to deal with.

Then, in August 1999 President Clinton, with a powerful push from now AG Eric Holder, offered executive clemency to 16 of these terrorists. Incredibly, none of the terrorists requested clemency. As they so believed in their cause, it took 30 days for 14 of the 16 to accept the offer and walk out of prison on September 10, 1999. Two were so committed to their cause that they rejected the offer and remained in prison.

My family and I fought against the Clintons and the clemency offer in 1999 by testifying before congress, writing editorials and doing the TV and radio talk show circuit. While ultimately, the president’s unchecked power of the pardon prevailed, we fought back in Frank Connor’s name and gave the Clintons a very public black eye for the despicable clemency offers.

While the Clintons never admitted the reason for the craven offers, clearly it was the result of an unholy alliance between then Deputy AG Eric Holder (who had long championed the FALN’s release) and the promise of the Hispanic vote for Hillary Clinton’s run for New York senator.

My brother Tom and I warned congress back in September 1999 that offering clemency to terrorists would only encourage more terrorism. We had no idea how prophetic our warnings were. Exactly 2 years later, Steve Schlag our father’s god son, our cousin and fellow Bergen county resident was among 3,000 souls savagely murdered at the World Trade Center. My brother and I commuted through the twin towers that day as we did every day and helplessly eye witnessed the attacks from our downtown offices only blocks from the towers and Fraunces Tavern.

After 9/11 we would be helpless no more.

When President Elect Obama nominated Eric Holder for his Attorney General retired FBI agent Rick Hahn, now a family friend, and I testified against Holder at his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. While testifying, I sensed through their patronizing tone that the several senators, including Leahy and Specter, were literally and figuratively looking down on us. It was clear that they saw our lives as some pathetic story; far removed from their perches on Mt. Olympus or as they call it, Capitol Hill.

What they did not get, is that they are public servants who work for us and not the other way around. Specter found that out the hard way in losing the 2010 democratic primary.

The attitudes of the senators aside, we knew the deck was stacked against us and that a vast majority, if not all, the democrats would vote to confirm Holder. What was most disturbing and telling was that half of the 40 republican senators voted for his confirmation. All I heard from those weak kneed republicans was that they “had to choose their battles.” Well let me tell you, we who opposed Holder have been proven correct in opposing him. It was a battle worth choosing. Like many of today’s republicans who have allowed the left to dictate the immoral, out of control deficit spending, they were afraid to put up a fight for our founding principles.

We finally scored a victory in January of this year when a small group of FALN victims, family members and FBI trekked to the Federal Prison in Terre Haute, Indiana to personally oppose the parole of FALN leader Oscar Lopez, one of the two terrorists who refused Clinton’s clemency in 1999. Although Lopez and his brother Jose are self proclaimed both “community organizers” from Chicago, that may sound familiar to some of you! The parole commission found in our favor and Lopez should remain in prison for at least another 12 years….

Unless of course another presidential clemency comes his way.

Finally some justice for our father, Frank Connor, and the other victims of the FALN.

During our decades long battles for what is right, media and political types have asked me “what organization do you belong to?” They seem stunned when I tell them, “None, It’s just some family, a couple of friends and me.” Like today’s Tea Party and our founders, we are proof that even now in the USA an independent group of motivated Americans can succeed in beating back tyranny.

We have discovered that the people who killed our father as they attempted the violent overthrow of America in the 70’s, are the very same people who have now taken our great nation by political means. They realized they could not achieve their socialist goals of stealing the wealth of those hard working citizens they have always detested, through bombings as they had tried before. They did it through politics; double talk, deceit.

Back in the 70s, they ranted about a coming ice age. Now it’s a global warming hysteria designed to increase regulation and impose new taxes on the people through Cap and Trade. There’s Chuck Schumer labeling us as “extreme” while he and his cronies scheme to bankrupt our country. They brag about tax cuts to 95% of families, but close to 50% pay no federal taxes (Pause). Their “fair” solution to deficits is always to tax, to punish the most productive even more when here in New Jersey the top 1% of earners already pay 41% of the income tax. This is nothing more than redistributing wealth from the American Dream to the dreamer.

They pay lip service to strengthening America as they allow our porous borders to jeopardize our sovereignty. They capitulate to terrorists through the reprehensible “political correction” of turning a blind eye to radical Islam in our own country, eliminating proven investigation and interrogation techniques and even releasing terrorists. They call it a fairness doctrine as they scheme to pull our freedom of speech from the public airwaves. Their Employee Free-Choice Act is designed to take away the right to vote by secret ballot. They claim to fight for the middle class while they sell our wealth; our future to public sector labor unions.

Obama lectures us about fiscal responsibility as he advocates increasing the federal debt limit and advances a federal budget that will bloat our unsustainable debt to over $14 trillion.

Actions and words have been intentionally twisted; willfully confusing the issues in an attempt to make normal, intelligent Americans give up; thinking that they must be missing something.

Well let me tell you, WE THE PEOPLE are not missing anything. We get it and we’ve had enough.

We have to run this country as we do our families; with security, morality and fiscal clarity. Like a family who protects their homes and possessions, we as a country must secure our borders. Like a family who saves for college and for a rainy day, we as a nation, must eliminate waste, vastly reduce spending and slash the back breaking tax burdens on the “hard working Americans” so many politicians like to make the object of their condescending platitudes.

Let me tell government how to help “hard working Americans.” Get out of our way. We don’t need, we don’t want that kind of government help.

If government wants to help us secure our freedoms for generations to come, here are some suggestions:

  • Cut spending
  • Cut taxes
  • Dismantle Obamacare, and so many other government run impediments to our prosperity
  • Secure our borders
  • Admit, identify and articulate who our enemies are
  • Fight those enemies with the goal of Victory, not stalemate
  • Embrace our allies
  • Remember our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Our rights are granted by our God and not some political class. Government’s role is to ensure those rights are protected and not theirs to parcel out.

Some might say that with the current government, America is on the decline. Maybe in some ways they would be right. But with the group we have here in Bergen County, in New Jersey and all the Tea Parties throughout the country, we are gaining momentum in the right direction. It’s “We the people,” our friends, neighbors and family who will ensure America’s success into the future.

All of us here today don’t have to agree on everything. We just have to agree on one thing; and that’s in November 2012.

Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

Now is our time to fight.

Thank you


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