My Message to KLKN-TV: Please UnConfuse the Public

This is the email I sent to the Assistant Assignment Editor at KLKN-TV

I am writing regarding the confusion that has been caused for people in the Lincoln area about the day, time, and location of the Tea Party events. I was hoping that KLKN would give a minute or two at some point to the details of the Tea Party at the Capitol after having agreed to do the interview with Reille last week. Her report included no specifics.

Despite whatever I may have hoped, I don’t feel entitled to this coverage. However, if more time is spent on the details of an event of an extremely similar nature, particularly one that is scheduled to occur after the one at the Capitol, it would seem that in order to prevent confusing the public, there should be a minimal level of detail given. The Bob Bennie event was treated as primary and the one at the Capitol “related”. Daniel Pearlman stated the time of the event was 11AM. Considering I had sent a press release to three people at KLKN, the correct information was available.

The public is now confused and I am now receiving a flurry of  and phone calls. I have pasted a few examples at the bottom of this message. I kindly and humbly request that KLKN correct the error and inform the public of the proper date, time, and location of the event at the Capitol.

Admittedly this confusion is not solely due to the KLKN report. Mr. Bennie apparently has a lot of resources to pay for advertising. Our event is simply being organized by a small grassroots group with no funding other than out of our own pockets.

I am going to be issuing another press release because of the confusion which includes a bit of detail about our program.

I look forward to hearing from you,
Shelli Dawdy

Example of emails I am now receiving:

I am a little confused on the date and time of the tea party because I have seen an ad on the local T.V. station  that states the tea party is on the 15th.  Yet on the website it is mentioned to be on the 11th. Which should I believe?

My husband saw a sign posted outside the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln, NE stating that there will be a tea party there on April 15 starting at 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Is this information correct? How much time should we allow before 4:00 p.m. in getting there? Bring a tea bag or bags? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

I have seen heard that the rally will be moved to the Lancaster Event Center on the 15th April, or is that a separate group?

I was planning on making it down for the event on the 11th at the Capitol.  However a friend of mine read on the internet that it was moved back to the 15th.  Just wondering when it was going to be.  Thanks.

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A number of people have indicated interest in a coordinated caravan across I-80 on the day of the event. The route and timing proposed are being worked on at this time. The idea is this: starting west in North Platte (see below), the caravan would “pick up” additional participants at exits at noted times. A designated gather point near the exits would be helpful. In addition the major exits on I-80, there has been some interest in possibly connecting some outlaying towns like Columbus by using a slight “detour” from the normal route to Lincoln. Please leave any comments you may have regarding these ideas and check back as the proposed plan develops. Finally, several people have mentioned an interest in carpooling from outlying areas to the event. If you don’t know anyone in your local area who may be coming to the event, send us an email and we will do our best to connect folks. Otherwise, from the standpoint of logistics, it would obviously be best if carpooling could be arranged locally. Please help us keep some handle on the possible number of attendees and any arrangements that would indicate a high level of interest in any part of the state by using the Email Form, link provided below. **Please help us to understand the level if interest in the idea by using the Email Form.** Proposed Starting Point: North Platte Wal-Mart 1401 S. Dewey St. Meet 7:00 AM – 7:30 Am Leave parking lot no later than 7:30 AM

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The Lincoln Journal Star…the black hole for press releases

As predicted, the Lincoln Journal Star somehow has not received any press releases.

I mentioned in my most recent email update for those on the Tea Party that folks may want to take a moment and let the Journal Star that the event should be covered in their publication.

I knew we would have difficulty getting any attention from them based not only on their regular reporting but on their having ignored the March 15 rally in front of Sen. Nelson’s office.

Having made my suggestion to everyone on the email list, at least one of my fellow “party goers” decided to make contact. She received the following reply from the Assistant City Editor:

“Please provide information about your Tea Party Protest so we consider it for coverage – where it will be, what time, who is expected to attend, contact information for organizers, etc.”


A phone number was listed so I decided to call it to inquire as to the best method for sending press releases ( I had already done this, but…what the heck) to ensure that it was actually directed to the right department.

I was given the same email address that I had already been using.

I noted to the gentleman who had answered the phone that I had already sent the release to that address. He said:

“Why don’t you try it again?”

Is there some swirling black hole in cyberspace into which my messages containing Press Releases is getting sucked?

We shall see….I may try Pony Express next.

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Media Coverage: Video Link to Ch. 8 Report

In case you didn’t see it yet, I’ve captured the video from the Wednesday KLKN TV Channel 8 report that was the “Top Story”  at 6PM.

You can find the video on the right side bar in the “Vodpod Videos” widget.If you click on the video’s icon, a goo-sized viewing screen will pop out.

The videos from Ch. 8 are very difficult to work with. I wanted to include it in a post directly here, but it simply wouldn’t cooperate it.

If you are interested in a bit of story to go with the video, I have posted on regarding the interview on my blog. Just click the link below:

Lincoln Tea Party / Sen. Ben Nelson Top Story on Ch. 8 News

Hopefully, Ch. 8 will do a story more fully discussing the upcoming April 11 event. At the very least, at least it begins to get the word out there.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why April 11th and not April 15th?

After considering all factors, including discussing the issue with a number of people here in Nebraska and many people across the country, I have scheduled the next event here in Lincoln for Saturday, April 11. A weekend event is more likely to allow more people to attend.

In addition to the issue of conducting an event on a weekday under any circumstance, it is also a fact that many Nebraskans regularly attend church services on Wednesday evenings. April 15 falls on a Wednesday this year.

This decision has been borne out as correct; we have been receiving a great number of phone calls and emails from people from all across Nebraska who wish to attend the event in Lincoln.

Organizers in Omaha have chosen to conduct their event at 5:00PM on the 15th. We have heard from a number of Omahans who are planning to come to Lincoln expressly because the event is being conducted on a weekend.

We have heard about carpools from outlying towns and there are ongoing discussions of a coordinated caravan across I-80 starting North Platte.

Out of the many emails and comments received to date, there have been a grand total of two disagreements about holding this event on April 11. Any comments received about the date change, outside of those two remarks have been relief.

It is impossible to please everyone. When planning things such as an event like this, decisions need to be based on what makes the most sense for most people. In a rural state such as Nebraska with a high rate of church attendance, a weekend event makes the most sense.

Why “Tax Freedom” Tea Party instead of “Tax Day”?

There are events throughout the country on both April 11 & 15, many of which use the words “Tax Day”. There are folks who will be protesting in front of post offices during their Tea Parties. This event is not being held specifically on tax day, also, it seems to me, looking over the long term, making this rally a more action oriented event, focused on not just tax day, but on the many issues confronting us, may be more appropriate.

Let us all come together to show ourselves and our fellow citizens that we are not simply getting together out of the frustration of paying our taxes, we understand the problems and are interested in working together to do something about them.

Why is the event at the State Capitol and not in front of Senator Ben Nelson’s office?

There has already been an event in Lincoln in front of Sen. Nelson’s office:

The week of March 9, I came in contact with a very nice father, John Grieser, and daughter, Angela Slack,  from just outside of the Lincoln area who had scheduled a rally in front of Sen. Ben Nelson’s office for Sunday, March 15, to protest against his vote and critical role in the passage of the Stimulus Bill Pres. Obama signed on Feb. 17. We had a very successful event with nearly 100 people in attendance. The number of attendees was a pleasant surprise considering the short amount of time available for publicity. You can see pictures from this rally by going to this page on my blog:

Nebraska Tea Party “Pork” Protest Photo Gallery

Convening this next event at the State Capitol provides more space and provides an additional element of symbolism.

Are you going to publicize this event through the media?

Absolutely! An announcement press release has been sent to all of the major media outlets in the state.

Keep in mind that the the contact information has been removed from the copy posted for obvious reasons.

Even prior to the press release having been issued, we were receiving requests for information from local media. There should be good pre-event coverage.

If there are any issues that have been missed, please submit your comments below.

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Tax Freedom Tea Party Press Release March 31, 2009

This press release was distributed beginning Tuesday, March 31. “Major media outlets” (TV, radio, daily newspapers) are being contacted first. Distribution will continue until all media outlets across the state have received it. The Word version includes a watermark of the prepared flyer. If you would like a printable version of the document with watermark, please use the Email Form to request one.

P R E S S    R E L E A S E

Grassroots in Nebraska


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nebraskans Across the State Eager to Attend Tax Freedom Tea Party at the State Capitol in Lincoln on April 11th

For additional information or interviews:       Contact (removed here)

On the February 19 edition of CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, analyst Rick Santelli called for a “Chicago Tea Party” at Lake Michigan on the fourth of July* because, he stated, “The government is promoting bad behavior.” Citing the passage of the Stimulus Bill and most recently announced mortgage rescue plan, he noted, “You can’t spend your way to prosperity.” Floor workers cheered at the remarks and when Santelli questioned, “How many of you people want to pay your neighbor’s mortgage…?” the workers booed. Santelli postulated that those workers were a good cross-section of America, the “silent majority”.

Hearing Santelli’s call and determined not to wait until July 4, a small group from the social media site Twitter began working immediately on Friday, February 20, to convene Tea Parties in as many cities across the country as possible.The group followed the lead of The American Spectator magazine managing editor J.P. Freire, who’d already scheduled a Tea Party in Washington, D.C. at NOON EST on February 27, to coincide with CPAC’s mid-day break. At 11AM CST that day, over forty cities conducted simultaneous events with an estimated 20,000 – 30,000 people in attendance.

News of the events on Feb. 27th worked through traditional media, the internet, and word of mouth. People all over the country decided to organize Tea Party rallies. On March 15th, nearly one hundred Nebraskans on short notice gathered in front of Sen. Nelson’s Lincoln office. They sent a message of displeasure regarding his pivotal role in the passage of the Stimulus Bill. The momentum has not subsided; over four hundred cities have scheduled events for April 11th or 15th, many under the banner “Tax Day Tea Party”. The “Tea Party” phenomenon has received ongoing media coverage on Fox News Channel as well as having been reported on by MSNBC and others.

Lincoln resident, Shelli Dawdy, a grassroots organizer involved with the original round of Tea Parties on February 27th, and locally on March 15th, has scheduled a Tea Party in Lincoln. She is working with volunteers across the state to plan the event. Nebraskans frustrated with out of control government are urged to join their fellow citizens at the State Capitol on Saturday, April 11th, at 1:00 PM.

Nebraskans have already taken note of Americans voicing their concerns at Tea Parties across the country, and are anxious to take part themselves. Even in advance of the event location announcement, Dawdy received several hundred emails and phone calls from across the state. Inquiries continue to pour in and evidence of increasing excitement can be found in discussions of carpooling from small towns and a coordinated caravan across I-80 starting in North Platte and ending at the Capitol event site.

For more information on Tax Freedom Tea Party contact one of the above organizers.

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Policies: Fundraising and Sponsorship

Mission Statement:

“To encourage public policy that promotes personal responsibility, individual liberty, limited government, and free markets. In an effort to emulate the principles upon which the United States was founded, we think our mission is best fulfilled through efforts from the bottom up, not the top down.”

This event is for “We the People” of Nebraska. It has become a growing problem that various entities and organizations have attempted to “jump on the bandwagon” and “sponsor” Tea Party events across the country, or  frankly, attempting to “hi-jack” the entire phenomenon. Almost without fail, these groups are highly focused on fund raising and what is known as “list building”.

These kinds of actions by organizations in the past have actually only helped to move us down the path we are currently traveling as a country. If average Americans were unfettered in applying our common sense, and were able to stick together in our efforts, there is no limit to what we could accomplish. We could unclench the very small circle of groups, politicians,  elitists who grasp at power. In the past, grassroots efforts have been co-opted, and where has that gotten us?

I promise you that anytime you provide your contact information at an event or activity in which I am assisting or for which I am responsible, I will never share that information with anyone. It is only being collected for the purposes of contacting you for future activities or to give you information that is relevant to the reason we first came into contact.

With that in mind, those of us working together to convene this April 11th event or any event in the future welcome the assistance of any group or individual whose goals are the same as those found in the “Mission Statement”.

However, regardless of the contribution by any group or individual, no contact information will be shared with them. The best way any entity can be of help is to pass the information regarding events on to their own member list.

We will not seek to raise money for general purposes (i.e. to build “an organization”) and will not advocate for any group who wishes to do so.

IF any funds are solicited in any way, it will be for very specifically stated purposes such as to pay for the cost of equipment used to conduct an event, costs of printing, etc.  Expenses requiring payment will be listed. We prefer when ever possible to solicit donations of items or services needed.

We will not endorse candidates for office nor will any event or activity serve as a venue for “stump speeches”. However, any candidate or official interested in participating will not be dismissed out of hand. Let’s talk: do our goals align with yours?

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