INTERVIEW: Jamie Radtke, Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The largest Tea Party Convention in the country will take place this weekend in Richmond.

As many as 3,000 supporters of limited government and constitutional liberties will be downtown at the Greater Richmond Convention Center over two days starting Friday.

Joining me to talk more about the event is Jamie Radtke, the chair woman of the Richmond Tea Party and one of the organizers of the event this weekend.

RYAN: Jamie, thank you for being here.

JAMIE RADTKE: Thanks for having me.

RYAN: We should point out you've become somewhat of a media star in the Wall Street Journal this week, on Fox News as well, so we appreciate you giving your local TV station some time.

JAMIE RADTKE: I wouldn't have it any other way.

RYAN: For people that are not that familiar with it, I gave a brief description of what the Tea Party stands for but what would you say it stands for?

JAMIE RADTKE: I will say if there are people in Virginia that believe in constitutional adherence and limited government, fiscal restraint, free markets, and some accountability in our legislators, guess what? They're Tea Party. That's what the Tea Party is about.

RYAN: And its not just Republicans, you would say?

JAMIE RADTKE: No, we have more people involve in the Tea Party who don't really align with anything. They have never been involved in politics until the Tea Party movement came along.

RYAN: Now, you're going to bring 3,000 of these people together this weekend. What exactly will you be talking about? What do you hope to accomplish?

JAMIE RADTKE: Well, the theme of the convention is the constitution still matters. And what we're hoping to accomplish is to educate, activate, and motivate. We've got over 45 breakout seminars on history, constitution, public policy, and grass roots activism, how to run a campaign and learn about cap and trade, and to motivate them so they can be activated into the mid terms and going into next year.

RYAN: The Tea Party is certainly controversial, you have your detractors across the country. Do you think there will be protesters that will be there to give their opinions as well?

JAMIE RADTKE:  I don't know. I mean, everybody is welcomed and we want to hear all ideas and we certainly have Democrats coming to attend and to speak and to participate, and so you know, everyone is welcome to come and hear the message.

RYAN: Now, you're going to have big names there, obviously [Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell] participating in a package. You're also bringing in big name speakers like Ron Paul, a congressman who's been very prominent among Tea Party supporters. Why is it important to bring these big names and have them associated with the vent?

JAMIE RADTKE: I think it was important for the Tea Party movement here in Virginia so that they can have an opportunity to edge gauge their politicians in Q&A. They're all participating in a panel, not key note speeches that they're giving and that's sort of doing it Tea Party style where they can engage with the politicians, so it was important for us to have them there so they to hear what's important for the Tea Party and we can hear what they have planned for the upcoming year.

RYAN: Do you think that people will be surprised that it's not really a rally, not something that you are going to fire up the base?

JAMIE RADTKE: Tea Party will always be about rally, but this is for educating people and motivating them, so it will be a different appeal.

RYAN: Jamie, thank you for joining us. We'll have plenty of coverage of the Tea Party in weekend. Thank you for being here.

JAMIE RADTKE: Thank you.

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