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North Central Florida 9-12 group plays to another full house

Tawnya Means - N Central Fl 9-12 PresidentThe July 23, 2009 North Central Florida 9-12 meeting began with another packed house as President Tawnya Means spoke about Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers. Ms. Means told the group, “It’s up to us to become an educated electorate.”

The 9-12 group listened to presentations by two keynote speakers, Robert Smith a lifelong political activist and President of the Republican Club of Greater Saint Augustine and Margie Patchett, executive director of LowerTaxesNow.org.

Mr. Smith told the gathering that they should “vote for people that read the Constitution.”

Mr. Smith gave advice about organizing and getting out the vote. He said that the best place to campaign is a school. He said, “If you let folks talk, they will talk until they talk themselves into helping you.” Robert Smith - Political Activist - Teacher

Mr. Smith recommended asking questions, taking notes and asking for help.

He said that “you never get a second chance to make a good impression.”

Mr. Smith concluded his presentation by telling the group, “We are in a revolutionary war for the soul of this country. There may not be a tomorrow if we keep going the way we are going.”

The calmness of Mr. Smith was juxtaposed by the energy and animation of Margie Patchett, Executive Director of LowerTaxesNow.org, who began by telling the group, “It’s great to see everybody here. I am fed up. We don’t have any politicians that listen anymore.”

Ms. Patchett told the group "check your own back yard."

Ms. Patchett explained, without taking a breath, that Florida went being the number one economy in the US to number 47. Margie Patchett - Exec Dir - LowerTaxesNow.org

Ms. Patchett said, “Government has gone wild. All government is local and if you think you have a problem with the Federal Government, you should check your own backyard.”

Ms. Patchett said LowerTaxesNow.org is for a small and effective government and that government cannot continue to grow.

“You have to find out where your money is being spent. You know when your county’s lying. You know it. You feel it. You sense it,” she said.

Ms. Patchett urged the group to begin a budget study group.

Ms. Patchett was not familiar with Columbia County’s reputation - nor the blatant disregard of the County Charter and the Constitution by the County Commission and the County Manager. She was unaware of the nepotism and Good Old “Boy-ism” and squandering of public funds that has run rampant for decades and crushed folks when they spoke up or tried to do a good job, when she said, “Start a budget group. Your government is really – really corrupt.” 


Columbia County resident and political activist Wayne Williams.
Wayne Williams, long time Columbia County resident and political activist, told the group that they should attend County Commission meetings and they will discover for themselves that the County Commission doesn't listen to them.