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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 30, 2010

Tea Party forms in Rensselaerville

By Zach Simeone

RENSSELAERVILLE — The Tea Party movement has spawned another Hilltown contingent, this time based in Rensselaerville. Dave Bowdish organized the new group.

“You have people in the surrounding area interested in the same thoughts and same feelings: smaller government, following the Constitution and so forth,” said Bowdish. “I decided it was time to see if there were any interested people in the town of Rensselaerville and the five hamlets, so I finally started up the Town of Rensselaerville Tea Party.”

The group had its first meeting last Friday, and close to 60 people showed up, Bowdish said. While no one has taken on a leadership role, Bowdish acted as the moderator for last week’s meeting, he said. Two more meetings have been scheduled, for Oct. 8 and 29.

“The Tea Party is generally made up of a conglomeration of people from all the different parties, whether it’s Democrat, Liberal, Republican, Conservative, Independent — and I think that pretty much represents the group we had here the other day,” said Bowdish.

Among the goals of the Tea Party movement are lowering taxes, reducing government, upholding Second Amendment rights, questioning global warming, and reforming health care.

All are welcome at the meetings, Bowdish went on, and said that the group’s activities will range from discussing politics, to even possibly endorsing candidates in the future. The Hilltown Homefront Patriots, a Tea Party group that formed in February, have backed Knox native Deborah Busch in her bid for state assembly this fall.

Bowdish said that, while he would consider joining forces with the Hilltown Homefront Patriots, he thinks it is important that there be a subgroup based in Rensselaerville.

“The whole theory behind opening another one is, with satellite groups, you’re more apt to bring people in that would like to be involved, and now they don’t have to travel as far,” said Bowdish.

He went on to reference Tom Cavanaugh, who has been active with the Hilltown Homefront Patriots since the group first assembled.

“This way, I can give Tom a call and say, ‘We kicked off our group; come join us for our meeting and maybe give us some pointers,’” Bowdish said.

Cavanaugh said this week that the Homefront Patriots have been working with the Tea Party movement in Schoharie, and would encourage the new Rensselaerville group to work with the pre-existing Hilltown group.

“He has every right to start a group if he wants to,” Cavanaugh said of Bowdish, “but it’s kind of unnecessary at this point.”

They both said Tuesday that they would likely be contacting each other in the near future.

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