Rockford Tea Party Grills Candidates

By: Chip Brewster Email
By: Chip Brewster Email

The Rockford Tea Party is well known for its conservative views and tonight a local democratic candidate jumped into their lion's den to face some difficult questions. It's the tea party's political dissection of two men on the November ballot.

"If you're that last vote are you going to vote just because it's a party vote or are you going to vote for yourself?"

"My decisions will be based upon the 16th district," responded George Gaulrapp, our local democratic candidate for congress who Tuesday night faced a barrage of questions from a group that stands against most democrat ideals. Despite the contention many were happy to have him.

"You're dealing with a whole room full of people who are not necessarily of like mind, and he had the guts and integrity to do that and I was very impressed by that," said tea party member Tracy Doyle.

"I'm interested in what all people think in this district. It's not just democrats, it's not republicans, it's not independents, conservatives, there's so many different things out there. I believe people have the right to voice their opinion and you should listen to them," said Gaulrapp.

Gaulrapp's Q and A followed on the heels of Lex Green, the libertarian candidate for governor. He too submitted to the Rockford tea party's political discussion.

"If you were governor and a bill landed on your desk approving concealed carry what would you do with it?"

"I would not only sign it I would make sure there was press there to see me sign it," said Green.

Both candidates played up their similar view points to the tea party.

Gaulrapp is for concealed carry, against full amnesty for illegal immigrants and wants to reduce spending.

Green made a point to discuss his commitment to the constitution and also being for concealed weapon laws

However with Gaulrapp differences still arose especially when it came to healthcare.

"Do I believe everyone should have healthcare? Yes I do." (arguing)

Gaulrapp may not be a tea party candidate but he did surprise some tea partyers with his stance.

Following the national controversy between the NAACP and the Tea Party, local Tea Party organizer David Hale said he had invited Norma Joseph, president of the Rockford NAACP chapter, to attend tonight's meeting. Hale said she had promised to come until yesterday when she backed out due to a schedule conflict.

Gaulrapp says he plans to visit more tea party chapters. Next on the list is Huntley.

(Chip Brewster is available via email AND facebook... feel free to shoot him a message or friend him at any time)

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jim Location: Rockford on Aug 19, 2010 at 01:44 PM
    I attended the meeting that the T Party provided citizens of Rockford see, listen and ask candidates they stand on today's issues. Being a Conservative and a life long Republican I was embarrassed by the rudeness the Mayor was subjected to. It seems to me that the T Party people are trying to vent their frustrations rather then find out what the candidate stood for. I do not support the Mayor or his positions but he had the right to have them. If the Mayor wins the office where do you people think you will stand when you have to go to him to pass a bill or need help. Personally My reply would Be "don't call me, I will call you".
  • by Mike Location: Rockford on Aug 5, 2010 at 11:16 AM
    Mayor Gaulrapp told me face to face outside the library auditorium that he supports gay couples getting married. When asked if he would keep in tact the Defense of Marriage Act, he said that he wanted to read the whole ACT over the internet and get back to me BY THE END OF DAY WEDNESDAY to my email. Still waiting to receive his responce to a direct yes or no question to him.
  • by Ron Location: Rockford on Aug 4, 2010 at 07:22 AM
    Yes David, and now, thanks to you, we understand how much the TP'ers don't like him.
  • by Gail Location: Freeport on Aug 4, 2010 at 06:29 AM
    I had to laugh when I saw Gaulrapp is for reduced spending. That couldn't be farther from the truth. If you want to know what a spendthrift that man is I invite you to look at the consent agenda on the city of Freeport's website. The City of Freeport is broke and laying off workers because Gaulrapp can't stick to a budget.
  • by David Location: Rockford on Aug 3, 2010 at 09:07 PM
    This is what I call a fair and balanced story. Good job Chip and 23. The only thing it doesn't show is how much opposition Gaulrapp really got but the story is very well done and fair. Based upon Gaulrapp's answers tonight he is clearly not a Tea Party Caucus type Candidate.
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