Help For ‘Patriot’ Candidates
Javier Erik Olvera, Rocky Mountain News, May 27
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo is trying to build a coalition in Congress to overhaul what he calls America’s “lax” immigration policies.
The Republican from Colorado has started a political action committee to help congressional candidates who share his vision of tougher borders.
Tancredo enlisted Angela “Bay” Buchanan, a political heavyweight who served as U.S. treasurer from 1981 to 1983 under President Reagan, to help.
Under the duo’s leadership, the group — known as Team America — has mushroomed since it was formed about three months ago.
So far, “several thousand” people have gotten involved and have donated $100,000 in the past six weeks, said Buchanan, sister of conservative TV commentator Pat Buchanan.
“It’s been extremely well-received,” said Buchanan, who was campaign chairwoman for her brother’s presidential bids in 1992, 1996 and 2000.
Tancredo has stepped away from Team America’s campaigning and membership drive because of laws that bar him from being actively involved, said Buchanan, Team America co-chair.
But as founding co-chairman, Tancredo lends his message and name to the group whose motto is: “The Defense of a Nation Begins at its Borders.”
According to www.teamamericapac.org, the Virginia-based group’s mission is to “identify, recruit and help elect to public office individual patriots who agree with our motto.
We will reach out to the millions of Americans who agree that American immigration policy is in dire need of emergency reform.”
Over the next few months, the group hopes to raise its membership to 10,000. So far, it has reached more than 5,000 people through mailers, word-of-mouth and the Web site.
Buchanan did not have a membership figure, but said several thousand people have donated amounts from $10 to $5,000.
Not everyone is happy with the group’s presence.
Bill Vandenberg, co-director of the Colorado Progressive Coalition, a network of statewide civil rights and racial justice groups, says Tancredo should focus on issues important to his constituents.