Tea Party Maui Wouldn’t Mind Muslim President

December 8, 2010, 3:21 PM HST · Updated December 8, 3:21 PM
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By David Kvasnicka

The leaders of the Maui chapter of the Tea Party movement, John Kerr and Shereen Seibert, have told MauiNow.com that they want to dispel perceptions that all Tea Party supporters harbor prejudiced and extremist views. They said that Tea Party Maui was not aligned to any part of the political spectrum and do not discriminate against minorities, people of non-Christian belief, nor hated President Obama “because he is black.”

tea party maui kerr seibert

Tea Party Maui leaders John Kerr & Shereen Seibert

The leaders presented some moderate views, among them that when they refer to “God” in their mission statement, that included any religion, and declared they did not have a problem with atheists or agnostics.

Yesterday on Maui’s AM900 radio with Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez and Kellie Pali, when asked whether in that case they would accept a Muslim president, the Tea Party Maui leaders said that they “wouldn’t mind,” if that’s what people voted for.

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Some views expressed by Tea Party Maui highlight the wildly differing opinions on certain issues between Tea Party supporters nation-wide. For example, many Tea Party supporters believe that climate change is not real, and base their claims on the belief that God made the earth. But Kerr, the Tea Party Maui president, said the only real common ground between Tea Party supporters was governance based on Christian values, but primarily lower taxes and fiscal responsibility.

“People in the Tea Party disagree about a range of issues. There is no affiliation between Tea Party groups.”

He added, “The Tea Party issue is [mainly] about taxation.”

When quoted figures that taxes are currently among the lowest in modern times under Obama, Kerr dismissed them as irrelevant, replying, “Still, the government is fiscally irresponsible and we’re borrowing too much money.”

The national deficit currently runs at 9% of GDP, while public debt stands at 62% of GDP, according to Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform ($14 trillion in debt is the US Treasury Department figure). The Commission’s task is to find a solution to bring the deficit down to 3% of GDP by 2015.

The Commission’s December whitepaper, titled “The Moment of Truth,” states that debt has “dramatically” increased 33% from 2001 to 2010 due to “two wars, a slew of fiscally irresponsible policies, along with a deep economic downturn.” Among the recommendations are leaner government, a cap on discretionary spending, and cuts to defense spending.

The Tea Party Maui president also proposed reductions in spending. These included shutting down overseas military bases, withdrawing troops from overseas, cutting military spending, slashing the salaries of government workers, and cutting government jobs, among others.

** Video of Tea Party Maui on AM900 (first segment)

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