Pro Capitalist Huntington Tea Party Supports Fiscal Responsibility, Taxpayer Rights, Fewer Regs & Questions Union Entitlements

Updated 6 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Douglas Franklin
Douglas Franklin

Across the United States, independent Tea Party chapters have formed.  According to Douglas Franklin, president of the Huntington Chapter, the “party” has no “singular head or headquarters” and each local group act to fill specific needs.

Despite the independence, the Tea Party chapters all share principles that government needs to live within its means and they take strong stands on the Constitution of the United States which conveys both rights and responsibilities.

“We are pro capitalism,” Franklin said, adding that “we encourage business and believe government should not “dictate from cradle to the grave.”  Expressing anger toward the amount of earnings taken by withholdings, Franklin asked, “How much [of their earnings] should citizens be allowed to keep?” He particularly stressed that compound taxation occurs when goods and services are purchased. First, the wage earner has been taxed before receiving their check. When they make a purchase, they pay tax. The business owner who receives the funds then pays tax on the sale.

Sticking to “fiscal responsibility,” he complained that the “firefighters union  burnt [taxpayers] dollars in overtime in a short period.”  Not persuaded that the union’s former contract allows for “scheduled overtime” and “unscheduled overtime,” Franklin applauded the Wisconsin movement which reeled in union power.

Referring to possible patterns of OT abuse brought to council’s attention by Mayor Kim Wolfe, Franklin asserted that “firefighter A takes a day off so firefighter B can come in and work at time and a half.” He related he vacation and sick day or sick day following a holiday pattern to private enterprise where you cannot be “sick every other day and get full wages.”

[Editor’s Note:  Most public employees have an allowance for “sick leave,” which may or may not be offered in private enterprise.]


“I’m not in favor of public unions . I’d like to see the City of Huntington look to at Governor Scott Walker  has done in Wisconsin,” explaining that public employee unions negotiate for the per hour pay scale, but are not permitted to enter the fringe benefit arena, which includes pensions, health insurance, and other labor issues such as holidays , vacation and sick pay.  “They are off the table,” Franklin said.

“Why should [union employees] expect an increase in [pay for living expenses] , no matter how bad the economic times. This county has suffered tremendously (during the recession).”

 Why are they entitled to their current pay scale, retirement and fringe benefits, he asked?

 While expressing offense toward a forum writing who challenged taxpayers regarding firefighters benefits, Franklin praised the actions of Police Chief Skip Holbrook in resolving a taxpayer complaint concerning the police handling of an incident involving  a licensed concealed weapon permit holder . According to Franklin, an apology was issued and Chief Holbrook agreed to re-inform officers about citizens Second Amendment rights.

The discussion has established what Franklin called a "working relationship" with HPD which he said has "taken cuts and maintained efficiency. The people should be grateful for what they have in the Huntington Police Department."

Citing examples of local regulations that in his viewpoint exceeds the bounds of the constitutional government instituted by our forefathers, Franklin explained that he owns a house and has three vehicles on his property.


“What right does the City of Huntington have to tell me to move a piece of my property elsewhere on my property? The government is getting involved in property owner rights.” 

In his case, a neighbor complained about one or more vehicles and he was given a sticker to remove the vehicle(s) within 30 days.

“It’s still my property,” he stressed.


In a separate instance , he explained that the city should be “encouraging improvement of property” not “taxing” improvement by requiring building permits.

“I had to pay the city to put  a new door on my house. The permit was $80.”

No one came to inspect the door or provided any guidelines about city codes.

“[A city representative] asked me the amount of the door and told me I needed to pay,” Franklin said.

Dale Anderson II, a member of the Tea Party Board of Directors, agreed that the city needs “less government in the home.” He added that the Wolfe Administration has “expressed willingness to tweak” some of the permit regulations as they relate to homes.

Although there exist some permit exceptions for Improvements performed by the homeowner, Franklin quickly intervened. He explained that contractors already must have a city business license. Why would they , in his opinion, pay again, to obtain a building permit to work?  Under Franklin’s philosophy this refers back to the taxing and re-taxing of the same funds.

Finally, Franklin explained that "as a general rule" the individual Tea Party organizations do  not endorse candidates; however, "individual Tea Party members can endorse. You lose no liberty by joining the Tea Party. We do not curtail rights."

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