Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) March 4, 2011
The American Tenants Association (ATENA) (http://www.americantenants.com), the country's only nationwide advocate for residential renters, criticized Tea Party Nation President Judson Phillips today for Mr. Phillips' recent remarks that renters shouldn't be allowed to vote.
Mr. Phillips, in a report on CBS MarketWatch, was quoted as saying that it "makes a lot of sense" to restrict voting to "property owners." According to CBS MarketWatch, Mr. Phillips made his remarks on a recent Tea Party Nation radio broadcast. The Tea Party leader added that the Founding Fathers "put restrictions on the right to vote" because property owners have a "vested interest" in their communities and renters do not.
Bill Deegan, ATENA's founder and Executive Director, expressed dismay at Mr. Phillips' remarks. "The Tea Party's assault on our country's 100 million renters is an unprecedented and unwarranted attack. What's ironic about Mr. Phillips' comments is that the original Tea Party was motivated by the call 'no taxation without representation.' Well I'd like to clue Mr. Phillips in on a little secret. Renters pay taxes. We can start with federal, state and local income taxes, and continue through to sales and use taxes and in some states taxes on rent. As I'm sure Mr. Phillips is aware the list is endless."
Mr. Deegan went on to say that "to deprive renters of the right to vote is ridiculous on its face. The Founding Fathers also didn't allow women or Blacks to vote. Is Mr. Phillips suggesting that the right to vote should be taken away from these citizens as well?"
Mr. Deegan's concerns were supported by ATENA's Executive Vice President Chris Carlsen who disputed Mr. Phillips' claim that only property owners have a "vested interest" in their communities.
"The Tea Party should know that within the ranks of their own membership are thousands upon thousands of renters. Would Mr. Phillips deny the right to vote to his own membership? In addition to paying their own fair share of taxes, renters contribute millions of hours of volunteer time to their communities. I think that qualifies as indicating a vested interest," Mr. Carlsen concluded.
The American Tenants Association was founded in 2009. Membership is free and is open to all renters and supporters of tenants' rights. Its web address is http://www.americantenants.com.