The Roanoke Tea Party rates candidates for election using a two-tiered system: one for candidates that have held elective office and another for challengers.

Our membership is primarily interested in the candidates’ record in upholding the Constitution of the United States. We are also committed to fiscal responsibility and limited government, and expect elected officials to uphold their Oath of Office, which states:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

For candidates with a public voting record, we assign one of three ratings:

  • Epic Fail: Violations so egregious as to have lost all public trust. They should be removed from office immediately.
  • Failure with some hope of redemption: The Candidate has violated their Oath of Office, but generally supports Constitutional issues and fiscal responsibility. While violating their Oath of Office cannot be excused, there seems to be some hope they can redeem themselves by focusing on upholding the Constitution of the United States.
  • Consistently Follows Oath: The incumbent is a rare person that has the courage to buck the trends in DC that consistently flaunt the Constitution of the United States. They consistently uphold their Oath of Office.

For candidates who are seeking office for the first time, we use one of these two ratings:

  • Little/No chance the candidate will uphold their oath: Based on their positions or answers to vetting questions or the Constitutional test, they obviously don’t understand the Constitution and therefore cannot be expected to uphold it.
  • They Understand the Constitution and Seem Ready to Uphold Their Oath: Based on their positions and answers to vetting questions and the Constitutional test, the candidate appears to understand the Constitution. They appear ready to make decisions that are consistent with the oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.

Our ratings for the 2012 Republican primary:

Virginia House District 6

  • Bob Goodlatte – Epic Fail  Due to his votes for SOPA, CISPA, and the Patriot Act renewal, which threaten our civil liberties, his continued voting for funding of Federal regulatory agencies that are crushing economic freedom, his votes for Medicare Part D, continued votes that fund parts of ObamaCare, repeated votes to increase the debt ceiling, and a twenty-year incumbency that breaks his original 5-term pledge, Congressman Goodlatte has utterly compromised his oath. We have downgraded him from our 2010 rating of Failure with some hope of redemption.
  • Karen Kwiatkowski – Understands the Constitution and seems ready to uphold the Oath of Office  Though Ms. Kwaitkowski has not held an elective office, she consistently refers to the text of the Constitution, regardless of issue, and expresses a passionate defense of limited government, as enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.

U.S. Senate

  • George Allen – Epic Fail  George Allen’s record as a U.S. Senator is littered with votes to increase the size and scope of the Federal government, among them, multiple votes to increase the debt ceiling by trillions of dollars, No Child Left Behind, and Medicare Part D.
  • E.W. Jackson – Understands the Constitution and seems ready to uphold the Oath of Office  Full disclosure: two members of the Roanoke Tea Party Board serve on Bishop Jackson’s campaign staff. Perhaps for this reason, we are intimately familiar with his positions and strengths as a campaigner. If elected to the U.S. Senate, E.W. Jackson would be a fierce advocate for limited Constitutional government.
  • Bob Marshall – Consistently Follows Oath  During his career in the Virginia General Assembly, Delegate Bob Marshall has demonstrated a rock-solid commitment to Tea Party principles. However, his less than inspired campaign gives us pause about his ability to compete effectively against Tim Kaine in the General.
  • Jamie Radtke – Little/No chance the candidate will uphold the Oath of Office  We believe Ms. Radtke has a clear grasp of the Constitution, and holds correct positions on the major issues. However, her conduct as Chair of the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation – in particular during the 2010 Virginia Tea Party convention – revealed some disquieting tendencies. Her failure to follow the by-laws of a volunteer organization in order to stifle dissent shakes our confidence that she would uphold her oath.
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