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(60,356 posts)
Wed Oct 30, 2013, 12:37 AM Oct 2013

Michigan community still Ground Zero in struggle against Tea Party.

Jennifer Hilzinger is one of many Troy residents who sometimes can’t understand what’s going on in her hometown. One minute she’s living in the place she chose for its diversity, for its fine schools, for its friendly mix of amenities. The next, she’s being followed down the street by a guy on a bike.

Hilzinger was carrying petitions door-to-door to recall then-Mayor Janice Daniels, whose brief term as the city’s mayor drew unwelcome publicity. She knocked at one house, where the occupant refused to sign. She continued down the street, but “about two minutes later he hops on his bike and starts following me. He says ‘what you’re doing is wrong, she was fairly elected.’ He just followed and yelled at me.”

As political confrontations go, this was pretty tame, Hilzinger admits. Troy, like a lot of prosperous suburbs, doesn’t really do confrontation at the street level. But in recent years, the Oakland County city of 81,000 has become something of a ground zero for a grassroots tea-party movement that has led to plenty of strife.

Residents are squabbling over city finances, starting to recover after a slump that nearly led to the closure of the library. Feelings are also running high over the delayed opening of a new transit center – one of Mayor Daniels’ first battles, which she voted against shortly after her 2011 election. And while the emotions have ebbed somewhat since the recall fight last year, Daniels’ candidacy for a city council seat inspired the anti-tea party website Keep Troy Strong and a parody Twitter account in her name. Sample: Janice Daniels for Council – Because I’m the only candidate promising a border fence between Troy and Madison Hgts!


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