Pa. grass-roots tea party leaders chalk up GOP wins, return to jobs as moms
Wednesday, November 3, 2010; 6:43 PM
DOYLESTOWN TOWNSHIP, PA. - On election night, Anastasia Przybylski and Ana Puig, co-chairs of the Kitchen Table Patriots tea party of Bucks County, savored the spoils of victory, shaking the hand of the congressman-elect, Republican Mike Fitzgerald, and handing him a gift when he stopped by their low-key bash at the Moose Lodge to show his appreciation for their hard work on his behalf.
The next day, the two 38-year-olds returned to their full-time jobs as homemakers. The two mothers, angry over the Obama administration's stimulus package and health-care reform, had stirred up enough fuss before Tuesday's election to help kick one Pennsylvania Democrat out of office and stop another from entering the Senate.
"It's back to mommy land," Przybylski said. "We had a lot of politicians stop by last night: state representatives, senators. All day long I've been getting e-mails and phone calls thanking us.
"But I'm tired. I am relaxed," Przybylski said as one of her three children shouted, "Mommy, mommy, mommy!" "I'm cleaning out my refrigerator. I'm thinking of all the things I need to get that I couldn't in the last few weeks. I'm in my sweats."
On Tuesday, Przybylski wore a soft sweater, brown slacks, a big brown belt and a warrior face as she hopscotched from polling place to polling place as a monitor. Puig barreled up and down State Road 202 in her minivan.
A lot was at stake, starting with the reputation of the Kitchen Table Patriots. Since early September, its volunteers had made nearly 140,000 calls and knocked on 67,000 doors in support of Fitzpatrick, who was vying to unseat Rep. Pat Murphy (D), and of Republican Patrick Toomey in his bid for the Senate against incumbent Democrat Joe Sestak. Both Republicans won.
The women said they have lost friends who are more moderate and liberal. They said neighbors look at them sideways now after their activities were publicized by the local media.
"I know I'm exposing myself in my town, to my kids' friends, to my neighbors," Przybylski said. "But this is who I am. This is what I believe."
Puig is a Brazilian who immigrated to the United States at age 14. She said she got into the campaign because she saw America sliding "toward Marxism," as she believes has happened in her native country.
Przybylski, who married her high school sweetheart, said she was driven nuts by the stimulus package, the corporate bailouts and the financial packages to help homeowners.
"My husband and I scraped and saved to buy our house," a four-bedroom colonial in Doylestown Township, she said. "When we bought this house, they were saying we could afford several thousand a month more. I was saying, 'Are you crazy?'
"It's not a McMansion. When did granite countertops become a must-have? When did you have to have a designer car? If we had bought a bigger house, we'd probably be in bad, bad shape," she said.