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Tea party evolves, achieves state policy victories

By Bill Barrow
Associated Press / August 12, 2012
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ATLANTA—Tea party activists in Georgia helped kill a proposed sales tax increase that would have raised billions of dollars for transportation projects.

In Pennsylvania, tea partyers pushed to have taxpayers send public school children to private schools.

In Ohio, they drove a statewide referendum to block state health insurance mandates.

These and other battles are evidence of the latest phase of the conservative movement, influencing state and local policy, perhaps more effectively than on a national level. Tea party organizers are refocusing, sometimes without the party label, to build broader support for their initiatives.

The strategy has produced victories that activists say prove their staying power.

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