Sunday, December 16, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Clint Tarver

Clinton Tarver is a well-known gourmet hot dog vendor in Lansing, Michigan. Legislators like him on a bipartisan basis. He has spent the past 16 years as a small business owner. His website, Clint’s Hotdog Cart, promotes his cart and casual catering service.

Clint runs a hotdog cart from April through November at Michigan Ave. and Capitol Ave. across from the State Capitol. He does catering for large and small venues the remaining months.

He had a catering job last Tuesday in Lansing near the Capitol. He was hired by Americans for Prosperity to give out hotdogs at their tent.

It was the wrong gig at the wrong time for Clint.

Americans for Prosperity were boosters of the Republican’s Right to Work statute, which was up for a final vote last Tuesday.

The unions organized a march and demonstration in opposition to the legislation. The estimated 10,000-12,000 union supporters were mostly peaceful and law abiding. It was incredibly mellow compared to the Wisconsin demonstrations and riots of the past two years.

However, a few demonstrators attacked the Americans for Prosperity tent. Clint was caught in the middle. Perhaps we can call him “collateral damage.” Clint’s catering equipment and supplies were destroyed in the process.

Insults were hurled at him. The white demonstrators called him an Uncle Tom and used the “N” word. They said he deserved what he got.

The attack on the tent and Clint was captured on video, giving rise to the argument of some union supporters that the attack was a setup by the conservatives. No evidence has surfaced to support this theory.

Democrats in the Michigan House adopted a resolution supporting Clint and promised to hire him for a catering event in the Fall.

The Republicans went further. A Republican Representative’s office set up a website soliciting funds to compensate Clint for his losses. raised $33,000 as of Friday.

Clint Tarver is overwhelmed. He said Friday “Right now, I’m just thanking everyone for the gifts and love they’ve shown me. I’ve forgiven the people who broke all my stuff. I’ve prayed for them and that’s where I’m at now.”

Clint promises to unveil a new cart and a vegetarian hot dog next March, help out his ailing sister, and give some money to his church.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Clint, you deserve it.

Clint Tarver is Pure Michigan. 

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