Split In Tea Party Movement

Remember this? - the historic 9.12.08 March on D.C. by independent patriots

Here’s a follow-up on my previous post “Tea Parties Hijacked By GOP?” 
I learnt from reading the following article that the grassroots Tea Party movement is now split between at least two factions:

  1. Tea Party Express, which has been hijacked by the GOP via its political consulting firm, Russo, Marsh, & Associates; and
  2. Tea Party Patriots, which remains grassroots and autonomous.

Take away thought: Tea Party Patriots are the good guys! Avoid the Express like the plague.
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
The Raw Story December 31, 2009
Revelations about the connections between a Republican lobbying firm with a long history of astroturfing and one of the two main factions of “Tea Party” protesters are raising fresh concerns that the GOP has successfully hijacked the right-wing Tea Party movement.
A Libertarian political consultant interviewed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow agrees that in many places the tea partiers’ struggle against being coopted is already “a lost cause.”
“In some places it’s being fought out,” Stephen Gordon told Maddow on Tuesday. “In some places it’s always been a lost cause. … People are trying to do the right thing, but GOP organizations and campaigns are effectively taking over the Tea Party movement in some places in the country.”
The involvement of the Republican lobbying firm of Russo, Marsh, and Associates with the group known as the Tea Party Express has been apparent for some time, but Talking Points Memo backed up those suspicions on Tuesday with hard numbers from FEC filings. The filings show that between July and November of this year, the PAC behind the Tea Party Express spent almost two-thirds of its $1.33 million budget on payments to Russo, Marsh or people connected with it.
As Raw Story reported last month, the firm’s apparent goal is to channel populist Tea Party discontent into Republican electoral victories in 2010 and 2012. Members of the more genuinely grassroots Tea Party Patriots have been expressing their anger over this for months, and Talking Points Memo has now obtained an email from one Patriot asking, “What would the true grassroots people think if they knew their money is being spent in this manner?”
Additional analysis of the FEC reports by Mother Jones has turned up a case of the PAC spending $1600 on dinner for six at a fancy Sacramento restaurant.
“Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Express have been clashing for months over which group truly represents the movement,” the article notes. “A flashpoint came this fall when a member of the Tea Party Patriots’ board, Amy Kremer, switched sides and joined Tea Party Express, allegedly taking the Patriots’ extensive email database with her and locking the rest of the board out of the TPP website. In November, this led the Patriots to go to court to get an injunction against her to reclaim ownership of the group’s electronic resources. The fight hasn’t helped the Patriots’ view of their tea party rivals.”
Gordon explained to Maddow that the Tea Party movement was vulnerable to takeover at the start, because “many of these people had no political experience … so when somebody comes in and offers to help organize and help them with these things, yeah, that’s great.”
“But what these Republican consultants want,” Gordon concluded, “they want those email lists, they want the dollars, they want to control the organization so that they can exploit it for their political purposes. … Unfortunately, the political purposes of most establishment Republicans is not the same as a grassroots conservative Tea Party person.”

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10 years ago

The Tea Party Movement was hijacked by the Republican Party a long time ago. Remember, the movement started in 2007; then, its focus was on protecting the rights of the individual, not on promoting a particular political ideology. After Obama became President, it became infiltrated by racists and right-wing wackos. Last spring, Fox News took over, providing funding for numerous Tea Party events, then promoted and covered these carefully orchestrated events as “news.” Now the movement appears to be one that is devoted strictly to promoting only the Republican agenda and opposing the President just for the heck of it.… Read more »

10 years ago
Reply to  Montelimar

So did you attend a Tea Party and witness the right-wing wackos and racists there yourself? Or just what MSNBC “reporters” told you? These “carefully orchestrated” movements began with one woman, BY HERSELF, in Seattle, Ms. Liberty Belle. It was then picked up by CONSERVATIVE bloggers who promoted the movement via the web. If this is so-called news, then why did CNN send a reporter there (who was later fired for her actions). Was MSNBC covering them live – no. Was ABC,NBC, CBS? No. That’s because they are propoganda outlets and wouldn’t recognize news if it hit them in the… Read more »

10 years ago

I get my news from more than one source, and Fox News isn’t among those I consider to be trustworthy. I occasionally look at the Fox website to see how much it deliberately distorts the truth. The coverage of the Tea Parties they funded was heavily censored; they never showed the racists and other extremists who participated. There are numerous videos on YouTube and other websites that show what really happened at these events. If you are concerned about “keeping our freedoms,” why do you condone denying those freedoms to one minority? You can’t call this the land of the… Read more »

10 years ago

do be so good as to point to evidence (other than neoNazi skinheads) how Conservatives “condone denying those freedoms to one minority?” Ever hear of Proposition 8??? Don’t you get tired of repeating the same lie over and over and over again? What lie? The self-proclaimed president and founder of the Tea Party showed his true colors last year. https://www.pensitoreview.com/2010/01/04/photo-shows-top-tea-bagger-holding-sign-with-n-word-which-he-misspelled/ I’ve signed the Conservatives’ Pledge on Racism, why haven’t you? I’m not a “proud conservative.” Park Service who does official counts for these events put it closer to 750,000. No, the National Park Service never made an estimate of the… Read more »