Organizer of ‘Crash the Tea Party’ receives threats
By Anita Kissée KATU News and KATU.com Staff
Story Published: Apr 14, 2010 at 12:57 AM PDT Story Updated: Apr 14, 2010 at 8:32 PM PDT
PORTLAND, Ore. – A group planning to infiltrate Tea Party protests on Tax Day is led by a local teacher who has received threats after it became known he was behind the group.
During April 15’s Tea Party rallies, Beaverton Middle School teacher Jason Levin’s group plans to dress and act like Tea Party members but “crazier” with the goal to damage the movement’s reputation. However, members of the Tea Party movement said that’s defamation. They’re also now claiming that Levin worked on his “Crash the Tea Party” Web site when he should have been teaching.
Levin admits he did have plans to dress up like a member of the movement, but that all changed after his face and personal number were posted on the Internet. “My phone rang around the clock,” he said.
On his answering machine he received messages like: “Hey Jason, this is Robins Mitchell in Houston, Texas, again. … We’re going to (expletive deleted) you April 15 if you try to mess with the Tea Party.”
He said he plans to make the movement look bad by misspelling signs and making wild claims, which is an idea he borrowed from a recent counter-protest by Twitter.
“So they infiltrated this group and stood next to them holding up these signs that were equally ludicrous as Westborough signs. Eventually, the people dispersed because they realized nobody could tell the kooks from the kooks,” Levin said.
He said he worked with friends around the country to develop the idea and said they felt the movement is almost out of control, especially after last summer’s health care town hall meetings where health care overhaul opponents shouted down proponents.
“So rather than fight fire with fire, we decided, rather than shouting at them as their opponents, that we would do something a little more panache, and that was to infiltrate the movement and try to take it down,” Levin said.
On his Web site he says his group wants to take down the movement “by any non-violent means necessary.”