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Posts Tagged ‘tea party patriots’

Mark Meckler, founder of the influential Tea Party Patriots, was arrested early this morning at LaGuardia International Airport in New York City after he “tried to board a flight with a semi-automatic handgun and its ammunition in his luggage.” Meckler was charged with second degree criminal possession of a weapon, a felony that could carry up to 15 years in prison, but he was released on his recognizance pending a court date in January. Meckler has a concealed weapons permit for California, where he lives, but did not have one for New York. He apparently expected that his out-of-state license would be valid and that he was complying with all laws.

via:  Think Progress
HERE

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Tea Party Patriots Investigated: ‘They Use You and Abuse You’


Pricey political consultants and fame-seeking leaders: A grassroots group cozies up to the DC establishment and alienates the activists who put it on the map.
February 15, 2011 |

Two years ago, Tea Party Patriots got its start as a scrappy, ground-up conservative organization. Its rowdy activists demanded more transparency and less business-as-usual in the nation’s capital, and they worked hard to elect candidates who they believed wouldn’t succumb to the ways of Washington. But it didn’t take long for the grassroots tea party organization to embrace the DC establishment—and some of its more questionable practices.

Lately, Tea Party Patriots (TPP) has started to resemble the Beltway lobbying operations its members have denounced. The group’s leaders have cozied up to political insiders implicated in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and have paid themselves significant salaries. TPP accepted the use of a private jet and a large donation of anonymous cash right before a key election, and its top officials have refused to discuss how the money was spent. And recently, the group has hired several big-time fundraising and public relations firms that work for the who’s who of the Republican political class, including some of the GOP’s most secretive campaign operations.

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Tea Party Convention Is Canceled

New York Times – September 24, 2010, 11:04 am

By KATE ZERNIKE

The Tea Party is off.

At least, the National Tea Party Unity Convention that was being planned for mid-October in Las Vegas is off. It was supposed to be a repeat of the convention in Nashville last February, which drew 600 “delegates” (and almost as many reporters) and an adoring audience for Sarah Palin, the keynote speaker.

Sponsored by Tea Party Nation, a social networking site, the convention was supposed to emphasize Tea Party groups working together — a contrast to the convention in February, which was plagued by infighting among groups, with sponsors and speakers dropping out right up until its opening hours. Organizers chose Las Vegas not least because it is the center of the Senate race that Tea Party activists would most dearly love to win: Sharron Angle, a Republican supported by Tea Party groups, is challenging Harry Reid, the leader of the Democratic majority.

Barbee Kinnison, a Tea Party activist in Las Vegas who had been helping organize the convention, sent an e-mail to supporters saying that it was with “deep sorrow” that she had to announce “the convention is just not going to happen.”

Tea Party Nation still draws scorn from some other Tea Party groups, which have raised eyebrows at asking people to spend more than $200 to attend a convention, so it was not clear what this said about the strength of the movement. Tea Party Patriots, a large umbrella for about 2,700 local Tea Party groups nationwide, had criticized the media attention on the convention in February, saying it was not a real representation of Tea Party activism.

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Tea Partiers Riding To Arizona’s Rescue

TPM MUCKRAKER

Zachary Roth | May 14, 2010, 1:17PM

Tea Party activists are riding to Arizona’s rescue in the state’s time of need.

Conservative activists recently launched a “Buycott”, urging people to support and do business with several Arizona-based companies, including US Airways, Best Western, and U-Haul.* And others are planning a rally to “Stand With Arizona.”

The efforts come in response to calls from progressives to boycott the state as a result of the controversial immigration law it passed last month. As we reported yesterday, the mayor of Phoenix has said the city faces a “near economic crisis” as a result of lost revenue.

Gina Loudon, a St. Louis-based Tea Party leader, who helped get the Buycott off the ground and is tracking its impact, told TPMmuckraker that it likely has generated “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” in spending for the companies involved, but said she hadn’t yet had a chance to count the receipts she’s been sent. “The numbers are probably astounding, as soon as I have time to add them up,” she said.

Loudon recently helped organize similar Buycotts of Ford and Whole Foods, after both companies came under fire from progressive activists. “I can’t imagine right now in this American economy that anybody wants a boycott of anything,” she said. “I think it’s incredibly destructive.”

Separately, grassroots conservatives activists have organized a rally for May 29 in Tempe, where participants will show support for Arizona in the face of “left-wing bullies.”

A message on the website for the Stand With Arizona campaign declares:

Arizona is under heavy fire from the left-wing bullies for trying to protect its own citizens from the ravages of illegal immigration. The entire state is being attacked as ‘racist,’ ‘nazi’ and ‘extremist.’ (Sound familiar?) The left-wing bullies believe they can target, isolate and neutralize Arizona, and thereby pressure the people of Arizona to stop enforcing the law.

It continues: “If you support Arizona’s right to pass reasonable laws for the protection of its own citizens, you are hereby invited to JOIN US on May 29th.”

Both the Buycott and the rally were promoted in an email sent last night by the Tea Party Patriots, perhaps the largest organized Tea Party faction.
* An earlier version of this post said incorrectly said that Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) called for a boycott of Arizona businesses. In fact, he called for a more limited sanction against conventions and conferences in the state.

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Tea party in Hartford, Connecticut in 2009

Feeling The Heat, Tea Partiers Denounce Violence

TPM Muckraker

Zachary Roth | March 26, 2010, 1:12PM

Tea Partiers and others on the right are starting to distance themselves from the recent spate of violence and racism that has characterized the opposition to health-care reform.

In a letter to President Obama and Congress released yesterday, an alliance of Florida Tea Party groups called the Tea Party movement “a peaceful movement” and declared that they “stand in stark opposition to any person using derogatory characterizations, threats of violence, or disparaging terms toward members of Congress or the President.”

A similar coalition in Colorado — where the office of Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) recently notified police about a phone call it received threatening violence — released a similar statement. “Tea party and similar groups across Colorado are saddened tonight to hear of threats made upon Democratic lawmakers in response to the passing their recent health insurance reform legislation, specifically … Rep. Betsy Markey,” it said.

And FreedomWorks, the Washington grassroots lobbying group that has helped co-ordinate Tea Party events put out a statement declaring “political violence is both immoral and ineffective, and will only set the movement back.”

Separately, Debbie Dooley, a co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party and a national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, told Fox News: “We support peaceful means,” adding, “there are so many Tea Party groups that are out there. … It’s like herding cats. It’s impossible.”

Even Glenn Beck — not known for his cool head — has counseled his followers against violence, calling it counter-productive.

As we’ve reported, the last few days have seen a spate of violent attacks on Democratic offices around the country, as well as threats against several Democrats who voted for reform. The protests over the weekend at the Capitol involved incidents of racism and homophobia.

So it’s significant that some Tea Partiers and their allies are starting to feel the need to distance themselves from the violence, for fear of being associated with it. In normal times, it might be unremarkable for activists to declare that violence is bad. But these are hardly normal times.

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Former AK Gov. Sarah Palin

‘Warning: Tea Party In Danger’: Leader Slams Palin As ‘Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’

TPM Muckraker

Zachary Roth | February 12, 2010, 9:59AM

A prominent Tea Party leader from Texas is warning that the movement “is becoming nothing more than a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party,” and slamming Sarah Palin as representing “a growing insider’s attack to the heart of the Tea Party.”

Dale Robertson, the founder of TeaParty.org, is just the latest Tea Partier to express concern that the movement is being hijacked by the GOP.

In a lengthy statement — entitled “Warning: Tea Party In Danger” — posted yesterday on the TeaParty.org homepage, Robertson instructs his felllow Tea Partiers to “[b]e alert to turncoats and deceivers being herded into the Tea Party by usurpers from the weakened Republican Party for the sole purpose of capturing our populist movement.”

Robertson continues:

[W]hat I am witnessing is an attempted defilement of the concept of what the Tea Party’s purposes are and where we are going. The bastardization of our message I find bilious and disingenuous on its face.Tea Party members are being eyed as just another piece of voting meat. Tea Party members are targeted for filling the rank and file of minion laden political operations, most of which are lead (sic) by failed Republican hacks.

As for Palin, whose appearance last week at a controversial Tea Party convention appears to have given her a claim to be the de facto leader of the Tea Party movement, Robertson derides her “neo-con flippant viewpoint” and calls her “a duck out of water among true constitutional conservatives.”

He adds:

She represents a growing insider’s attack to the heart of the Tea Party. Very much like a wolf in sheep’s clothing entering in at the gate as an ally, but for all intents and purposes there to seize and capture, not only one or two stray sheep, but the whole flock!

The Houston-based Robertson rose to prominence in the movement last year when he helped organize local rallies and founded Teaparty.org, a for-profit conservative activist site. But his influence within Tea Party circles is open to question. The Houston Tea Party Patriots distanced themselves from him after a photograph emerged of him holding a sign that compared taxpayers to “niggars.”

Robertson’s animus toward the GOP also appears to have developed only recently Last month, he complained to a reporter that he had been trying to contact the RNC to discuss working together, but hadn’t received a call back.

Still, Robertson is hardly alone in warning that Republicans are trying to hijack the Tea Party movement. Several grassroots Tea Partiers have sounded similar alarms — some to TPMmuckraker — partly in reference to the convention at which Palin spoke.

You can read Robertson’s full statement here.

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Lloyd Marcus

In Damage Control Mode, Tea Party Express Slams ‘Smears’

TPM Muckraker

Zachary Roth | February 1, 2010, 9:52AM

In an aggressive damage control effort launched in the wake of a barrage of negative publicity, a leading Tea Party group created by a Republican consulting firm is pushing back against what it calls “false and malicious attacks.”

The Tea Party Express (TPE) yesterday sent an email to supporters slamming “attack hit pieces” by TPMmuckraker and other outlets. The recent stories, writes TPE’s Lloyd Marcus under the TPE banner, amount to “a range of rumors, accusations, allegations, smears and mischaracterizations of what we at the Tea Party Express are supposedly about.” Marcus, the African-American country singer who has become a prominent TPE spokesman, promises another email soon that will “debunk” the “smears.”

In fact, much of the recent criticism of TPE, which was launched by Russo, Marsh, a well-connected Republican consulting firm, has come from other members of the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party Patriots have accused TPE of being a GOP front group at odds with the grassroots Tea Party ethos, and have suggested that Russo, Marsh intends to profit financially from the venture. TPMmuckraker reported in December that the majority of spending by the PAC that controls TPE went to Russo, Marsh, which is led by the veteran California Republican operative Sal Russo.

Before withdrawing last week citing scheduling issues, TPE had planned to attend the upcoming National Tea Party Convention, which itself has suffered a barrage of attacks by grassroots Tea Partiers who see it as an effort to hijack the movement for profit.

In yesterday’s email — oddly titled, “I have some juicy dirt about Tea Party Express” — Marcus writes that he sees the criticism as evidence of success. “You know [Tea Party Express] has become a powerful force when people take shots at you,” he writes.

Marcus includes video footage from TPE rallies across the country. “This is our record of who we are, and we’re proud of it,” he writes, “and I can tell you that I won’t let anyone even try to rewrite this history!”

An excerpt from the email follows:

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