Thursday, June 24, 2010

POLITICS - Tea Party Twister

"The Tea Party Conspiracy Theory" by Benjamin Sarlin, Daily Beast 6/23/2010


Florida Republicans are accusing the state’s Tea Party, which will have its own candidates on the ballot in about two dozen races, of being a Democratic front operation. Is it?

Have conservatives created a monster? Tea Party leaders are concerned that their brand is being used against them in the form of phony candidates that would split the conservative vote. A blowup over a newly minted third party in Florida has become the latest to draw their ire.

The Florida Tea Party, which will be on the ballot in close to two dozen state and federal races this November, is raising eyebrows by fielding a number of candidates with limited experience and campaign operations, including a handful registered as Democrats. Conservative activists have sued to stop the party from participating in the elections, and they aren’t the only ones upset—the state Republican Party is sounding the alarm as well in the strongest terms possible.

The accusations mirror similar claims in Nevada, where a Tea Party Senate candidate, indicted businessman Scott Ashjian, has been attacked by a number of Tea Party groups throughout the country as a fraud out to bolster Harry Reid’s re-election hopes. The Tea Party Express’ PAC even took out an ad to warn Nevada conservatives to stay away.

Twister, as in tornado


"Republican Party Spends Over $2 Million Fighting Tea Party Challenges To GOP Establishment" Think Progress


Despite a promise by RNC Chairman Michael Steele earlier this year that the “Republican Party will not to meddle in local races — especially GOP primaries featuring candidates backed by Tea Party activists,” the GOP appears to be focused on centrally planning their candidates. According to a report by ThinkProgress using Federal Elections Committee data, Republican political action committees controlled by current GOP members of Congress have spent at least $2,162,790 on establishment-picked candidates in primaries against tea party candidates.

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