ALA pulls out of Tea Party Nation convention

posted at 2:12 pm on January 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The controversial Tea Party Nation Convention in Tennessee has found itself in controversy over its media policy and its prices. Now the controversy has deepened over its financial processes and handling of money — and it has lost one of its co-sponsors as a result. The grassroots organization American Liberty Alliance withdrew from the event, citing concerns over transparency in the handling of donations, as AC Kleinheider reports for the Nashville Post:

The former webmaster of Tea Party Nation, the group sponsoring next month’s National Tea Party convention at Opryland, has written a “whistleblower’s” account of his experience working with the group while it was in its embryonic stages. And what he reveals apparently has led a key tea party leader to remove his group from the sponsor list.

In a post on his personal blog, In Media Res, Kevin Smith, an owner of the web design company HearSAY, writes that Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips took advantage of his volunteer computer experience in the creation of Tea Party Nation’s web architecture and profited from the enterprise.

Smith writes that his “zeal for the movement” meant he delivered Phillips’ web services at a heavily discounted rate at the expense of his own business. He believed that he was working for an nonprofit effort that would only supply founder Phillips with a little extra income to replace income he was losing while working for the movement instead of practicing law, he writes.

Smith reports being shocked when Phillips filed to create Tea Party Nation as a for-profit corporation. Disgusted with Phillips’ decision to continue taking donations for the for-profit company, Smith ultimately resigned.

Others appear to be taking umbrage as well. Eric Odom, the leader of key tea party group American Liberty Alliance, has posted a letter on his site announcing that his group will not be participating in the event as announced based on how the Tea Party Nation group operates.

Well, I’m not sure that a for-profit model is inappropriate for a movement that seeks to endorse free-market principles. After all, plenty of people have profited on the margins at least, with T-shirt and bumper-sticker sales. In order to get big names to appear at conventions, money has to get raised — and the profit motive would encourage more of such organizing efforts. However, regardless of whether one uses a profit or non-profit model, donations cannot be commingled with personal funds, and some independent oversight has to exist to make sure that the effort doesn’t exploit the attendees or contributors for hidden purposes.

These problems could just be part of a painful learning curve, and not any nefarious behavior, as Eric Odom and I discuss in an exclusive interview on the subject of ALA’s withdrawal. Odom wanted to emphasize that ALA’s decision was based on member input about concerns regarding the process, and not any conclusion about motivations of the organizers themselves:

Obviously, there seems to be a lot of room for improvement here, including how the organizers have handled the media access to the event. (Full disclosure: I received a very kind and professional invitation to cover the event, but my schedule wouldn’t allow it.) I’m with Eric in noting that conservatives need this kind of organizing impulse from the grassroots, and that profit models should be encouraged (as well as non-profit). I doubt that TPN was going to make a windfall in any case, and they’d be fortunate to break even. But they need to make sure that they have full transparency on all financial transactions, full separation from personal finances of its organizers, and more independent oversight.

Hopefully, this will be a learning experience for everyone.

Update: I should have hat-tipped Dave Weigel, who first let me know about the withdrawal.

Update II: In an e-mail to me, Judson Phillips says the assumptions of the Kleinheider article are false; he will have a statement later. He also makes the fair point that I should have asked him for his side of the story — and he’s right.

Update III: Judson says he will have a full statement later tonight, which I will immediately add to the post. In the meantime, though, AC Kleinheider sent me this response:

I contacted Mr. Phillips shortly after Kevin Smith’s post went live for comment. He told me repeatedly via email he would call. He never did. When other media outlets started picking up on the story I went with what I had. He had his opportunity to tell his side and still does. Mr. Phillips has both my email and cell phone number.

Sounds like AC did the due diligence. But I should have afforded Judson at least that opportunity as well, so Judson’s point regarding my post is still well taken.

Update IV: Judson released the following statement late on Wednesday evening, and I’m publishing it in full:

January 14, 2010

Tea Party Nation would like to announce the following efforts and status of the Nationwide TEA Party Convention:

Media

First, we are pleased to announce that the convention has sold out and we now have a waiting list which we will continue to try to clear as opportunity presents.

In this light, we have had numerous requests for press passes and the resulting expected coverage. However, as we have set expectations that this is a working convention, we have tried not to make it a media event.

In fact, Tea Party Nation has received hundreds of requests for press credentials to cover this convention. Everyone from a small town newspaper in Iowa to Fox News has asked for press credentials. We have had requests from Canada, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Norway, Croatia and Japan. We have been hard pressed to accommodate all of these requests and do not have the space or resources to support the entirety of the press corp. Indeed, we have asked the hotel if they would be willing to provide a press room during the convention.

However, given these practical limitations, we have approved the following press organizations:

Fox News
Breitbart.com
Townhall.com
The Wall Street Journal
World Net Daily

About Tea Party Nation:

Tea Party Nation is a C-Corp. We do not focus on donations, and provide a service and network for like-minded conservatives and TEA Party leadership. TEA Party Nation is operated entirely by volunteers. Tea Party Nation has an Advisory Board made up of nine (9) individuals who have been with Tea Party Nation since its formation. This Advisory Board is instrumental in greeting new members, moderating the site, putting out our newsletter and making the policies and decisions for Tea Party Nation.

Between last February and the present, Tea Party Nation has seen members come and go. We have tried to deal fairly with our present and former relationships, however, not without some criticism. This criticism has been unfortunate and we believe, unwarranted. However, it is the policy of Tea Party Nation not to focus on past challenges, but to stay focused on the task of advancing the conservative cause and defeating liberalism.

With that in mind, we will not be making any comments regarding former members.

The National Tea Party Convention

Last summer, our founder, Judson Phillips, approached the Advisory Board about a need for the Tea Party movement to move beyond holding rallies. At this time, the Tea Party Nation Advisory Board discussed the need for a Tea Party Convention. We envisioned a convention where delegates from the various Tea Party groups could gather, network, gain training and discuss the advancement of the movement. In this light, we began development of the plan resulting in the current incarnation of the event.

Certainly, we are not professional event planners. We have been most appreciative of the many members, volunteers and professionals who have helped us bring this vision to fruition. These people have managed a tremendous task and put a convention together in a matter of weeks that normally takes a year to plan.

As stated, the convention is now sold out. There is an extensive waiting list. We have delegates coming from Maine to California and as far away as Hawaii. And as of this morning, we invited RNC Chairman Michael Steele and DNC Chairman, Tim Kaine to come and have a dialogue with the attendees. We are awaiting a response and are looking forward to an excellent event with the excitement of the attendees, leadership and speakers. We are grateful for the overwhelming response and appreciate the positive results expected from this convention.

In the end, we appreciate the fact that differences of opinion exist, but our leadership and our volunteers are committed to the successful conclusion of this convention. We appreciate the interest of all those associated with this event.

Tea Party Nation
www.teapartynation.com


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Well, I’m not sure that a for-profit model is inappropriate for a movement that seeks to endorse free-market principles.

It depends on whether it is selling a product, or begging for donations.

Count to 10 on January 13, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Full disclosure: I received a very kind and professional invitation to cover the event, but my schedule wouldn’t allow it.

I use an excuse like this when I cannot golf…schedule = wife.

WashJeff on January 13, 2010 at 2:17 PM

A ‘for profit’ outfit that is making money primarily on the backs of people generously donating time and cash is not one I would be proud of.

GnuBreed on January 13, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Now the controversy has deepened over its financial processes and handling of money

To quote our president, “As I have said…” this is the one area that concerned me, and if the organizers can’t get their act together and answer specific questions, this whole thing may collapse.

notropis on January 13, 2010 at 2:19 PM

O/T:

GLOBAL WARMING NEWS ALERT (year 2000 time machine version)

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

By Charles Onians

Monday, 20 March 2000

Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

abobo on January 13, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Will the Lefties at Hot Air get over their Sarah Palin hatred for one second and let this thing rest already! Who cares if the stupid bozos in the “Media” come into the convention in Tenn. or not? What has the “Media” done for me? My kids? America? Or Americans except kiss “light skinned butt” – that’s all. Keep those creeps out! I paid my dime and I’m going to Tenn. to hear Sarah. Who cares whether or not she or the organizers make money! You homeless nit wits that run Hot Air – back off and go back to your Lefty bashing of Glenn Beck or something. Leave Sarah Palin alone. Get over it! If you feel you cannot – then get a real job flipping burgers or something – how about Community Organizer?

Cinday Blackburn on January 13, 2010 at 2:22 PM

WashJeff on January 13, 2010 at 2:17 PM

You lie.

No real golfer puts his wife above golf.

lorien1973 on January 13, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Egad. With everyone on egg shells about $$ & politcal action, you would think this Phillips would have been a little smarter than that.
These types of movements are important, but come on people, let’s run these things like we want Congress to run things.
In regards to lost income, that is the whole reason Congress has been corrupted: getting into politics bcs of the increased ability to gain more power & hence more income.
Please emulate behaviors you wish others in power would display.

Badger40 on January 13, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Sounds like they need folks who run real conventions to help them out… some of the organizations that have run science-fiction WorldCons know the routine, at least the good ones do. Of course ‘for profit’ often equates to ‘break even if you are lucky’ and then ask for hand-outs after to defray costs. But those organizations concentrate on the EVENT not the PROFIT. If you can’t hold a good event, then don’t expect there to be a decent profit. And some of the best organizations know how to utilize volunteer help, which is a great way to defray costs.

Sounds to me like these folks need some help on the ‘organizing the event to be interesting to people to come to it’ sort of deal and not the ‘how much money can we make’ deal. And a few WorldCons that made money did the wonderful thing of sending checks back to attendees as a ‘thank you’ for attending and ‘we aren’t in it for profit’. Those have been rare… you need a good team organized to stage the thing. An open organization gets help, asks for it, and shows why they need it… TPN has good models it can follow on that for those conventions that are run by people enthusiastic to stage the event.

ajacksonian on January 13, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Perceptions are important. IIRC, the same issues dogged some Minuteman factions. Lack of transparency is a killer.

a capella on January 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Hillbuzz yesterday warned About the Tea Party Convention in Tennessee.

ForNow on January 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Well, I’m not sure that a for-profit model is inappropriate for a movement that seeks to endorse free-market principles.

But this is about representative government, not the market.

So, in this context a for-profit model is inappropriate.

pseudonominus on January 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Ruined. It’s all ruined. Everyone who ever spoke the words ‘tea party convention’ is ruined. Total despair. Ruined.

myrenovations on January 13, 2010 at 2:27 PM

No real golfer puts his wife above golf.

lorien1973 on January 13, 2010 at 2:22 PM

You got me on that. I need to follow the President’s example and put golf above:
- Terrorists attacks
- Increasing unemployment
- Rising deficits

WashJeff on January 13, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Each state should have their own convention, anyway.

What fraction of Tea Party supporters can afford to travel to Tennessee?

pseudonominus on January 13, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Surely the RNC wouldn’t be up to any shenanigans here.

Would they?

Vim Toot!

mica vim toot on January 13, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Birthing pains are always rough.

SouthernGent on January 13, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Cinday Blackburn on January 13, 2010 at 2:22 PM

For someone who’s fed up with this site you sure do come back to comment a lot.

rjl1999 on January 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Smith reports being shocked when Phillips filed to create Tea Party Nation as a for-profit corporation.

Can someone please retire shocked and shocking? But then maybe everyone is licensing it from Hannity, who uses it every other sentence.

Beyond that, if I were in Smith’s shoes, I guess I’d be p***ed at Phillips for accepting a pro bono effort when Phillips is running a for-profit entity. Buck up, Phillips.

BuckeyeSam on January 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM

This seems to be more of a disagreement in expectations rather than divergent ideals.

A ‘for profit’ outfit that is making money primarily on the backs of people generously donating time and cash is not one I would be proud of.

GnuBreed on January 13, 2010 at 2:17 PM

I agree wholeheartedly. I wonder how this was initially pitched to Smith.

Phil-351 on January 13, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Everybody should read Lee Doren’s info about left wing groups like FAIR that are involved with the Tea Party Convention.

FAIR is a radical environmentalist, pro-abortion, “zero-growth” group and and sponsor of this conference.

tetriskid on January 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM

So the first convention has some glitches over the money and the media. Big whoop.

If the ALA was so superior, they should have had things clear before they signed on as sponsor.

DaydreamBeliever on January 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Is anyone else NOT surprised that a grassroots movements will be hijacked by opportunists?

Apologetic California on January 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Send Allahpundit.

myrenovations on January 13, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Really?

Cindy Munford on January 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

AP’s next QOD?

Is Palin to blame for this?

or

Won’t this hurt Palin?

katiejane on January 13, 2010 at 2:35 PM

This is probably for the best: This ‘movement’ was getting too organized by too few, and looked to become a vehicle for Certain Persons to create either the threat or the reality of a third party.

The one way–increasingly the only way–to kill a Republican takeover of the House later this year ( and coming very close to the same result in the Senate ) is to create an erratic gaffe-prone Third Party that the media will feast on

The ‘tea parties’ need to continue as authentic local grass roots protests–not become a tool for a relative few to manipulate

Janos Hunyadi on January 13, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Really?

Cindy Munford on January 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

No.

myrenovations on January 13, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Eric Odom doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling, mostly due to his long advocacy of Ron Paul. I don’t know, it is just something that sort of makes me leery of people, a connection to Ron Paul that is. It may be misplaced but in cases like this I go with my gut.

Just A Grunt on January 13, 2010 at 2:37 PM

a connection to Ron Paul
Just A Grunt on January 13, 2010 at 2:37 PM

You are not alone.
There are things to like about Ron Paul, & at the very beginning of everything, I agreed with many things he had to say.
Then he started sounding like a shrill nutbag when talking about foreign policy, jews, etc & my opinion of him went downhill from there.
Plus he’s been in politics too long IMHO.
He needs to do something else.

Badger40 on January 13, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Wow, that Lee Doren’s info sure needs to get to Sarah. I do not think she would agree to go if she knew this. I had a feeling that the left would try to infiltrate the Tea Party Movement.
L

letget on January 13, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Tea Parties need to remain Grass Roots AND attend/take over the GOP local and state committees. Otherwise the DEDE doodoo will occur again.

barnone on January 13, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Eric Odom doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling, mostly due to his long advocacy of Ron Paul. I don’t know, it is just something that sort of makes me leery of people, a connection to Ron Paul that is. It may be misplaced but in cases like this I go with my gut.

Just A Grunt on January 13, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Hmmmmmm

the_nile on January 13, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Eric Odom doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling, mostly due to his long advocacy of Ron Paul. I don’t know, it is just something that sort of makes me leery of people, a connection to Ron Paul that is. It may be misplaced but in cases like this I go with my gut.

Just A Grunt on January 13, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Ditto to what you’re saying and then some. Odom made a total mess out of the Chicago Tea Party movement, kept changing names of the movement, changing websites, made promises he couldn’t keep, begged for volunteers, but never followed thru with communication to those begging to help and couldn’t organize his way out of a paper bag.

He has zero credibility in my book. He’s all talk and no action.

Knucklehead on January 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Just A Grunt on January 13, 2010 at 2:37 PM

I am with you on that one. He gives more the, I feel dirty talking to you, vibe. Not sure why other then Ron Paul.. but there is something I can’t put my finger on.

upinak on January 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Knucklehead on January 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

ahhh, more information to why he is not my cup of tea.

upinak on January 13, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Looks like there\’s an organized effort to squelch the Tea Party in the bud particularly now that they\’ve associated themselves with Palin. Dick Armey, Ron Paul and others wanted to ride this beast and they don\’t want Palin to take advantage of it. Just as the establishment as successfully managed to keep Sarah out, looks like other grassroots are trying to do that as well.

promachus on January 13, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Knucklehead on January 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

He’s a bit of a dufus. That’s just my impression from reading some of the stuff he’s written since I’ve known the name.

lorien1973 on January 13, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Knucklehead on January 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

The guys at Hillbuzz mentioned something about having worked with some shady characters in Chicago who are now working on this convention. Interesting.

RedRedRice on January 13, 2010 at 2:50 PM

FAIR is a radical environmentalist, pro-abortion, “zero-growth” group and and sponsor of this conference.

tetriskid on January 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Send it to tips@hotair.com; maybe Ed can work that into another post about the Tea Party convention. FWIW, Riehl has been running it as well.

LastRick on January 13, 2010 at 2:50 PM

The meat of Odom’s statement:

However, throughout the evening we were met with a plethora of replies, emails and Facebook messages that revealed a high level of concern across the board. At first, I personally had tried to explain that most of the concerns were based on assumptions, but later in the evening some very compelling evidence was put forth that painted a much different picture.

I will not go into too much detail about the evidence. I’m fairly confident that it will present itself during the next few days. Plus, I still at this point hope that those who have invested money into the event will attend and make the best of it. I don’t think anyone on our leadership team wishes to discourage folks who are registered from attending the event.

There is no doubt that those who paid for the event will get a great event in return. Sarah Palin and some of the other speakers are fantastic examples of good leadership and solid conservatism. For those who could afford to attend the event, there will certainly be value in return for the money spent.

But at this point, we have to respond to the concerns and wishes of our membership. And quite a few of our members have asked that we consider sitting this one out.

In summary, the controversy surrounding the event involves conversations about the infrastructure of the Tea Party Nation and the way its finances are channeled through private bank accounts and paypal accounts.

To be clear, the for-profit model has its place in the movement. Many, MANY groups in the movement operate this way. But these groups should always have boards and oversight, and should never, ever process donations through personal paypal accounts.

LevStrauss on January 13, 2010 at 2:51 PM

promachus on January 13, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Agree – looks like a lot of squabbling over who gets to be the big dog in the Tea Party effort, who gets to decide what is the approved stance and whose place is where. Not much difference from the GOP I guess.

katiejane on January 13, 2010 at 2:53 PM

The tea party movement was a lot better when it was a small grass roots thing. Now it has sponsors, Dick Armey, and all the DC insiders getting involved in it and it appears to be corruption the process. It needs to be taken back by the people and cease this big sponsor crap.

mizflame98 on January 13, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Trying to work up the outrage, but just can’t find it. What am I missing? Also why does the ALA website have a donate money, and where does that money go?

chief on January 13, 2010 at 2:58 PM

The tea party movement was a lot better when it was a small grass roots thing. Now it has sponsors, Dick Armey, and all the DC insiders getting involved in it and it appears to be corruption the process. It needs to be taken back by the people and cease this big sponsor crap.

mizflame98 on January 13, 2010 at 2:53 PM

From what I see Freedomworks isn’t even involved in the event, which brings up the question, why?

LevStrauss on January 13, 2010 at 2:58 PM

From the moment the advertisement first appeared at the top of these pages I’ve wondered what the point of this convention was to be. Moving form grass roots to a national convention in less than one year suggests to me that one or more persons / groups with agendas of their own have begun to exert influence. I can’t say with certainty whether or not this is a bad thing, but it has made me leery of what’s happening beyond the local level.

ya2daup on January 13, 2010 at 3:01 PM

mizflame98 on January 13, 2010 at 2:53 PM

That was Erickson’s point (RedState) the other day. A point that was not liked by a good portion of Hot Air readers; the Tea Party name and movement is getting co-opted. You want to keep it “grassroots”, now your chance. And Sarah Palin, you might want to think about backing out.

LastRick on January 13, 2010 at 3:02 PM

The one way–increasingly the only way–to kill a Republican takeover of the House later this year ( and coming very close to the same result in the Senate ) is to create an erratic gaffe-prone Third Party that the media will feast onThe ‘tea parties’ need to continue as authentic local grass roots protests–not become a tool for a relative few to manipulateJanos Hunyadi on January 13, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Agree completely.

It’s also time for Ron Paul cultists to realize he will never be and never should be President.

Connie on January 13, 2010 at 3:04 PM

He’s a bit of a dufus. That’s just my impression from reading some of the stuff he’s written since I’ve known the name.

lorien1973 on January 13, 2010 at 2:49 PM

He’s a dufus and a wannabe. He has plenty of time to speak with Ed and do interviews, but he left the Chicago movement and the good people trying to get involved, swinging in the breeze.

I’m really questioning why Ed would hitch his wagon to this loser.

Knucklehead on January 13, 2010 at 3:07 PM

OK, grassroots geniuses, what’s your idea Tea Party should be? I mean, you’ve done the shouting, the standing on the streets etc. Are you content with that or do you want to move forward? Are you ok with being treated like step c willing to build children by GOP establishment who will screw the pooch every time? Or are you willing to build a more durable coalition that can bring substantial change which can’t be dismantled by progressives again in the next two elections?

promachus on January 13, 2010 at 3:08 PM

From the moment the advertisement first appeared at the top of these pages I’ve wondered what the point of this convention was to be. Moving form grass roots to a national convention in less than one year suggests to me that one or more persons / groups with agendas of their own have begun to exert influence. I can’t say with certainty whether or not this is a bad thing, but it has made me leery of what’s happening beyond the local level.

ya2daup on January 13, 2010 at 3:01 PM

All this is doing is reaffirming Pelosi’s view that the whole Tea Party movement is astroturf. It’s not good at all.

mizflame98 on January 13, 2010 at 3:12 PM

myrenovations on January 13, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Thanks.

If people are worried about the Tea Party, just stick to your local group. It would be remarkable if misbehavior was attached to it because the Left knows that most conservatives will walk away from it. And the Left will laugh.

Cindy Munford on January 13, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Cinday Blackburn on January 13, 2010 at 2:22 PM

You are way out of line in your characterization of posters to this site.

ya2daup on January 13, 2010 at 3:16 PM

OK. The Tea Party is just beginning. Folks are trying to make a buck on the national sentiment. Nothing wrong with that. Your VOTE in November matters the most.

psychocyber on January 13, 2010 at 3:17 PM

OK, grassroots geniuses, what’s your idea Tea Party should be? I mean, you’ve done the shouting, the standing on the streets etc. Are you content with that or do you want to move forward? Are you ok with being treated like step c willing to build children by GOP establishment who will screw the pooch every time? Or are you willing to build a more durable coalition that can bring substantial change which can’t be dismantled by progressives again in the next two elections?

promachus on January 13, 2010 at 3:08 PM

I hate to use them as an example, but the Earth Liberation Front has no leader and they are perfectly capable of getting the damage done. I don’t think we need a national Tea Party leadership, the movement has been able to get together and make a difference via the internet and word of mouth rather nicely.
“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brushfires in people’s minds.” — Samuel Adams

mizflame98 on January 13, 2010 at 3:17 PM

promachus on January 13, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Kind of reminds me of Family Guy:

Lawyer: Mr. Griffin, which of the following two phrases best describes Brian Griffin? “Problem drinker” or “African-American haberdasher”?
Peter: I guess “problem drinker.” But that’s…
Lawyer: Thank you. “Sexual deviant” or “magic picture that you stare at till you see something”?
Peter: “Sexual deviant,” but that other one’s…

I’m fairly certain there are options between “Tea Party Convention” and “screwing the pooch”.

LastRick on January 13, 2010 at 3:19 PM

I don’t think we need a national Tea Party leadership, the movement has been able to get together and make a difference via the internet and word of mouth rather nicely.

mizflame98 on January 13, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Agree 100%.

LastRick on January 13, 2010 at 3:20 PM

mizflame98 on January 13, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Burning down car dealerships is your idea of an effective grassroots movement?

Erich66 on January 13, 2010 at 3:21 PM

It seems that some of the self appointed leaders of the Tea Party movement are buying into the premise that they must coalesce into a national organization complete with corporate flow charts and chain of command.

It was never meant to be that, IMHO, and it is far more effective when locally administered and allows the local groups to address those issues and politicians which have the most impact on their lives. That doesn’t mean they can’t be rallied to bring their members to address issues that require a united front and an outlet for their voices, to rise above the din and the spin that comes at us from our politicians and other highly paid talking heads.

I just believe this unfounded desire to somehow to create some sort of national organization is just the wrong direction to go. The only thing a national group should do is ask as an information clearinghouse and not as something which issues marching orders.

“and if you disagree with me, you Sir, are a racist” Greg Gutfeld every night on Red Eye

Just A Grunt on January 13, 2010 at 3:22 PM

As usual, whenever Washington boneheads take over something, they make it more corrupt and less meaningful.

Speedwagon82 on January 13, 2010 at 3:23 PM

mizflame98 on January 13, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Burning down car dealerships is your idea of an effective grassroots movement?

Erich66 on January 13, 2010 at 3:21 PM

No. I’m using an example of how a group without a national leader can affect things.

mizflame98 on January 13, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Just A Grunt on January 13, 2010 at 3:22 PM

Bingo.

catmman on January 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM

must learn to walk before you can run….

hawkman on January 13, 2010 at 4:40 PM

“new boss same as the old boss” kind of thing. The Tea Party Movement is best left to the various locales around the country. As it gets co-opted by the same folks that run the two major parties, it will become indistinguishable from them.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 13, 2010 at 4:41 PM

I read that Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit sent emails saying he wanted to cover it and never got a response. He seemed underwhelmed.

Terrye on January 13, 2010 at 4:42 PM

The Tea Party people and the republicans are going to have to come to terms. If we dont, we are all going to get cooked. “As I have CONSISTENTLY SAID”.

Doesnt everyone see that or is it just me?

NickTx on January 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Too many small organizations all thinking they should be in charge…the forgot the cardinal rule…Keep it simple!

We are united by a few basic ideas…small government, freedom, less spending, and a universal disgust in politicians of both parties…

That is what they should push and stop the foolishness over trivia and turf fights.

JIMV on January 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM

How did this TeaParty thing come about? What was it’s basis? Are the people running this the ACTUAL creators of the TeaParty movement? Let’s put things in perspective. I think what Governor Palin said on Glenn Beck’s show is right. It’s not the movement that’s at question. It’s some of the people grabbing hold of the movement and directing it and calling it theirs and tell us all to sit down and enjoy the ride. We already did that with RINOs in the GOP.

The TeaParty movement needs to remain grassroots and controlled by the people who volunteer their time and donate their money. Why does this have to be turned into a big political machine? The more it goes that direction the more criticism and distrust will come its way. The thing that has made this movement so powerful is that it’s been just people in your local community taking technology to get like minded people who usually were to busy making a living and enjoying life to be activists to gather together and public express their desires and discontentments with the current political status quo. Real people not being spun just being real.

Sultry Beauty on January 13, 2010 at 6:54 PM

I don’t like this outfit, don’t like the for-profit angle, and I think it was a monumental mistake to Palinize this “convention” and thus the heretofore non-partisan tea party movement — and I happen to be a Palin fan. Closing a tea party event to the press? I’ve been on board since day one, and I think everything about this event stinks to high heaven.

JM Hanes on January 13, 2010 at 7:26 PM

We don’t want to make activism our life such as Code Pink or other groups. It seems that tea parties started as loosely knit,and grass roots, but then grew to such a large number because politicians no longer listened to the people. It felt great getting together with like minded Americans, that we were actually achieving something. We’re still mad because the liberals just don’t listen. The national tea party may be trying to form a more organized group so the parties can be focused where we can do more good.

Kissmygrits on January 13, 2010 at 10:38 PM

Thanks for confirming this organization is not the real tea party movement and it confirms my opinion of them.

JeffinSac on January 13, 2010 at 10:49 PM

Conservative movements are organic, grass roots affairs. Conservatives will sometimes gravitate to people who they sense share their values (Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin, for example), but they are not cattle to be herded or led.

Those who attempt to “lead” such a group are inherently suspect and generally turn out to be corrupt. CPAC, Newt Gingrich, and now this “Tea Party” organization are just a few recent examples.

Phildorex on January 13, 2010 at 11:26 PM

Seems to me that if every tea-partier got involved in national politics at the local level and worked hard to get conservative candidates nominated and elected, we wouldn’t need a convention. We need to keep the momentum going, but the next “convention” should be a 3 million person one in DC (tax day 2010?) and 100 million voters on Nov. 2!

Christian Conservative on January 14, 2010 at 12:54 AM

The guys over at Hill Buzz have questions about the finances as well. They suggest (from knowledge of some of the principals) that everything may not be on the up and up.

Of course it is just rumor as they named no names, cited no facts, and did not in any way elaborate.

MSimon on January 14, 2010 at 5:19 AM

3 Cheers!
For all involved in the Tea Party!
Profit – Non-Profit – Patriots!

“Let’s Roll”

On Watch on January 14, 2010 at 5:43 AM

That’s a good statement. Directness works.

AnninCA on January 14, 2010 at 9:31 AM

A ‘for profit’ outfit that is making money primarily on the backs of people generously donating time and cash is not one I would be proud of.

GnuBreed on January 13, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Same here

BobAnthony on January 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM

You are not alone.
There are things to like about Ron Paul, & at the very beginning of everything, I agreed with many things he had to say.

Then he started sounding like a shrill nutbag when talking about foreign policy, jews, etc & my opinion of him went downhill from there.

Plus he’s been in politics too long IMHO.
He needs to do something else.

Badger40 on January 13, 2010 at 2:41 PM

YES! BECOME PRESIDENT OF THE US! Badger, stop listening to the false left-right paradigm.

WARNING–OPEN YOUR MIND NOT YOUR LEGS!

BobAnthony on January 14, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Wait until the saboteurs start coming out of the woodwork.
This isn’t conspiracy….its simply the smart thing to do, and they will do it. Actually, its an easy mark. The ‘undercover’ videos..selected statements or off hand comments that are bound to be released at the most effective time etc.
The movement is wide open to the public, unlike highly structured or guarded organizations.

Itchee Dryback on January 14, 2010 at 4:29 PM