Tea Party Express endorses Democrat in Idaho

posted at 8:48 am on April 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Vaughn Ward wonders when the Tea Party Express passed him by.  The Republican challenger to Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Walt Minnick in Idaho figured to at least have a shot at an endorsement to switch the seat from a vote for Nancy Pelosi and Democratic control of the House.  Instead, the Tea Party Express endorsed Minnick, and left a lot of head-scratching behind in Idaho afterward:

When the Tea Party Express last week endorsed Idaho Rep. Walt Minnick — the only Democrat to receive the backing of the conservative grassroots group — one of his Republican challengers said he was simply baffled to learn the news, considering Minnick’s past votes that line up with Democrats on bailouts, the estate tax and Guantanamo Bay.

“He voted for Nancy Pelosi. I mean all these things — I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. This is the guy you guys want to get behind nationally?’” said Republican Vaughn Ward, an active Marine Corps reserve officer whose candidacy for Minnick’s seat was endorsed by Sarah Palin.

His initial shock, Ward told The Daily Caller during an interview Tuesday, turned to frustration upon learning from Tea Party groups in Idaho — who he said have not endorsed candidates in the race yet — that the Tea Party Express didn’t consult them before the endorsement of the Democrat. …

Sal Russo, a strategist with Tea Party Express, said the group did reach out to a number of groups and activists, many of whom support Minnick. Democrats who “are willing to stand up to Pelosi and Reid” should get support from Tea Party organizations “to encourage others” to act similarly, he said.

“When you find someone willing to stand up, you got to stand up with him,” Russo said.

The strategist said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the group add another Democrat or two to the list. “It can’t be a one-party issue. Fiscal responsibility has to be embedded in both parties,” he said.

Tea Party groups from around the country have positioned themselves outside of the Republican Party, demanding accountability from GOP leadership before supporting Republicans. They have also made the point Russo notes here, that both parties need to have fiscal discipline in order for the US to end the spending spree that is sending us careening towards bankruptcy. In that sense, Minnick might be the one Democrat to support. While his party pushed a Porkulus bill that cost $830 billion and didn’t stimulate anything, Minnick proposed a $170 billion version that eliminated all of the pork and had self-termination clauses that returned unspent money after recovery began. He voted against Porkulus, cap-and-trade, and ObamaCare.

On the other hand, Minnick voted for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, and would certainly do so again in 2011 — and that makes a big difference. The Republicans aren’t guaranteed to win a majority, after all, and they need every seat they can get to take control of the House. Without a Republican majority, Pelosi will once again control the agenda and will continue to pursue her hard-Left, nanny-state, big spending legislation. A vote for Minnick makes that more likely rather than less, which puts the Tea Party efforts at least a little more at risk.

Should Tea Party organizations consider endorsing Democrats in this cycle? Take the poll:


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HUH??????

blatantblue on April 21, 2010 at 8:50 AM

A vote for a blue dog is a vote for Pelosi. No other way to look at it.

S. Weasel on April 21, 2010 at 8:51 AM

You forgot option 5.

They shouldn’t be endorsing at all. As they said, they didn’t consult everyone, and are endorsing Minnick for the sole purpose of a fig leaf so they can’t be called a Republican front group.

Any group under the aegis of the Tea Party should definitely stay away from endorsement politics. It’s poisonous as all hell to the movement.

KingGold on April 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Maybe the Tea Party Express needs to pay a visit to the TP’ers up in Idaho.

GIVE EM A CHECK UP FROM THE NECK UP

blatantblue on April 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

The blue dogs may bark, but Nancy still holds the choke chain.

Disturb the Universe on April 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Is this Sal Russo a democrat plant or something – I mean WTH? This endorsement does not seem very well researched or thought out here. Something is odd about this.

KickandSwimMom on April 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

WTF? Under NO circumstances should anyone who opposes the Obama agenda endorse any Democrats. Have we already forgotten Bart Stupak? The man who would absoluteley never vote for Obamacare …until he did. There is no such thing as a conservative Democrat anymore.

They can’t seriously be this stupid in Idaho.

American Elephant on April 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

This seems like rather a stupid thing to do.

DaydreamBeliever on April 21, 2010 at 8:55 AM

This particular Tea Party is apparently run by self-serving idiots. They can enjoy the national press they’ll get for backing a Dim, but they’re hurting the cause. Sometime IN THE FUTURE, it may make sense to back a non-Republican, but ONLY after the gavel has been pried from Madam Pelosi’s hand.

Sugar Land on April 21, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Hmmmm. Tough call. I get the argument about wanting to pressure fiscal discipline in both parties, and Minnick seems like a fairly good Dem to support, if you chose to support one.

But we’re talking about the financial collapse of the country, brought closer every year these budgets go unchecked. Switching control of the House has to be the paramount objective, and that means voting out every single Dem possible.

BadgerHawk on April 21, 2010 at 8:55 AM

A vote for a blue dog is a vote for Pelosi. No other way to look at it.

S. Weasel on April 21, 2010 at 8:51 AM

While I agree with that, if the Tea Party endorses bonafide conservative Democrats who opposed Porkulus and Obamacare(there are only a handful however), it will be very hard for the media to paint them as Republican hacks.

Doughboy on April 21, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Democrats who “are willing to stand up to Pelosi and Reid” should get support from Tea Party organizations “to encourage others” to act similarly, he said.

There’s no such thing. You really need to start paying attention bonehead.

BigWyo on April 21, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Tea Party Express stepped in it big time. No democrat who voted for Pelosi as speaker should be supported at all. Plus there is a great conservative alternative! A marine too! What the hell was the Tea Party express thinking?

Instead of garnering credibility, they look like idiots. Pathetic.

cubachi on April 21, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Sometime IN THE FUTURE, it may make sense to back a non-Republican, but ONLY after the gavel has been pried from Madam Pelosi’s hand.

Sugar Land on April 21, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Yup.

BadgerHawk on April 21, 2010 at 8:56 AM

WTF. Your gonna endorse a Democrat!.
This is going to come home to bite us in the AZZ.

hawkman on April 21, 2010 at 8:57 AM

If the tea party only endoerces republicans it reduces their influence. If they remain a wildcard, everyone stays on their toes and we have a better chance of getting good conservatives and not just Rino’s.

Daveyardbird on April 21, 2010 at 8:58 AM

If the Tea Party is going to start mealy-mouthing around and making nice with both sides just to be fair then we’re all screwed. The point is to support the side that would support conservative philosophies hands down, and these so called blue dog democrats have shown they don’t have the guts to stand up to the democrat leadership when it comes to any conservative values. Bart Stupak?!? Hello!!! Any vote for a democrat is a vote for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for that matter in this next election cycle.

mozalf on April 21, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Stupider and stupider. There is NO Democrat that I am aware of who is worthy of a Tea Party endorsement. Mr. Minnick is an enabler of the Pelosi leadership. His “no” votes are meaningless unless he changes his Party affiliation (eg, become an independant). If the Republican nominee is a liberal, the Tea Party should either mount their own candidate or butt out.
Randy

williars on April 21, 2010 at 8:59 AM

it will be very hard for the media to paint them as Republican hacks.

The same media that forges documents when the facts dont support their narrative? Why on earth would that suddenly be hard? Its what they do on a daily basis.

American Elephant on April 21, 2010 at 8:59 AM

So based on yr comments, the Tea Party isn’t actually bipartisan like we were told last year? It’s actually a GOP operation?

Grow Fins on April 21, 2010 at 8:59 AM

There’s no such thing. You really need to start paying attention bonehead.

BigWyo on April 21, 2010 at 8:56 AM

There are a few. You can probably count them on one hand, but there are actual conservative Dems out there. I’d like to see the Democrat Party return to the days of JFK where they believed in lower taxes, free market principles, and a strong national defense(hmm, sounds almost like Republicans). One way to make this happen is to vote out the left-wing militants and retain the true conservative voices in the party.

If the Tea Party wants to expand its reach and influence, it would be wise to appeal to conservative Dems and not just become a proxy for the Republican Party. Otherwise we end up with the right-wing’s version of MoveOn.org(albeit much friendlier).

Doughboy on April 21, 2010 at 9:00 AM

A vote for a blue dog is a vote for Pelosi. No other way to look at it.

S. Weasel on April 21, 2010

There are no “blue dogs”. There are only Democrats. The Obamacare vote settled that question once and for all.
Stupid to endorse any Democrat, anywhere. That doesn’t mean that all Republicans deserve endorsement. Like the wise man said: A lot of things depend upon a lot of things.

SKYFOX on April 21, 2010 at 9:00 AM

It’s poisonous as all hell to the movement.

KingGold on April 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Amen, brother. Tea Party Express is a co-opt.

itsacookbook on April 21, 2010 at 9:00 AM

What Daveyardbird said.

Notorious GOP on April 21, 2010 at 9:01 AM

no surprise.ID has been taken over by liberals.I don’t recognize it anymore.

Badger40 on April 21, 2010 at 9:01 AM

While this particular case sems ill-advised to me, the idea that TP endorsement isn’t just a given for the GOP is good. If there’s one thing Americans can agree on regardless of political stripe it’s not liking to be taken for granted.

Again, this particular race doesn’t seem like the time to have made that point. I don’t know what the TPers were thinking.

princetrumpet on April 21, 2010 at 9:02 AM

We trusted the Republicans to be good, and they weren’t.

We hoped maybe the Democrats might be better behaved, and they were worse.

Screw party loyalty. Let’s go with people who haven’t screwed us over (yet).

apostic on April 21, 2010 at 9:02 AM

It’s difficult to believe that any Dem voted against Obamacare without Nancy’s permission.

obladioblada on April 21, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Grow Fins on April 21, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Based on your comments over time, you have a thing for straw men, to the point of being both tedious and creepy.

BadgerHawk on April 21, 2010 at 9:02 AM

You forgot option 5.

They shouldn’t be endorsing at all.

Correct.

As they said, they didn’t consult everyone, and are endorsing Minnick for the sole purpose of a fig leaf so they can’t be called a Republican front group.

KingGold on April 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

At best.

Vashta.Nerada on April 21, 2010 at 9:03 AM

The same media that forges documents when the facts dont support their narrative? Why on earth would that suddenly be hard? Its what they do on a daily basis.

American Elephant on April 21, 2010 at 8:59 AM

They also got busted for the forged documents. Dan Rather was brought down by a few jammie-wearing basement dwellers. We live in a new era where the right is using technology to fight back. If the media tries fabricating evidence to smear conservatives, they know they’ll be exposed.

Doughboy on April 21, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Blue dog my azz, how stupid are these people? If Minnick believed in capitalism and individual freedoms he would get out of the democratic party.The party of Zell Miller has been taken over by the party of Karl Marx.

historian on April 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Prediction: Tea Party folks are going to feel their first taste of backlash. The Idaho group has just made themselves useless to the rest of the movement. Money will begin flowing in to the GOP candidate. The best way to show these idiots that EVERY election is now a national election is to get the Republican elected.

Sugar Land on April 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Tea Party can and should endorse Democrats whose position square with theirs. Conservatives have been very badly served acting as captives of the GOP. (see, for example, Michael Gerson’s screed in headlines saying we all must vote for McCain “for the sake of the party.”) Make the GOP compete for Tea Party and conservative votes is the idea. I voted Yes in the online poll for that reason. I renounced my membership in the Stupid Party long ago.

Having said that, it appears that the Republican in this particular match may have been a better match for TP values and my own. If I lived in Idaho I’d probably vote for the R in this match up.

Tea Party Express may have been looking for a spot to send a message to Rs and Ds and may have thought this was as good a place as any to do so. If so, I get that.

james23 on April 21, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Do they not think if Nancy needs his vote he wouldn’t be bought off? They are only fooling themselves.

deidre on April 21, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Sorry, but a vote for a Democrat these days is still a vote against conservative principles. Joe Donnelly (D) swore he was pro-life and would not vote for OblunderCare…until it came time to vote and he marched right along with Herr Pelosi. With the stakes so high against a socialist agenda, a vote for a Democrat is one more nail in our coffin.

search4truth on April 21, 2010 at 9:05 AM

I think that the Tea Party should endorse the most conservative candidate in a race. Obviously this is not the case with the Idaho race. They should never have endorsed Minnick.

ctmom on April 21, 2010 at 9:06 AM

I have no idea. This is a question over my head. There are arguments for doing either one.

I think the tea party needs to stay outside the republican sphere to retain some credibility since the republican inner circle is frankly corrupt and simply wants the status quo. They see the tea party is nothing more then convenient votes for a couple election cycles. Nothing more. To prevent the tea party simply being used and abused they need to remain independent. So that means not showing favoritism to one party or another but instead favoring any candidate that they feel can represent them.

At the same time, the democrats are unified and it’s unlikely that any of them will be any use to the tea party in the end. Which puts them in the difficult position of needing to be independent but only having one party that can credibly represent them.

It looks like it’s lose lose to me. They support only republicans and the republicans will take their support for granted. Give lip service to their cause and then betray them later.

If they support some democrats then that support will just go to undermining their cause as those democrats will just support Nancy Pelosi.

I don’t see a way out.

Karmashock on April 21, 2010 at 9:06 AM

So based on yr comments, the Tea Party isn’t actually bipartisan like we were told last year? It’s actually a GOP operation?

Grow Fins on April 21, 2010 at 8:59 AM

No.

CDeb on April 21, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Time to send a few dollars his way:
http://www.vaughnward.com/

Sugar Land on April 21, 2010 at 9:08 AM

This won’t come back to bite anyone in the ass or anything…

rollthedice on April 21, 2010 at 9:09 AM

You forgot option 5.

They shouldn’t be endorsing at all.

KingGold on April 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

This.

miConsevative on April 21, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Idahoans, Please VOTE WARD! Ditto what so many others have said. If Ward turns out to be a bum, you can replace him in two years. Until then NO MORE DEMS. Minnick has already shown a lack of judgement just by being in the Dem Party. Who cares about his faux votes against stimulus etc, that is window dressing allowed by his boss Nancy so he can look Blue Doggish. Remember Stupak. Vote Ward!

JimP on April 21, 2010 at 9:09 AM

The best way to show these idiots that EVERY election is now a national election is to get the Republican elected.

Sugar Land on April 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Riiiiggght. This is how the RINOs plan to hold on to power. See also, Michael Gerson: vote for McCain for the sake of the party. Coming Soon: for the sake of the party, you must vote for Willard “I like Mandates” Romneycare.

Cut your ties to the Stupid Party and be a smart, free agent voter, or learn to sing L’Internationale before each ball game.

james23 on April 21, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Why endorse any candidate? If no candidate in a contest is good enough why bother?

Crux Australis on April 21, 2010 at 9:10 AM

I think that the Tea Party should endorse the most conservative candidate in a race. Obviously this is not the case with the Idaho race. They should never have endorsed Minnick.

ctmom on April 21, 2010 at 9:06 AM

+ my view, better stated

james23 on April 21, 2010 at 9:12 AM

We trusted the Republicans to be good, and they weren’t.

We hoped maybe the Democrats might be better behaved, and they were worse.

Screw party loyalty. Let’s go with people who haven’t screwed us over (yet).

apostic on April 21, 2010 at 9:02 AM

EXACTLY!

sicoit on April 21, 2010 at 9:12 AM

When Dems show that they can be trusted then maybe they can be supported. However, the Tea Party Express should be looked at with skepticism because they are GOP insiders trying to co-opt the Tea Party movement to suit their own goals. RINOs in GOP leadership should be booted just as quickly as Dems because they have no spine and are just as dangerous as the Dems.

Sporty1946 on April 21, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Yeah, right. The same MSM that paints the tea partiers as toothless McVeigh-wannabe ignorant redneck bigot tea baggers is going to soften its tone if they endorse the occasional Democrat who doesn’t smell too bad.

S. Weasel on April 21, 2010 at 9:15 AM

The strategist said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the group add another Democrat or two to the list. “It can’t be a one-party issue. Fiscal responsibility has to be embedded in both parties,” he said.


This is the way to restore our country and get back to our core beliefs. An endorsement of a candidate should be based upon their values, not their party affiliation.

jackal40 on April 21, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Blue dog my azz, how stupid are these people? If Minnick believed in capitalism and individual freedoms he would get out of the democratic party.The party of Zell Miller has been taken over by the party of Karl Marx.

historian on April 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I think we need to look at the big picture. The Democrat Party wasn’t always controlled by Marxists and America haters. To truly reform the system in this country, their party needs to be purged of these radicals.

Look at it this way. Even if the GOP retakes both houses of Congress this fall, they won’t always hold onto them. At some point down the road, the Dems will make a comeback and either cut into the GOP’s numbers or retake the House and/or Senate outright.

So unless we reform BOTH the Republican and Democrat Party, we’re doomed to repeat this cycle until our country is completely in the crapper. If one of the Tea Party’s platforms is to rid the GOP of RINOs, why can’t they also seek to take out the left-wing radicals who’ve seized power in the Democrat Party?

Doughboy on April 21, 2010 at 9:16 AM

No they shouldn’t have endorsed this guy… unless he promised to not vote for Nancy Pelosi… he could just sit out… or the blue dogs could put up their own candidate…

ninjapirate on April 21, 2010 at 9:16 AM

The Tea Party Express has a “strategist”? I am getting a bit distressed by members who want to “take over” the Tea Party. I got an email from someone yesterday “demanding” I do this and that, and that I should go to another member’s website for “instructions”. I will tell these people the same thing I’ve told the GOP and the Dims, “I don’t take instructions”.

I’m sure this article is an example of “tea party strategists” trying to be too cute. “Hey, if we endorse a Dim, people will think we’re objective.” Don’t worry about the guy voting for Pelosi, if it makes us look better. That’s the first step on the wrong road. Never put expediency above values.

flyoverland on April 21, 2010 at 9:16 AM

he could just sit out… or the blue dogs could put up their own candidate…

Talking about the vote for speaker here…

ninjapirate on April 21, 2010 at 9:17 AM

The current democrat regime has spit in the face of the American electorate by expanding government and wasting tax dollars of generations to come, while mocking anyone who suggests they do otherwise.

If a registered democrat wants to join the Tea Party, then great, but I don’t think any democrat politico is worthy of a Tea Party endorsement, and less than half of the Republicans.

cntrlfrk on April 21, 2010 at 9:17 AM

KingGold on April 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

That says it all, +1

gator70 on April 21, 2010 at 9:18 AM

This story stinks to high heaven!
First of all, I’ve never heard of the Tea Party Express endorsing a candidate, much less an incumbent like Minnick!
The TPE bus tour is called the Vote them out! Tour
Secondly, the Daily Caller (where I certainly go for my Conservative news-Not!) never gives one single reason why Minnick is better than Ward in the race.
Third, Sarah Palin already made an appeal for (Major) Vaughn Ward, along with Lt. Col. Allen West and Capt. Adam Kritzinger, over 2 weeks ago: American Heroes ready & willing to serve in Congress

Ed, unless you get a press release from the Tea Party Express themselves that they’ve endorsed Minnick, this story cannot be believed.
The Daily Caller is a paper that attacks Conservatives and Republicans–sorry, but there it is.

Jenfidel on April 21, 2010 at 9:19 AM

If the Tea Party give blanket support to all Republicans – Republicans will never change. The Tea Party is about fiscal responsibility not parties or ideology. The Democrats know they have Union support no matter what legislation they pass. Republicans need to know this is not the case with the Tea Party.

moc23 on April 21, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Why is the ‘Tea Party Express’ endorsing anyone? Who gave them the authority to do anything of the sort?

Monica on April 21, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Dems do not embed any fiscal responsibility. The TP Exp needs to find out more about candidates nationally before making any endorsements. Call Sarah first, dude.

Kissmygrits on April 21, 2010 at 9:21 AM

This “I don’t vote for parties, I vote for candidates” stuff doesn’t fly. When you vote for the candidate, you vote to enlarge EVERYONE in the party he runs under — because parties determine who sits on what committee, who holds what gavel or whip.

When you vote for the most conservative Democrat in America, you are also voting for the most liberal Democrat in America at the same time. Word.

S. Weasel on April 21, 2010 at 9:22 AM

I doubt another vote for Pelosi is good for America.

tarpon on April 21, 2010 at 9:22 AM

I can speak for all indies, but for me I don’t care what group endorses what candidate. It matters little to how I’ll vote. I will vote for the most conservative candidate no matter party affiliation.

jbh45 on April 21, 2010 at 9:22 AM

While I agree with that, if the Tea Party endorses bonafide conservative Democrats who opposed Porkulus and Obamacare(there are only a handful however), it will be very hard for the media to paint them as Republican hacks.

Doughboy on April 21, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Both of which passed. How do you suppose they would have voted if their vote was needed?

I understand what yer getting at, I just don’t believe there is such a thing anymore.

BigWyo on April 21, 2010 at 9:23 AM

can = can’t

jbh45 on April 21, 2010 at 9:23 AM

We have been infiltrated.

bloggless on April 21, 2010 at 9:24 AM

I don’t think the tea party should be married to ALL repubs. They should only endorse republicans that share the tea party values. But I don’t think they should do anything to help dems keep their majority either.

ErinF on April 21, 2010 at 9:24 AM

It is not enough for the GOP to simply say “we don’t suck as bad as the other guys.”

Yes, voting for Empress Pelosi as Speaker is not good, but if you caucus with one party and that is who they put up as their candidate for Speaker, then you have to vote that way.

If the Republicans want Tea Party endorsements, then they damn well better hew closer to the line than the Democrats.

rbj on April 21, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Although if there were an anti-Pelosi Democrat running against a RINO, I would say endorse the Democrat, I voted no on the poll because I don’t know of such a situation.

Plus the Democrat Party has gotten so evil, it would kinda be like endorsing someone from the Communist Party.

WannabeAnglican on April 21, 2010 at 9:25 AM

A Dem can never, never, never ever be trusted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

flytier on April 21, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Well, how does the Republican, Ward, compare with Minnick? Is the Republican so bad that they have to endorse a democrat?

Vince on April 21, 2010 at 9:29 AM

So unless we reform BOTH the Republican and Democrat Party, we’re doomed to repeat this cycle until our country is completely in the crapper. If one of the Tea Party’s platforms is to rid the GOP of RINOs, why can’t they also seek to take out the left-wing radicals who’ve seized power in the Democrat Party?

Doughboy on April 21, 2010 at 9:16 AM

I do not think the way to do that is to support a canidate who voted for Pelosi. Let me know you find a democrat that doesn’t cry conservative values until they get elected and then bow to the socialist shrine as soon as they are sworn in.Don’t get me wrong I am not an all or nothing supporter of the republican party either but until I see one democrat stand up and do the right thing they are off limits to me.

historian on April 21, 2010 at 9:29 AM

You don’t need magnanimity until you have a victory. Once you smash the enemy, you can show your kindness–safely. Don’t hand him a loaded gun while the battle is still on.

FalseProfit on April 21, 2010 at 9:29 AM

If the Daily Caller cannot give a source for this story other than itself and not Tea Party Express spokespersons, I am going to assume that they completely made this story up out of thin air.

Jenfidel on April 21, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Here we go again with the ‘not conservative enough’ stuff. After the mess that attitude has made since the 2008 elections, you’d think they’d have learned soemthing–at least that particular lesson. Time enough to court conservative Dems after we’ve taken over.

jeanie on April 21, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Time to park the express.

An express, by its very nature, spends little time in one place. You can’t learn anything about local conditions that way. Therefore, they should not be endorsing local candidates.

TheBigOldDog on April 21, 2010 at 9:33 AM

I don’t think ANYONE should be married to a political party, period. (A particularly sore subject this morning, as yesterday here in VA we had a GOP primary for a soon to be vacant state House seat, and the local Reps made you sign a “loyalty pledge” before allowing you to vote.) I don’t understand endorsing the Dem, though, as another vote for Pelosi isn’t at all helpful. They should just stay out of it, if that’s what they’ll end up doing.

changer1701 on April 21, 2010 at 9:34 AM

You forgot option 5.

They shouldn’t be endorsing at all. As they said, they didn’t consult everyone, and are endorsing Minnick for the sole purpose of a fig leaf so they can’t be called a Republican front group.

Any group under the aegis of the Tea Party should definitely stay away from endorsement politics. It’s poisonous as all hell to the movement.

KingGold on April 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

This. The other potential downside to any endorsement is that it sets the TP movement up for a loss of credibility anytime one of their endorsees loses. The more the TP movement becomes an organized political entity, the more it becomes just another political entity, and cynical endorsements like this are a fast track to that position, IMO.

holygoat on April 21, 2010 at 9:34 AM

The Daily Caller is a paper that attacks Conservatives and Republicans–sorry, but there it is.

Jenfidel on April 21, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Well? Ed?

Vince on April 21, 2010 at 9:34 AM

The “Tea Part Express” is a business. It is NOT the same thing as the Tea Party Movement. Several members of the Tea Party Express have made a nice stack of cash off of the Tea Party for themselves. I’ve been concerned for some time that certain folks will hitch their wagons to the movement and lead some astray. Looks like the Tea Party Express is doing just that.

Guardian on April 21, 2010 at 9:34 AM

I don’t think I care for this Tea party EXPRESS trying to muscle in and speak for all of us.

Having said that, if a Democrat has our values and lives in a hopelessly democratic district (think Pelosi) I’d be for him/her, though at the same time, the endorsement would be most likely more of a kiss of death than one by Obama… :)

And… one has to question how anyone with our values can be in this democrat part of today, but that’s another subject.

golfmann on April 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

They may have endorsed Minnick because Vaughn Ward might be a RINO carpet bagger from Nevada where he might have run the RINO McCain campaign.

Maybe the Tea Party Express can sniff out a rotten Republican. Idaho has more than its fair share of AWFUL RINOs. A decent Democrat is better than a terrible RINO as far as most Tea Partiers are concerned.

rootabaga on April 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Time to park the express.

An express, by its very nature, spends little time in one place. You can’t learn anything about local conditions that way. Therefore, they should not be endorsing local candidates.

TheBigOldDog on April 21, 2010 at 9:33 AM

+1 Good post. The Tea Party Express acted stupidily in my opinion.

Dire Straits on April 21, 2010 at 9:37 AM

I warned of this last year after the initial ‘Tea Party’ gatherings.

I observed the politicians scheming on how best to infiltrate and coopt the movement. All to be done from within.

Now, how does the movement explain this and recover from this??

Recognize it for what it is, and who is coming into your ranks….

The ‘Tea Party’ is being fed upon like ticks feed on a dog…. WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!

rabidamerican on April 21, 2010 at 9:37 AM

The “Tea Part Express” is a business. It is NOT the same thing as the Tea Party Movement.

Guardian on April 21, 2010 at 9:39 AM

i don’t think the tea party should officially endorse any candidate

golfballs03 on April 21, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I for one have never understood endorsements. I dont care who else likes someone, I make up my own mind and I made my decision about Dems 30 yrs ago. They suck. Period. I dont care if they ran Moses I would vote against him.

UncleZeb on April 21, 2010 at 9:41 AM

{A decent Democrat is better than a terrible RINO as far as most Tea Partiers are concerned.

rootabaga on April 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM}

Yes, because as I’ve stated before: I will not vote for another McCain.

davidk on April 21, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Let me know you find a democrat that doesn’t cry conservative values until they get elected and then bow to the socialist shrine as soon as they are sworn in.

historian on April 21, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Ask and ye shall receive. Here are the Democrat House members who voted AGAINST both Porkulus and Obamacare:

Allan Boyd (D-FL)
Bobby Bright (D-AL)
Parker Griffith (D-AL)
Frank Kratovil (D-MD)
Walt Minnick (D-ID)
Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Heath Shuler (D-NC)
Gene Taylor (D-MS)

Griffith has already switched to the GOP. And look who else is on that list? Minnick.

Doughboy on April 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Sorry, folks; As a local Tea Party leader of a group that also endorses candidates (per se; ours is a ‘TeaApproval’ process) I agree with the tea Party Express on this one. As important as it is, It isn’t all about control of the next Congress; we need to also look past that and give the very few Democrats that are fiscally sane recognition. The goal is to eliminate the strength of the fiscally insane socialistic types everywhere; in BOTH parties.

However, I think something like our ‘TeaApproved’ process would have worked better here than a straight endorsement; because of how we structured it more as a something of a certification of belief in – and true willingness to apply- the 5 principles. Such a system would have allowed them to ‘TeaApprove’ BOTH candidates, leaving it the voters to decide on other issues. We ‘TeaApproved’ multiple candidates in two of the primary races (2 out of 3 in both cases and- in both cases- one of the ‘TeaApproved’ candidates won the runoff). We need to focus on true beliefs and philosophies, not a given individual.

michaelo on April 21, 2010 at 9:44 AM

I’m removing myself from their mailing list and all other correspondence and dropping them from FB.

Dems have shown themselves to be liars, and this gamble won’t pay off.

madmonkphotog on April 21, 2010 at 9:46 AM

At least this puts to rest the notion that Palin is the leader of the Tea Party movement, thank goodness, since she endorsed the opponent.

I’m with those who say that the Tea Party should not endorse any candidate, for the same reasons I’ve never wanted Nebraska Right to Life to endorse candidates here. We’ve seen how its endorsement of Ben Nelson worked out.

(rolls eyes)

NebCon on April 21, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Doughboy, most of those”brave” Democrats who voted against Obamascare were “allowed” to vote nay because Nancy had her votes.There’s nothing Conservative about most of them.

sandee on April 21, 2010 at 9:48 AM

I’m removing myself from their mailing list and all other correspondence and dropping them from FB.

Dems have shown themselves to be liars, and this gamble won’t pay off.

madmonkphotog on April 21, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Don’t do it, madmonk!
That’s what the Daily Caller wants you to do.
This story is a lie.
There’s no Tea Party Express endorsement for Minnick over Ward! (And I’m on all the lists and up-to-date on as much Tea Party news as I can be).

Jenfidel on April 21, 2010 at 9:49 AM

You have some people in the leadership of this Tea Party group who want to feel powerful and important.

They enjoy being courted and did this in order to flex their political muscle. They are sickening.

This Democrat will vote for Pelosi. That alone, if someone is an honest conservative, would alone, keep them from giving this guy cover.

But you are going to have many of them, going all Glenn Beck, saying the right things, but in the end, doing what it can for their own self agrandizement.

What a sad joke. It shows that they are nothing but the lowest type of politican themselves.

TiminPhx on April 21, 2010 at 9:49 AM

This is like every election year when the Washington Post endorses twenty-some Democrats AND Frank Wolf (R-VA), who isn’t going to lose reelection anyway. It provides a thin veneer of non-partisanship.

(And please, spare me any attacks on Wolf as a RINO. He’s a good old-fashioned, socially conservative, pothole Congressman, who just happens to be an Appropriator.)

Tres Angelas on April 21, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Mr. Sal Russo started the Tea-Party Express through a PAC he had started in 2008. Mr. Russo’s company has also helped many a Republican win elections. And that was the connection that people were questioning. It seems that people were making the leap from a man that helps win elections for the GOP, to him getting his Camels nose under the tent to take over the Tea-Party movement.

Guardian on April 21, 2010 at 9:49 AM

All good Demorats are Republicans. Every once in a while there is that one exception, but it’s rare.

Narutoboy on April 21, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Guardian on April 21, 2010 at 9:49 AM

I get four or five emails a day from them. Let’s see, then, if they refute this story.

madmonkphotog on April 21, 2010 at 9:50 AM

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