When I started fishing around last week, talking to different tea party organizers (some who had split from others, even), the response was universal. First, no one wanted to talk on the record for fear of enraging the Palinistas. Second, no one had good things to say about Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation, if they knew him at all.

One source told me: “I think [fill-in-the-blank] person is involved.” I’d contact that person, who would deny involvement and then give me another name. The cycle continued. I talked to people in Nashville. I talked to people associated with grassroots training. No one could say a good word about Judson’s outfit. And no one wanted to say anything on the record…

I have a couple of concerns. By attaching herself to this for-profit outfit, Sarah Palin undermines her standing with her very constituents. Many tea party folks are shaking their heads after being the same people to hold up signs supporting Palin. Why not donate time at the Tax Day Tea Party? Why associate with a guy with questionable tea party cred?

And these questions beg a bigger question: Who is giving Sarah Palin advice on these matters? Certainly, it does not seem that people tied into the grassroots organizations are being sought for advice.