Politics

Bad blood among Tea Party groups: national Tea Party groups point fingers at egotistical rivals

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

The bad blood between some of the country’s most well known Tea Party organizations was unmistakably on display by two prominent activists from rival groups Monday.

“The man is a disgusting, vile, racist, pig…I don’t stand with people like that,” said Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Mark Meckler, when asked about Mark Williams of the Tea Party Express.

But Meckler’s disgust, coming on the heels of Williams being harshly criticized for writing racially insensitive material on his blog about the NAACP, is not just personal.

“It’s a fake,” he said of the Tea Party Express’ organization. “They’re fake. They’re part of the Republican establishment.”

And Williams isn’t a big fan of Meckler either.

“I loved the guy until I found out that he was an opportunist out looking to cash in on sincere peoples’ fears about their nation,” Williams told The Daily Caller by e-mail. “He loved me until he realized that I knew what he is.”

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of local conservative grassroots groups out there. But of the largest national Tea Party groups who are most often mentioned in the media — the Tea Party Express, the Tea Party Patriots, the Tea Party Nation and the Tea Party Federation — the bad blood is flowing.

So who are these groups and what’s the root of their discontent with each other?

—    The Tea Party Express is known for their bus tours across the country, and their ardent endorsements of candidates like Sharron Angle in Nevada. As for Angle, they helped transform her from a long-shot candidate in the Senate race to the GOP nominee. Founder Joe Wierzbicki says they have over 400,000 members who’ve signed up with them. But their critics claim that despite the organization’s name, the Tea Party Express is not grassroots at all. Founded by Republican strategists Wierzbicki and Sal Russo, memos from the early days of the movement portray the group conveniently latching onto the Tea Party name to help raise money for their Republican political action committee. And local activists have spoken out against their endorsements, saying they’re stepping on the toes of local Tea Party voters.

—    The Tea Party Patriots, led by national coordinators Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, has 2,300 local chapters under their banner. “We do what our members tell us what to do,” Meckler says. “We don’t speak for them.” Yet other Tea Party activists scoff at the Tea Party Patriots’ perceived haughtiness and unwillingness to work with other groups. The Tea Party Patriots, their critics say, project a sense of ownership over the movement and think they alone represent the real Tea Party.

—   The Tea Party Federation formed during the days of the health care vote on Capitol Hill to offer unified, rapid response to racial accusations. The federation was founded by a number of activists and its broad membership of groups include Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, The Memphis TEA Party and New York’s TeaParty365. Several critics say the group is trying to assert itself as a leader of the leaderless movement by making statements on behalf of all Tea Partiers, when they don’t have the right to do so.

—    The Tea Party Nation made headlines earlier this year by hosting the first National Tea Party Convention, headlined by Sarah Palin, in Nashville. A number of groups — like Tea Party Express and Tea Party Patriots — did not participate, especially after reports that Judson Phillips, a relatively unknown Tennessee lawyer who leads the group, was trying to make money off activists. Critics pointed to the high-ticket price of the event. Phillips was unapologetic about how he hoped to turn a profit.

  • libertyatstake

    Good taxonomy. Matters not to what truly matters – We The People will have Congress come 2011.

    http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
    [For a light hearted take on our present peril]

  • truebearing

    The Tea Party has been infiltrated by agent provocateurs from the evil left! This is a statement of fact, backed up with every bit as much evidence as any story run by the state controlled media for the last five years. A group of my like minded friends fact-checked it, so you can believe me.

    Oh, you say the state controlled media, Newsweek for instance, doesn’t back their stories with verifiable fact? OK, so I have at least as much veracity as the media does, and no overhead! And I didn’t pollute the earth with newsprint, or cause trees to be cut down, and I didn’t let anyone steal my domain name (tee-hee).

    While my assertion that the left is sabotaging the Tea Party isn’t proven, yet, neither was there a smoking gun on the leftist media conspiracy until now, where thanks to Tucker and Company, there are more smoking guns than in Afghanistan.
    Proof is coming, but in the meantime logic tells you that the ruthless left will do anything for power, not the least of which is political sabotage. Tea Party beware.

  • ladylove

    we must all remember the words of Irving Berlin

    ” WHILE THE STORM CLOUDS GATHER FAR ACROSS THE SEA,

    LET US SWEAR ALLEGIANCE TO A LAND THAT’S FREE.

    LET US ALL BE GRATEFUL FOR A LAND SO FAIR,

    AS WE RAISE OUR VOICES IN A SOLEMN PRAYER.

    GOD BLESS AMERICA

    LAND THAT I LOVE

    STAND BESIDE HER, AND GUIDE HER

    THRU THE NIGHT, WITH A LIGHT FROM ABOVE.

    FROM THE MOUNTAINS, TO THE PRAIRIES,

    TO THE OCEANS, WHITE WITH FOAM,

    GOD BLESS AMERICA, MY HOME SWEET HOME,

    GOD BLESS AMERICA, MY HOME SWEET HOME…”

    this is what the tea party stands for, what each member believes in, we cannot and must not allow anyone to destroy us, or this GREAT NATION, now or ever.

    GOD BLESS AMERICA, MY HOME, SWEET HOME.

    • truebearing

      Ah, my friend from Politics Daily! I’m guessing it’s bonbon?

      • ladylove

        of course

        • truebearing

          Great to see you’re here. I was pretty sure it was you.

          Did BlogFuhrer Hennenberger cut you off on Politics Daily too? You know it’s an honor to be censored by that bunch of Soros sock puppets.

          I’m sure you’ve noticed that in general, the comments here are far more intelligent than the gibberish Politics Daily seems to encourage. They chased out anyone with an IQ over 100.

          It’s really great to hear from you. Now let’s kick some Kenyan! LOL!

  • ladylove

    this is an attempt to infiltrate, and destroy the tea party movement.

    pure and simple.

    and why we must not allow it to happen.

    UNITED WE STAND AND DIVIDED WE FALL

    and this president wants the tea party to FAIL AND FALL.

    they must really be afraid of us, very very afraid.

    and why we must all be careful and on the alert.

  • theprofessor

    Now, if you want to see racism in action, take note of the new MSNBC picture. Poster child for “token black employee” is in pink right in front.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3096434/

  • jeangibson

    http://www.wbir.com/news/comments.aspx?storyid=127647&catid=2

    Walter Fitzpatrick
    Leo Haffey
    and
    Darren Huff

    Mark my words, these three people are all directly or indirectly responsible for the murder of Jim Miller. They will attempt other murders of officials in Monroe County in coming weeks; Do a little research and your eyes will be opened to their evil plans.

  • scorpioman

    Music to my ears… Fights breaking out in Baggerville.

    • thephranc

      You mom loves it when fights break out over who gets to bag her.

      • theprofessor

        I’m guessing he’d just be jealous.

    • killtruck

      Enjoy.

      By the way, the dude in that picture is why I don’t consider myself part of the tea party movement.

    • independentvoter

      I find this article funny and not at all relevant.. I belong to a few T.E.A. party groups and go to some of the rally depending on WHAT the issue is.. I listen to ALL the speakers and candidates and REGARDLESS of whom the T.E.A PARTY endorses I vote for the person I feel represents ME not them.. UNLIKE the liberals who will vote for anyone the DEMOCRATS tell them to.. bet there is less discord within the 4 or 5 different groups then in DEMOCRATIC PARTY so your comments is like someone living in a glass house and throwing stones..

      • ladylove

        I am a democrat,

        I supported Hillary

        but did not support Obama, nor did I vote for him.

        please note, not all democrats follow party lines, some of us think for ourselves.

        I consider my self a conservative democrat, not a liberal. we actually do exist.

        just so you know.

        • anniebanannie

          Can you please enlighten me how you can support Hillary’s policies and also those of the Tea Party? Seems to me they are worlds apart.

      • loudog

        UNLIKE the liberals who will vote for anyone the DEMOCRATS tell them to.

        Just like the Republicans who voted for McCain and can’t stand him?

        • truebearing

          Loud dog,

          people voted for McCain because virtually anyone was better than Nerobama, which he has so abundantly proven.

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