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Congressional Tea Party Caucus receives mixed reviews from Tea Party activists

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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.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party Caucus in the House convened in Washington for the first time Wednesday, but it is receiving mixed reviews from Tea Party activists across the country.

“I don’t appreciate the caucus,” said one well-known activist, Robin Stublen, of Punta Gorda, Fla. “They don’t deserve it.”

Stublen, a former coordinator with the Tea Party Patriots, continued by saying that he finds it “hypocritical” that some of the 20-plus members who signed up for the caucus haven’t signed the Contract from America, a list of legislative desires trumpeted by many Tea Party leaders.

Stublen suggested Republicans like the idea of being associated with the Tea Party, but are wary of signing on to the Contract from America because the congressional GOP leadership is not behind it. But if they would sign it, he’d be open to the caucus.

“Put your money where your mouth is,” he said. “Until then I’m not buying it. I think it’s a ploy to get reelected.”

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Bachmann said the caucus will bring in “real people from various walks of life” to speak to its members about issues resonating within the Tea Party movement.

“Usually we invite experts in,” Bachmann said of other caucuses in the House. “Well, these are experts in just being regular Americans.”

Bachmann said the idea for the caucus originated when Republican Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul said that if he wins election this November, he would form a Tea Party Caucus in the Senate.

“’Well, we’re here. Why wait?” Bachman said. “Lets go ahead and launch one.’”

Other Tea Party activists contacted by TheDC were favorable to the idea. Mark Meckler, a leader of the Tea Party Patriots organization, told TheDC that, “Any time there are folks out there aligning themselves with Tea Party values… I think that’s a good thing,” he said.

Mark Skoda, the head of the Memphis Tea Party and one of the co-founders of the Tea Party Federation, dismissed the idea that the caucus is a Republican plot to control the movement.

“The notion that Michele Bachmann is somehow co-opting the movement is ridiculous,” he said. “I think this effort could be an effective way to institutionalize some of the Tea Party’s aspirations and provide a sustainable voice in Congress.”

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  • vworre

    Robin Stublen……look in the mirror……listen to yourself…..You sound like the very people you claim to fight against. You state they don’t deserve being on the caucus. Who has to get your permission or your opinion in order to be involved. You are the very thing that concerned citizens have marched and rallied against for the last two years. I hope all concerned citizens are listening to what you are saying…..who do you think YOU ARE? I marched on Washington on 9/12…..not with a group or any organization. I went alone as a concerned citizen, I make phone calls, I write letters, I make my one voice heard. Trust me, there are millions just like me, and we will not drink the koolaide that your now trying to serve up. WE THE PEOPLE will not be bullied by our own side. We will not walk lock step….unlike you we have learned from history.

  • sharinlite

    What part of “we are not one organization but millions of people in small gatherings or singly across America that detest what this President, his Administration and Congress has done and is doing to this once great country….”…do people not understand? I applaud them for what they have done. Would I do it? Don’t know. If the benefit of joining the Caucus is that I might get to talk to some politicians personally?…maybe. Or perhaps they would read my email and confirm that?….maybe. Otherwise, I’ll do my bit in my home town and comments wherever I can on the globe. Oh, and please, someone tell Robin to STUFF IT! Do you thing and leave other alone.

  • Junior54

    I dont care or dont put much behind the Labels people put on others in office. When it is time to vote, I look at each person and based my vote on experience, voting record, history etc. I could care less on what party they belong to. I want the right people in office not the right party in office. There is a difference.

  • truebearing

    Only someone drunk with powerlessness would complain about having Michelle Bachman form a Tea Party caucus. If those who are against it only knew how stupid and uninformed it makes them look they would shut up real fast.

    Having a Tea Party caucus doesn’t mean that any one group is in control, but if any of the Tea Party groups are led by people so paranoid, uninformed, and bereft of strategic intelligence that they are against having a caucus, we have to question whether we want them to participate. Its just that dumb.

    The other reason we have to question those opposed to the caucus is that there are some agent provocateurs from the left who are bent on fomenting trouble, and when someone opposes effectively influencing legislation in favor of conservative principles I start thinking I’m smelling a leftist rat.