Exclusive: Co-founder Mark Meckler resigns from Tea Party Patriots

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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.

Mark Meckler, the co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, has resigned from his role with the grassroots group over internal disputes about the leadership of the organization, The Daily Caller has learned.

In an email obtained by TheDC, Meckler told the state coordinators of Tea Party Patriots on Thursday night that he “fought long and hard” to maintain the group “as an organization that is run from the bottom up, with the intent of serving the grassroots.”

“Unfortunately, it is my belief that I have lost this fight,” Meckler said. “I probably fought the internal fight longer than I should have, but I wanted to give absolutely every possible effort to preserving what I believe was the unique nature of the TPP organization.”

Since the organization’s founding, Meckler has shared the role of national coordinator with co-founder Jenny Beth Martin. But Meckler wrote in the email that he had lost “influence in the leadership of the organization, and it has been that way for quite some time.”

Meckler said the board granted Martin “almost complete power over the day-to-day operations” in November 2011 after a “protracted fight in which I was complaining about the direction, operation (top-down) and finances of the organization.”

Neither Meckler nor Martin could immediately be reached for comment on Friday morning.

After TheDC reported Meckler’s resignation, Tea Party Patriots released a statement saying, “Mark Meckler’s resignation as an employee and from the Tea Party Patriots board follows months of discussions and good-faith differences on how best TPP can serve the Tea Party movement.”

“The Tea Party movement involves millions of Americans,” the statement read. “No one person or even small groups of people are responsible for the movement’s success and vitality.”

Meckler’s resignation comes just more than a week after he and Martin released a book together, “Tea Party Patriots: the Second American Revolution.” The two have been on a media tour since then, appearing on television together.

There were no signs publicly of discontent between the two national coordinators.

In his email, Meckler said he “said virtually nothing about this publicly…because I’ve never intended for this to be a public dispute.”

Meckler made news in December after being arrested at an airport in New York City for attempting to check-in a locked gun box holding his Glock 27 pistol and ammunition to a Delta Air Lines ticket agent. He held a concealed-carry permit for the pistol at home in California, but not in New York where he was attempting to board the plane.

The felony gun charges were later dropped against Meckler after he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and agreed to pay a fine.

As for the future, Meckler said he “will continue to be an ardent tea party supporter, and I will continue my personal work to provide real resources and support to grassroots activists all across the country.”

He said he will also continue to blog at MarkMeckler.com.

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