Tea Party convention leaders announce formation of political action committee

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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The organizers of this weekend’s National Tea Party — who have been accused of trying to take a leadership role in the grassroots movement largely defined by its lack of centralized leadership — announced on Friday that they are forming a political action committee to “address the next step in the growing impact of the citizen activist movement.”

Judson Phillips said the political action committee will be called Ensuring Liberty PAC and will be focused on electing conservatives across the country.

“We’re not attempting to replace the RNC, we’re not attempting to co-opt the RNC,” convention media strategist and Memphis Tea Party leader Mark Skoda said.

The political action committee will be part of a larger corporation, Skoda said, that is “working to build a sustainable coalition of elected officials, first at the national level and then the state and locally to impact races by focusing on those offline regions that the RNC, NRCC or senatorial campaigns have not.”

The corporation will be headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., and “will take advantage of the lower cost to serve, a heartland view of America all the while keeping its focus on those first principles that seem to be eroded the closer you get to Washington or New York.”

Skoda said the organization seeks to “reflect the aspirations of the grass roots movements that are not connected to the traditional party apparatus,” though “there is no interest in creating any third-party movement.”