Tea Party Patriots Defends Spending Practices: ‘It Costs Money To Operate An Organization Of This Magnitude’

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Tea Party Patriots is defending itself after several news reports have questioned its spending practices.

In a Monday email to supporters, the organization said: “These ‘news reports’ include sensational allegations regarding what might appear to the uninformed as excessive fundraising costs. Their story line is that Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund spend too much money on fundraising, with little left over to actually help drive our issues and help our endorsed candidates.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” it added.

The statement from the group came after The Washington Post ran a story over the weekend titled, “Tea party PACs reap money for midterms, but spend little on candidates.”

It reported that Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin could make more than $450,000 this year through her role through the nonprofit and its Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund super PAC.

Meanwhile, the PAC, according to the story, has spent little on the candidates it supports. While the super PAC has raised $7.4 million since the beginning of 2013, they spent just $184,505 on candidates.

Before the Washington Post story got buzz in Washington over the weekend, The Daily Caller reported in-depth on this. In February, TheDC reported that combined, the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund and the independent expenditure arm of Tea Party Express spent more than 80 percent of the money it raised in 2013 on operating expenditures instead of candidates.

The Tea Party Patriots, in its statement Monday, said the money they spend on soliciting donations also has a political purpose. The group said they have sent “a quarter of a billion” emails to supporters over the last give years.

“We at Tea Party Patriots use email and direct mail to not only raise small dollar contributions from thousands of people but also to communicate directly with our members on important issues:  the IRS targeting scandal, the national debt, taxes and spending, ObamaCare, Benghazi, and immigration reform, to name just a few,” the group said.

The operating expenses, they said, are also necessary. “While the Tea Party Patriots is grassroots-based and volunteer driven,” the group said, “altruism inevitably meets reality; it costs money to operate an organization of this magnitude.”

“When we hire an employee, he or she is paid to work toward our mission,” the group said. “When we travel, it is to work toward our mission. When we lease an office, it is to have a place to work to advance our mission. When we pay for training and tools for our volunteers, it is so that they can better accomplish our mission. When we buy supplies, buy equipment, pay contractors, pay lawyers, pay for parking, pay for anything and everything we buy, it is all to accomplish our mission.”

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Alex Pappas