The Reasoned Review

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Tea Party Poopers

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Stephanie Mencimer has an amusing report in this week’s Mother Jones. The “Tea Party” group of September 12th fame, who rose in opposition to “Obamacare”, “death panels” (and let’s not forget) “socialism”, finds itself riven with factionalism and discontent, according to Mencimer’s article. A picturesque and characteristic study of a “grassroots movement” and its eventual co-option by moneyed forces, her article is valuable for shedding light on how money corrupts.

Would a true Tea Party patriot drop nearly $1,600 in donor money for a small meal at a fancy steakhouse? Robin Stublen says no, and he’s mad as hell about the profligate expenditures of a GOP political organization that has glommed on to his grassroots movement. Stublen is the organizer of the Punta Gorda, Florida, Tea Party and a member of Tea Party Patriots, a national grassroots organization that has no offices, no president, raises virtually no money, operates largely on volunteer efforts, and, most important, doesn’t endorse candidates.

The “Tea Party Patriots” are not to be confused with the “Tea Party Express”; the latter derives its funding from major Republican donors and is basically seen as an organ of the Republican party. The former, on the other hand, claims to be the true “grassroots” movement – underfunded and without an institutional voice, they are frequently mistaken for their well-funded cousins.

For instance, according to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, the PAC that created Tea Party Express dropped $1,597.29 over the summer for a meal for six at a tony Sacramento Chops restaurant, an expenditure that has Stublen seeing red.

“Six people averaged $266; that’s not grassroots. I kill bugs and cut grass for a living. I’m splurging when I spend $19 at Chili’s. Outback Steakhouse is reserved for Mother’s Day,” Stublen says.



Written by pavanvan

January 3, 2010 at 6:14 pm

One Response

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  1. The yardstick of a political movement is where they eat? Hobo Party should be considered holymen since beans and spam is a gourmet splurge! Who cares what anyone spends on a meal. If I could spend $100,000 for a dinner with a President fundraiser for rubber chicken, maybe I would. Anyway, TEA party doesn’t need anybody to make it official or unofficial. It’s happening without any political experts help. It’s not stopping because of anyone critical of some folks trying to take advantae of this public uprising.


    January 3, 2010 at 8:27 pm

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