Tea-Party Express Rumors Dirty Business

7 01 2010

Please Read Carefully!

Holy Cow! Why the “Holy Cow” you may ask. Because we Conservative Independents need to calm the you-know-what down. On top of that, we Conservatives need to learn from our mistakes, and fast.

When the Marxist left comes after us, we have learned to laugh at them and go on about the work at hand. (For those that don’t know, the work is…  saving our country from Progressive/Marxist rule) But if someone on our side starts a tiff like the one that happened recently in the Tea-Party movement, then we seem to all go bonkers. For the sake of our country STOP IT!

A recent article in TPMMuckraker.com started a small fire when they questioned the involvement of the Tea-Party Express. Their claim seemed to be that the GOP was trying to steal the Tea-Party movement by being involved with starting the Tea-Party Express. It even raised a few hackles here in this blog. As most of you know, Mr. Lloyd Marcus travels with the Tea-Party Express and gives rousing speeches and sings patriotic songs at rally stops all around the country. Mr. Marcus is also one of our contributing artists at one of our sister sites called the “Conservative Endowment for the Arts” . I had emailed him and asked him about all the stink and then posted his response here in the ‘Update’ section.

That was soon followed by some questions from a close friend to all of us, Eowyn. She was concerned about claims raised at TPMMuckraker.com. The main claim seemed to be that a Mr. Sal Russo started the Tea-Party Express through a PAC he had started in 2008. Mr. Russo’s company has also helped many a Republican win elections. And that was the connection that people were questioning. It seems that people were making the leap from a man that helps win elections for the GOP, to him getting his Camels nose under the tent to take over the Tea-Party movement. Well, I didn’t want to get in the middle of this argument so I asked Eowyn to ask the questions directly to Mr. Marcus. After writing Eowyn, I pondered what had happened in a short amount of time because of one article on the internet, so I decided to write to Mr. Sal Russo myself and ask him what-the-hell is going on. To my surprise he wrote back in a very timely manner. He has given me permission to post here…

Dear Gio –

Thank you for your email and I will try to answer your questions as best I can.

1.   We started ‘Our Country Deserves Better’ PAC in June or thereabouts of 2008 because we were fearful that the McCain campaign would not delineate clearly the contrasts and differences with Barrack Obama.  We felt that McCain was trying so hard to be agreeable that Americans would not see the clear differences between the candidates.  As the campaign developed and McCain got better with his new campaign people, we then started to focus our efforts in 5 states that we felt were critical for McCain to be competitive in.

2.  At the end of 2008, our plan was to scrap the PAC.  However, many of our supporters kept asking us to stay involved.  So we sent out a poll to our supporters as to whether we should shut down or keep operating.  It was something like 98% said they wanted us to keep going and fighting for conservative causes.  So we decided to keep going.

3.  In February of 2009 we heard Rick Santelli do his rant and a call for a tea party.  We thought he was dead right on.  So we immediately began blogging and emailing on the need for a tea party movement.  We then came up with the idea of doing a national bus tour to show Americans that others were feeling like they were.  Despite the media adulation of Obama, many Americans were waking up and wanting to get active.  That is our the Tea Party Express came about.

4.  Unlike some of the tea party groups, we have always thought the strength of the movement came from the local level.  We have been against trying to forge a national organization, which ends up sapping the energy of the local people.  We have tried to use our bus tours to motivate people to get off their couches and to get active politically in their local communities.  We need new blood in politics and wanted to motivate people to get involved.  While we may not agree with every decision by every group, we believe that democracy is best served by an involved and informed electorate.  Thus, conservatives would be the beneficiary of all of this new political activity.

5.  Our goal as a political action committee is to support candidates that support the basic goals of the tea party movement.  We have our version of it printed right on the bus:  End the Bailouts, Reduce the Size and Intrusiveness of Government, Stop the Out of Control Spending, No Government Run Healthcare, and Stop Raising our Taxes!  We have decided to stay away from social and foreign policy issues and stick to the economic issues which unite tea party activists.  We will support the best candidate regardless of party, although likely most will be Republicans.  We did support the Independent conservative in the recent New York Congressional special election.

6.  Once the elections are over in 2010, we probably will focus on the presidential campaign.  We will support the best credible conservative that stands for the same issues that we do.  No question about it that Sarah Palin is the most popular politician at our rallies, but there is another year to go before we have to make a decision.

7.  We strongly believe the tea party movement should remain independent and free from domination by any political party or candidate.  We need to true to our set of principles.  We do tend to favor the practical side of things and don’t believe in tilting at windmills.  That means getting the best candidates we can – although many will not be perfect.  We agree with you that our country is seriously off track.  We have to defeat the leftist take-over of our country.  As my old boss Ronald Reagan often said, I would rather have an 80% friend than a 100% enemy.

8.  As for the TPM article and the attacks from the left, we are use to it.  If you have read Sarah Palin’s book, you can see some current examples of how the liberal media distorts the truth about conservatives.  It is dismaying to me when our fellow conservatives pick up on their nonsense and start repeating it.  We won’t get anywhere with circular firing squads.  I started working for Reagan in 1966 in his primary campaign for Governor.  I was only 19.  I just turned 20 when he was elected and I went to Sacramento with him as his personal aide.  In that campaign and in every one of his campaigns, including the 1984 re-election, we had conservatives oppose him and say he wasn’t conservative enough.  It was very frustrating to him and to me.  But, I have gotten use to our friends doing the work of our enemies.  It is unfortunately, but something we have to endure.  The cause is to important for us to be distracted by some of our misbehaving friends.

9.  As for Lloyd Marcus, as you obviously know, he is an integral part of our organization and we are looking forward to being with him again on our 2010 bus tours.

Well, Gio, I hope this isn’t too long.  But I tried to answer your questions as best I could.

If you need anything more, please let me know.  Thanks again,

Sal

***********************

Now I would like to give my opinion concerning this entire affair. If you belong to a Tea-Party organization that you feel comfortable with, then I strongly urge you to stick with them and support them. The only exception would be one outfit that is using the Tea-Party name to grow their ranks as a White Supremacist group. I don’t have their name handy but will publish when I get it.

Even if we end up with 15 different Tea-Party orgs, who cares? As long as they are all working towards the same goal, we all win. In fact, our country wins. If Republicans want to join us in our Tea-Party movement, let’s welcome them with open arms. If Republicans want to undermine the Tea-Party movement, they will feel our wrath.

Please, let’s STOP eating our own and stay focused on what’s really important, saving our country!

Gio-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 responses

7 01 2010
Doc's Wife

Gio–thanks for the info. This answers many questions. We must always remember that the liberals would like nothing better that to split our movement into many splinters. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are stirring some things up.

7 01 2010
giovanniworld

DW,

I agree! And I wouldn’t be surprised to find a Republican or two that want to make things difficult for the Tea-Parties in general. When you have been one of the only two power brokers in the country for such a long time, it can be hard to give it up to a bunch of patriotic tea-baggers, or what I like to call… old fashion Americans that still believe we are the shining city on the hill.

Keep your spirits up, this is far from over!

Gio-

7 01 2010
Eowyn

Gio,

Thanks for contacting Sal Russo directly to clarify all this. I’ll re-post his e-mail to you on my Fellowship blog, if it’s OK with you? However, I notice that Mr. Russo did not address the matter of why some 65% (more than $800,000) of the $1.3 million in expenses claimed by the Tea Party Express’ political action committee went to Russo’s GOP political consulting firm.

I’ve never advocated “shooting in a circle” at fellow conservatives. But, given human nature, we can’t dismiss the likelihood (or even reality) that the GOP would want to coopt the Tea Party movement. So, as a general rule, we conservatives need to keep our eyes open as we sally forward to retake America in 2010!

7 01 2010
giovanniworld

Eowyn,

I’ve read everything at his political consulting business website and nowhere does it say they are a GOP political consulting firm. Now if Tea-Party money went to a GOP PAC then that would be another story.

I think there is much ado about nothing here and I think we could waste valuable time and energy on stuff like this. I plan on writing to TPMMuckraker and see how they react. Someone emailed me privately asking to keep their name private, saying that TPM has a tangled monetary interest in this whole affair. What it is I do not know, so we will just have to wait and see how all this shakes out.

Oooops, yes you can repost at your site.

Gio-

7 01 2010
Eowyn

As Alice in Wonderland said: “It’s getting curioser and curioser.” So now TPM may have a “monetary interest” in all this? What a tangled web this is!

I’m reminded of what Ronald Reagan once said: “Trust, but Verify.” Not a bad motto for 2010/2012 Conservatives!

7 01 2010
DCG

Trust but verify…and broadcast on C-SPAN!

8 01 2010
giovanniworld

That’s funny!

Gio-

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