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Tea Party Patriots

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The Tea Party Patriots is an organization within the Tea Party movement, which credits its inspiration in the early organizing of Keli Carender, although the formal co-founders are listed as Jenny Beth Martin, Mark Meckler, and Amy Kremer. Its website was chartered in March 2009, it incorporated as a 501(c)(4) in June 2009, and the Tea Party Patriots Inc. PAC, registered with the Federal Election Commission in January 2010.
Of all the Tea Party factions, Tea Party Patriots can rightly make the claim that it is the most

grassroots. As of August 2010, there are just over 2200 different local Tea Party Patriot chapters listed on its website, more than all the other national factions combined. There are 115,311 online members on its main website and 74,779 registered to its social networking website, as of August 1, 2010...Despite its size, Tea Party Patriots budget is considerably smaller than FreedomWorks, Tea Party Express, and ResistNet. Tea Party Patriots financial information for fiscal year ending May 31, 2010 showed total contributions of $538,009 and total expenses of $400,596 ($342,

559 to program service, $58,037 to administration and management) [1]
The Tea Party Patriots web site claims to be the national organization for the Tea Party movement, although other movement factions make similar claims:

Tea Party Patriots, Inc. ("TPP") is a non-partisan, non-profit social welfare organization dedicated to furthering the common good and general welfare of the people of the United States. TPP furthers this goal by educating the public and promoting the principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets. Tea Party Patriots has not endorsed candidates for public office."[2]

Oppposition

In the factional fights within the movement, it has maintained it is the only true grassroots organization, where, according to national coordinator Mark Meckler, every member is a leader. "Tea Party Patriots is the most notorious hater of Tea Party groups that aren't "grassroots" enough." In particular, Meckler raised questions about Tea Party Express, , the group run by Republican consultant Sal Russo, which has successfully operated in campaigns in Nevada, Alaska, and Delaware.
They are the classic top-down organization run by G.O.P. consultants, and it is the antithesis of what the Tea Party movement is about," Meckler told the New York Times recently. TPP organizers have also called Tea Party Express "racist," due to the anti-Muslim rantings of its former front man, Mark Williams, who stepped aside earlier this year. [3]

Meckler said TPP rejected Amy Kremer because TPP tries to be nonpartisan, while the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, which founded Tea Party Express, raises funds for Republicans. They also were concerned with any affiliations with then-TPE leader Mark Williams. “Williams has a tendency to go out to national media and say exceptionally inflammatory things,” said Meckler. “That can lead to the Tea Party movement being painted by the left as a bunch of racists. And that’s not the Tea Party movement.” [4]

References

  1. Devin Burghart and Leonard Zeskind (2010), Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope, and Focus of Its National Factions, Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, p. 41
  2. Tea Party Patriots | About Tea Party Patriots. Retrieved on 2010-09-26.
  3. Chris Good (22 September 2010), "A Guide to Tea Party Infighting", The Atlantic
  4. David Weigel (2 October 2009), "Tea Party Patriots vs. Tea Party Express", Washington Independent