What is the Tea Party

The continuing saga of ‘whose tea party is this, anyway?’ The tea party is a movement started in 2007 and it’s not going away.

Federal Reserve, IRS, Undeclared Wars, Open Borders, Patriot Act were the original reasons the tea party formed.

Federal Reserve, IRS, Undeclared Wars, Open Borders, Patriot Act were the original reasons the tea party formed.

We just finished reading a commentary that appeared in TheAtlantic.com about the CNN appearance of GOP consultant Amy Kremer, self-described spokesperson for the “tea party”, and we have to agree: It’s pretty frustrating to watch folks like Kremer, who had little to nothing to do with the formation of the tea party movement, continue to pretend to represent us and our ideas.

The subtitle on the article expresses that frustration in a nutshell: “Amy Kremer says Americans have no choice but to trust the president in matters of foreign policy. This is what she thinks limited government is?” The author then concludes with this offering, with which we agree: “A Tea Party leader ought to be fighting for executive-branch transparency so the legislature can better fulfill its oversight function and the need for “trust” is diminished.”

In order to understand what the tea party movement is about, you need first to know its history and the circumstances under which it was founded. CNN and other networks who parade these folks out as our “spokespeople”, should take notice.

On December 16, 2007, a bunch of liberty activists across the country decided to get together to protest the Bush 43 administration’s policies by tossing ‘tea’ boxes emblazoned with those issues into the harbors. Simultaneously, there was with a rally in Boston. In July of 2008, about 10,000 of us marched on DC in protest of the Iraq war. Obviously, these activists did NOT trust the president on foreign policy, and still do not. They still consider themselves “committees of one” and do not have a leader.

But because these issues did not square with the usual right/left paradigm, FOX News and other mainstream media refused to cover our activities. However, in this day and age, we are lucky to have YouTube and blogs on the internet that captured the evidence forever.

Thus, we remain a liberty movement, with no funding (despite what you may have read as ‘fact’ in the mainstream such as this totally unfactual article from McGill University) and no representation in Washington DC.

One of the lynchpin issues of the movement was and still is the monetary system as overseen by the Federal Reserve, a private bank. Many friends of the movement include people such as Peter Schiff and Rick Santelli, well-known names in the financial field. When Rick went on his 2009 rant, he mentioned our “water” activities of 2007. But he also gave big-name GOP consultants an idea, an idea that could now be helping to destroy our good name.

These consultants did not waste any time setting up “tea party” groups as PACs, which to this day concentrate on fundraising, with most of the money funneled back to themselves or to GOP candidates. Not one penny comes to the local tea party groups here in NH. Groups such as Russo’s and Amy Kremer’s Tea Party Express, Judson Phillips’ Tea Party Patriots, Jenny Beth Martin’s and Mark Meckler’s Tea Party Patriots, or www.theteaparty.net, (TownHall’s Todd Cefaratti who you can read more about below) all discovered how much money they could make from well-meaning grassroots activists who thought they were donating to an alternative movement. Unfortunately for us, these are the groups the media continues to push as legit. It’s hard to explain this to low-information or part-time political activists for whom television is the only source of information.

The real movement activists from 2007 continue to work around three main issues, and did not organize to promote candidates or political parties, or to raise money for campaigns, or for anything else. The movement did NOT rise up solely to oppose Obama as claimed, but these groups give the opposition fodder for just that very charge. We understand that it’s not elections that are going to save us, but action at the local level where the federal government continues to encroach on our rights, our property and our freedoms.

In the following MarketWatch.com article from 2012, Russo is quoted repeating the falsehood that Romney had gained full acceptance as “our” candidate (a statement which eventually would be proven wrong by the election).

“And while the movement was initially cool to Romney, it’s now accepted the former governor of Massachusetts as its standard bearer.”

Standard bearer? Russo assumed a lot by suggesting he was speaking on our behalf when he was not. He went on to say…

“There was not a particular tea-party favorite,” Russo said. “I think the tea party is quite confident [Romney] will bring our economy under control.”

To the contrary, there WAS a tea party favorite, the man who inspired us all, not Romney, who frankly didn’t inspire mainstream Republicans to vote for him.

Russo also just about admitted that his job was to dilute the grassroots to make us more apt to “compromise”.

“I think the tea party is quite content it is a serious Republican ticket,” he added. “I think the most important thing is that the party needs to turn the page on the past”.

If Russo thinks this means that his job to absorb us into his party, he is sadly mistaken. While some individuals are happy to work for candidates and campaigns, our NHTPC sticks with the original mission of working on non-partisan issues in a volunteer fashion, as it has for the better part of the last 6 years. (That’s right, the movement will be 6 years old in December 2013, not 3 as the article stated).

As promised, here is more about theteaparty.net’s Todd Cefaratti…

Cefaratti, another one of the GOP’s highly-paid data-gathering consultants, now works for this GOP PAC – www.theteaparty.net (a creation of the neocon TownHall.com) which employs DC lobbyists and promote candidates such as Newt Gingrich (definitely not a tea party icon).

Cefaratti is a professional internet marketing specialist who was accused of misusing $469K+ in data-gathering schemes using the tea party name.

When one donates to them, they are NOT donating to the “tea party movement” as they state on their donation page. You are in fact, donating to GOP lobbyists, consultants, and a full slate of employees — that’s right — employees who get PAID. No one at NHTPC is paid.

Groups “leaders” as Martin TPP, TPN, TPE are constantly being quoted in the press about candidates, foreign policy, and DC matters, yet they were never given any sort of mandate to represent us. While our mission overlaps some of their general goals (lower taxes, more freedom, constitutional government) their mission statement still lacks commitment to the main issues of the original tea party.

Karl Denninger is another person who mistakenly thinks he “founded” the tea party in 2008. However he is correct in his criticism of groups such as TPP and their self-anointed tea party idols who do not ever even talk about the original reasons people were fed up with their government (such as the stranglehold of the Federal Reserve and the illegality of the bailouts).

So when asked why we don’t join and donate to these self-appointed “national” groups, we simply maintain that they, as agents of the GOP, don’t represent us, a non-partisan group. After all, it wouldn’t look very good for us as a group to emulate the very same thing the government has us do as taxpayers; send money to a central organization in DC only to have it handed back to us — with strings — or worse yet, have our positions misrepresented in the media.

As for Matt Kibbe and Dick Armey we have this to say:



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