I can already hear everyone I know bitching at me about this blog post. This will, to me, prove who really stands for liberty and who is ready to sell out the Constitution when it suits their needs. The phrases like “don’t tread on me” and “give me liberty or give me death” can only mean so much if, when called to defend the Constitution, we let fear come between us and liberty.
The guy they arrested for the attempted car-bombing in Times Square has a foreign sounding name but he is an American citizen. John Mccain is out there saying he shouldn’t have been given his Miranda rights and I’m sure many people reading this agree. He is, after all, a terrorist, right? Weren’t Tim Mcveigh and the Unibomber? I am sure they were read their Miranda rights. They were taken to civilian courts with a jury for sure. And why wouldn’t they be? They are American citizens.
If they want to try this bastard for treason and have him drawn and quartered that is fine by me. But please don’t tell me that an American citizen, arrested on the streets of one of our cities, shouldn’t be given Miranda rights. I’ll bet if he were an illegal immigrant Mccain would have no problem with him. If they can do it to this guy, they can do it to any of us. If Obama decides that some tea party organizer is a “threat” to national security can he arrest them and not give the Miranda warnings and take them to a military court? We are not talking about someone found fighting our soldiers in Iraq or some foreign national; this is an American citizen just like all of us.
I hope people understand that this is where the tea party folks need to stand up for the Constitution even though it is uncomfortable. If they can take one of his rights away, they can take all of his rights away. If they can take away his rights, they can take away our rights. People that are citizens of other countries do not need to be read Miranda rights. People caught fighting us in Iraq should not be given Constituional rights. American citizens, arrested in America deserve Constitutional rights. End of story.
Every Saturday, since April, from 4 to 6 p.m. Jason Hoyt and I host a radio show where we talk about politics and political activism. We talk about the Tea Party movement and talk to guests about different groups to get involved with and different ways to be involved. We have a lot of fun doing the show and we hope that it has an impact. At the end of the show I hope we have entertained and informed people.
Doing talk radio was a dream of mine since I was in high school. I consider it an honor and a blessing that I continue to have the opportunity to do the show. Before the show starts I bounce up and down in front of my microphone (some people watching on webcam love my bouncing others hate it). I do the entire show standing because I am so excited and full of energy I can’t sit still. I think doing talk radio is a very special thing, but there is something that makes it even more special.
I get to do the show every week with the best cohost in the whole world of talk radio, Jason Hoyt. Hoyt is not just a close friend, he is honestly one of the greatest human beings on the face of the planet. It’s going to be hard to explain in a blog what makes Hoyt so great but I am going to try.
Hoyt is one of the most dedicated patriots I have ever met. We have known each other since 2003 and I’ve met a lot of great patriots since then but no one comes close to being as dedicated as Hoyt. Hoyt is on a mission to save this country and understands that it is going to be a long struggle void of instant gratification.
To Hoyt this is a generational struggle. This is the concept behind his website myamericanism.com, to use education over the course of the next several generations to get this country back to the country it should be. Few people I know would have the patience and dedication for such a project but the indefatigable Jason Hoyt does.
Hoyt has always been an inspiration to me that way. Seeing one man fighting so hard to save his country makes me want to fight harder. This lone voice in the wilderness makes others want to join the cause. He is a natural leader that people instinctivly want to follow. His knoweldge of the issues and stoic nature also serve well to calm people when we are frustrated and feel like giving up.
Every Saturday when I stand in front of my microphone and look across the table and see Hoyt I thank God for giving me such a great friend. I thank God that he has given me such a deep well from which to draw inspiration. I thank God also for making patriots like Jason Hoyt.
I have written a couple of blogs about the Tea Party Express and the way they raised money just to piss it away on $4000 dinners and “consulting fees” for people that have no consulting experience consulting. Well, now it’s time to focus on another group that is wasting the money you send them.
Tea Party Patriots is one of the many national tea party groups. Tea Party Patriots was started by Amy Kremer after the Tax Day Tea Party back in April of 2009. They have been collecting money from donations that regular people all over America send them so they can battle liberals and advance the cause. Instead of spending the money you donate on fighting the enemy they are spending the money on lawyers so they can sue other people in the movement.
They kicked Amy Kremer out of her own group because Amy was becoming too much of a rock star and the rest of the TPP leadership was feeling overshadowed. Amy was the one that was always being asked to do TV interviews and radio interviews and the other two main organizers just couldn’t stand it. So they vote Amy out of her own organization and to add insult to injury they file a lawsuit against her to get control of teapartypatriots.org, a website she bought and teapartypatriots.ning.com, another website she owned.
In the month of August they spent more than $16,000 on legal fees. Over the past 5 months they have spent TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars on lawyers to sue Amy. They have now threatened to sue Jason Hoyt and me and our radio show because when we were buying websites for the radio show we bought teapartypatriots.com. Why is TPP spending tens of thousands of dollars that patriots from all over the country send them to sue other people on their side? Amy Kremer is a regular lady, she isn’t a millionaire that can afford to spend thousands on lawyers. Not only are they wasting YOUR money, now they are making Amy waste hers too so she can defend herself for having done nothing wrong. If you ask the leadership of TPP about this they will give you slick answers as to why they have to spend your money suing other tea party leaders; remember one of them is a lawyer (and we know how much we can trust lawyers!).
The radio show is luckier than Amy because we have had several lawyers offer us advice, one of them being our former congressman Ric Keller. We have also had several offer to help us pro bono. Again though, they are wasting peoples time and resources so we can defend ourselves for doing nothing wrong. Our radio show existed before TPP and we bought our website before they existed. If anything we should be suing them for stealing OUR name but we aren’t those kind of people.
Tea Party Patriots is killing the movement because they are dividing us instead of uniting us. Instead of staying focus on the real enemy they are wasting valuble time and money fighting their own. They are trying to own a movement that doesn’t belong to any one group. This is a grassroots movement that belongs to the people. Nobody should claim ownership of it and nobody should be suing other people who trying to fight the liberals. All this does is ensures that the movement will be ineffective and keeps the focus off the healthcare bill that the Senate is going to pass this weekend or Cap and Trade.
They are also driving away people from the movement who see this powergrab as the kind of politics as usual that we see as being part of the problem in Washington. This is the problem that money brings into things. People become power-hungry and greedy and loose track of the real goal. It is really sad that TPP feels this is the way to get things done. We are all supposed to be on the same side. We are all supposed to be fighting for the core values of the movement (which TPP claim to support) Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government, and Free Markets. How can TPP claim to support fiscal responsiblity when they piss away so much money that good people have donated to them on frivolous lawsuits? In my mind they have lost the moral upperhand in this argument. Good people that have been fighting since this movement began last February are walking away from the movement because TPP is trying to bully them into doing things their way or give them a website they own. This is not good for the movement which means it’s not good for America.
It’s my hope that TPP change their tactics and stop suing people and threatening people because these Nazi scare tactics are bad for all involved. Further, it is my hope that TPP join the fight against liberals and socialists and leave the people in the movement alone. Moreover, I hope that the patriotic people in this movement stop donating money to TPP so they cannot continue this blitzkrieg. We have a real chance to make a difference with this movement but we have to be united or else we are doomed to fail. We can’t let that happen.
Last month I wrote a blog about the Tea Party Express bus tour and what a complete load of bullshit it was. I pointed out that the tour was being run by a political action committee (PAC) pretending to be the Tea Party movement and the PAC was using the grassroots and exploiting our emotional attachment to the tea party name to raise money for their PAC. They sent out fundraising emails several times a week begging people for money to help “save our country” and to “help elect conservatives”.
I said at the time that people had no idea where their money was being spent. I also pointed out that the PAC was paying real leaders in the movement to be on the bus and make it seem more legit. Serveral people on the bus tour took issue with my blog post and said that I was wrong about the tea party leaders being paid (we will see about that in just a minute!). It all just seemed so disingenuous to me. They knew that people were writing checks thinking that the money was going to the Tea Party movement when it was, in fact, going to the PAC. I consider what they did theft through deception.
I caught a lot of hell from the AstroTurf thieves that did not like the fact that someone was telling the truth about their little scam. Well, I should have titled this blog post “Vindication” because we now have proof that I was right. The PAC that organized the bus tour published their financial records recently. Every PAC is required by law to disclose their expenses. We now know how much of your money was spent to “get conservatives elected” and how much went into the pockets of the people on the bus.
While they were here in Orlando they went out to dinner at a restaurant called “Black Olive” and they spent more than $4,000. This is for one meal!!! Another night here in Orlando the gang ate at the Citrus Club, one of the most expensive restaurants in downtown Orlando, but don’t worry they only spent $2,000 of YOUR money that night. Tens of thousands of dollars went straight into the pockets of the people on the bus, even the person who sanctimoniously told me that she wasn’t getting paid to be on the bus! Tens of thousands more of your dollars went to a consulting firm owned by one of the people on the bus.
It really makes me want to puke that these people sent out emails exploiting our attachment to the Tea Party movement and our patriotism so they could raise money and live like rock stars for a month. In total the PAC raised a million dollars from hard working patriotic people like you who thought that their money was going to be spent to save our country. Instead they spent $800,000 of that million dollars on their lavish bus tour and multi-thousand dollar dinners at the finest restaurants in America. All is not totally lost though, they did give conservative Doug Hoffman, from NY-23, $1,000! Or 1/6 of what they spent on TWO meals here in Orlando.
You can view the expenses here:
To make matters even worse the PAC has already sent out emails asking people to donate up to $5,000 so they can begin another tea party bus tour. It absolutly shocks the conscious that with unemployment at 10%, people’s homes being forclosed on, and our government spending trillions of dollars it doesn’t have, these people are asking hardworking patriotic people to piss away their money so Thealeadership of this PAC and their AstroTurf friends can travel around America spending thousands of dollars on dinners and “consulting fees” for the people on the bus.
It is my hope that this blog and the link I provided saves people from throwing their money away again. If you want to make a real difference find a candidate you believe in and donate to their campaign. Or better yet, use the money to run for office yourself. Please don’t give it to these lying thieves so they can live it up while they travel the country on someone else’s money. Doesn’t that sound more like something a liberal would do? How can these people claim to have our values of fiscal responsibility when they are spending $4,000 on ONE dinner? If you have not already please look over their expenses at the link above and see for yourself what the Tea Party Express spent your money on to “save our country”.
Since I posted my last blog I have been catching a lot of heat from members of the AstoTurf Express. They seem to be upset that someone is telling the truth about what they are doing. If they aren’t doing anything wrong why would they be so upset about someone explaining to people what is going on? Why are they so angry at me for writing a blog stating that the “Tea Party” Express is being run by a political action committee (PAC)? Why are they so upset that I wrote in my blog about the PAC paying for hotel rooms and meals for Tea Party leaders. I think the Tea Party leaders that are on the bus have a guilty conscious about what they are doing. That is why they are lashing out at me for telling the grassroots what is really happening.
This week there were emails sent out by the AstroTurf Express begging for donations to raise money for TV advertising. This is really sad and disgusting and the Tea Party leaders on that bus should be ashamed of themselves for exploiting the Tea Party name to raise money so a PAC can run TV ads. One of the emails said the following (in part):
We put out the word this morning that we’re going to launch our third wave of national television advertising. We need to raise $35,000 in two days to pay for this, and so far today have already raised over $10,000. Thank you!
We’ve also been getting increasing coverage from both CNN and Fox News. Our Communications Director, Levi Russell, is uploading those files and we’ll be sending them out to you (we have slow Internet connection out here in the Nevada desert so bear with us as it takes a little time).
To help us raise the $25,000 we need to raise today and tomorrow, please make a contribution to our Tea Party Express –
Is this what the Tea Party movement is supposed to be? Is this grassroots? I know I am not the only one that has a problem with this because dozens of people have sent me emails about this stating their problems with this. As I said in my last blog, this PAC is exploiting the emotional attachment that the grassroots has to the Tea Party name for their own gain; so they can run TV ads and stay in nice hotels on their bus tour and eat at nice restaurants every meal of every day. To make matters worse, as if it could get much worse, they issued the following press release today:
Breaking News: Leaders of the Tea Party Express (website: http://www.TeaPartyExprss.org) are flying out to Washington, D.C. to join Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann on Thursday, November 5th at 12:00 Noon.
Tea Party Express Vice Chair, Deborah Johns, Tea Party Patriots co-founder, Amy Kremer, and singer of the “American Tea Party Anthem” will all briefly leave the ongoing Tea Party Express national tour and fly out to Washington, D.C.
And they will carry with them thousands of letters opposing Speaker Pelosi’s government-run healthcare plan that have been handwritten by attendees at the Tea Party Express rallies that have been taking place across the nation these past few days.
So in addition to using the Tea Party name to raise money for their PAC to donate to candidates that may or may not support Tea Party values they are using your money to fly to DC for tomorrows event. We all know how expensive it is to buy a plane ticket on short notice so it must have cost a pretty penny to buy 3!
All of this is further proof of what a fraud the Tea Party Express is. They are not grassroots, they are not nonpartisan and they don’t care about us or this movement. All they care about is exploiting the true grassroots of this movement so they can raise money for their PAC and jetset around America feeling important. And Heaven forbid anyone should have the nerve to tell the truth and inform people about what is really going on! I will continue to catch hell, I suppose, because I will continue to tell the truth about the AstroTurf Express fraud.
There are two reasons the Tea Party Express stop in Orlando is a fraud. Each reason is equally important though unrelated to the other reason. They are as follows:
1) The Tea Party Express is being organized and promoted by a political action committee (PAC) that is not connected to the Tea Party Movement in any way. The PAC is using the emotional attachment that people have to the Tea Party name to raise-funds. If they had planned this tour and called it the PAC Fundraiser Express they know very well that no one would have showed up or donated money. So, they call their bus tour Tea Party Express knowing that large crowds will turn out and people will be more willing to give money if they think that the money is going to support the Tea Party movement or candidates approved by the Tea Party movement. We in Orlando find this to be disingenuous at best and outright fraud at worst and we are not alone in our feelings. The Houston Tea Party and other Tea Party groups are also boycotting the Tea Party Express stops in their respective cities. The PAC is paying two real Tea Party leaders to be on the bus with them to lend legitimacy to the tour. Also, the local Tea Party leaders are not “planning” these events per se. Local leaders are being asked to secure locations and permits but the program is predetermined by the PAC. All the music and speakers and the messege et al is determined by the PAC.
When the Orlando Tea Party was contacted by the Tea Party Express about planning the stop here in Orlando and we told them that we could not in good faith ask our members and followers to attend an event that is raising funds for a PAC that will be going to candidates that are not in Central Florida and have not been vetted by the Orlando Tea Party. If we were going to hold such an event, which we would not, we would ensure that the money raised would go to candidates in Central Florida that were approved by our members and we would ensure that people donating knew to what candidates their money would go. This brings us to problem number two.
2) After we told them that the Orlando Tea Party would not be planning nor promoting this event and we would prefer it if they did not come to Orlando they decided to contact a local shock jock to plan and promote the event. This local shock jock has a terrible reputation in Orlando because of a long line of publicity stunts that he has pulled recently. Last summer during an Orange County Commission meeting the radio show host stood up and started publicly berating Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty. Mayor Crotty gave him a few minutes to rant and rave before telling him he had his say so please sit down. The shock jock continued to yell and scream until Orange County Sheriffs deputies took him out in handcuffs and gave him a criminal tresspass, meaning he is never allowed at the Orange County Commission as long as he lives.
More recently (last week) this shock jock attended an Orange County Republican Executive Committee (OCREC) meeting and pulled a similar stunt to that which he pulled at the Orange County Commission meeting. He stood up out of turn and made a motion that the program be tabled so OCREC could discuss plans that he has for the party. OCREC Chairman Lew Oliver ruled him out of order and asked him to sit down. Instead, he continued his diatribe until the crowd started shouting at him to sit down, at which point he removed his OCREC membership badge and threw it across the room and stormed out. Because of this latest stunt the radio station on which his program aired canceled his program, this being the last in a long line of problems they had to put up with because of him.
The Orlando Tea Party has a great reputation around town and because of our influence we have the respect of many of our local elected officials. Members of the State House and candidates for Congress and Senate, and many other smaller offices, seek us out for advice and opinions. We have worked hard to cultivate these relationships and have the ability to influence politicians and policy and we will not have our reputation tarnished by having people think that this event that the shock jock is planning is associated in any way with the Orlando Tea Party. We do not want our names anywhere near his out of fear that the effectiveness that we have worked so hard for will disappear.
Finally, the shock jock planning the event is selling booths to politicians and issue groups eg. Fair Tax, for $500 a booth. When questioned as to what would be done with the money left over after covering expenses we were told it would be profit. When we expressed our dismay he responded that “profit is not a dirty word”, which is true but the Orlando Tea Party has never profited from an event. We have held 4 events that drew more than 4,000 at each event and we only charged money to people wishing to sell things at their booths. Politicians and groups wishing to passout information about issues were given booths free of charge. All money raised went to cover the cost of our events and anything left over was put into the Orlando Tea Party bank account for use on a future event. Those of us who were involved in the original Nationwide Tea Parties since February and had worked on the Tax Day event and the two other Tea Parties we had here in Orlando resented someone who has never planned a Tea Party using the name Tea Party to put money in his own pockets.
Like a lot of you I used to be really jaded when it comes to politicians. A lot of them seems like they think they are something special and the rest of us are nobodys not worthy of their time or attention. Our congressman, Alan Grayson, is one of the best examples of this. At public events speaks to us with contempt and acts as if we are beneath him. There are politcians like this on both sides of the aisle.
There are, however, some politicians that are down to earth and capable of communicating with us “little people”. State Representative Scott Plakon, who represents district 37 in the Florida House, was a guest on our show a few months back and has been several times since. I am now honored to call him a personal friend.
There are even politicians like Scott Plakon at the federal level. Congressman Steve King of Iowa’s 5th district is one such man. Mr. King was a guest on the show a few weeks back and again today. Jason and I were both very impressed with the way Congressman King spoke to us like a friend not a politcian. After the interview I spoke to Congressman King off the air, he was friendly and easy to speak to. You would think that he would hurry me off the phone instead of taking the time to listen to me but he didn’t. He took the time to have an actual conversation and he listened like any friend would.
I think we need to have more Steve Kings and less Alan Graysons; not just based on politics but based on personality. We need more politicians who really listen to people and who really care not just politicians who pretend to listen so they can LOOK like they care. We need to elect politicians like Steve King who have the ability to communicate with regular people because they are regular people. We need to elect politicians who have worked for a living instead of millionaires that buy their seats because they want the power that comes with being a congressman. We also need more politicians who understand that representative is not a title but a job description. We need more politicians who are regular people who care like Steve King and Scott Plakon and less power hungry millionaires like Alan Grayson. It’s up to us to make it happen.
Today in the radio show we had as a guest a very smart and very talented young lady named Rachelle Friberg. Rachelle is a blogger from the west coast and the newest member in the ever-growing family of patriots that has formed since this movement began back in February. It makes me happier than my limited grasp of the English language could ever permit me to relate to you in this blog.
Since this began I have found many other people my age that share my conservative values and moreover, they want to do something about it. Men like TJ Thompson from Indiana and Brad Rees from Virginia are running for congress and many others have taken to the blogosphere, like Rachelle, to make their voices heard. It is encouraging to see so many people my age that refuse to sit on the sidelines; they are buttoning their chinstraps and getting into the game. Politics is no longer a spectator sport and my generation is breaking new ground using technology to get into the game.
This family that we have created is full of the most caring and patriotic people I have ever met. We are growing extremely close and we spend hours talking, emailing, and texting each other. We have deep conversations about politics, religion, and life. We are here to help each other in any way we can and we are helping each other share our talents with a wider and wider network of patriots.
I am honored that God has brought these people into my life and I am happy to be a small part of this family.
This week while going through the stat counter for our website my co-host for the radio show, Jason Hoyt, noticed that one of the IP addresses was from the “executive office of the President USA” which struck him as kind of weird. What was even more strange was that the refering link was from Google. Someone at the White House had done a Google search for “phil russo”, “worl”, and “tea party patriots”. We find this all very funny of course but it does raise some questions. How does anyone at the White House know my name? Why were they searching for me? Are they doing this to other leaders in the Tea Party movement?
My guess is that they are doing research on any and all of the leadership in this movement. As for why, one can only guess. With the new powers that the government has thanks to George W. Bush and the Patriot Act Obama’s people may very well be tapping my phone without a warrent and going through my library records and seeing what websites I go to ect. This is a good thing. This means that we have them worried about what we are up to. The scary thing will be if they start coming after us and locking us up.
I am very proud to have made the “watch list” of right wing extremists and I hope that Obama and his staff start to listen to the radio show, they may learn something. If you want to check out more about this story you can go to the #TCOT Report story and view the screenshot from our stat counter and see the IP address that was used to hunt me down. http://tcotreport.com/russo.html