We are on the road! Just left Orlando about 45 minutes ago and we are on the Florida Turnpike heading to I-75 to take us up to I-10 and then on to Houston! The folks at the Houston Tea Party Society and North Houston Tea Party are feeding us some Texas BBQ, sweeeet!
The rally in Orlando went great, all the speakers were awesome and the crowd really enjoyed it. The media turned up, which was cool, they never turn out for any of our other events. Todd is taking the first shift behind the wheel and the. Kevin and I are driving the overnight shift to get us to Houston and then we will have a chance to sleep and then rally and head to NM! I am so hungry I can almost taste the BBQ in Houston. More updates to come.
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.
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.
I have been told by several people in our movement that we are going to have to support Republican candidates in elections because if we support a third party or independant candidate we will split the conservative vote and hand the election to the Democrat. I understand this logic. It may very well be true but should we not vote our principles nonetheless? What about the 8 House Republicans that voted for Cap and Trade? Should we not find another candidate in those races to support? Why would we reward those RINOs for voting against our values and principles?
It may be painful and it may be tough for people to do something they have never done before; this is the only way to really make the changes to the Congress in general and the GOP specificly that are needed to save our country. If we just vote for the R because we don’t want the D to win what reason to they have to vote the way we want them to in the future? How do we hold them accountable when they know we will vote for them because they are the “lesser of two evils”?
I say we stop voting for the lesser of two evils and vote for people with our values and principles regardless of party. We cannot just vote for the R because they are part of the problem. For 6 years they had a majority in Congress and we let them get away with spending a fortune and adding billions to the debt. They doubled the size of the Education Department, they created a whole new entitlement with Medicare part D (prescription drugs) and we sat back and watched as they created a brand new massive department of the government called “Homeland Security”; isn’t the Defence Department for securing the homeland?
We also said nothing while they infringed upon our civil liberties in the name of protecting us. They passed a law creating, for the first time in our history, a national ID card. This was called the Real ID Act of 2005. This national ID card is not only a violation of the 10th Amendment, but it is also a violation of the 4th Amendment. It created a massive government database to secure all kinds of private information about you. The Real ID Act was such a violation of the Constitution that Governors Jindal (LA), Sanford (SC), and Palin (AK) all signed laws saying that their states would not comply with the Real ID Act. So many states followed their lead that the program is dead and will no longer take effect, but we the people hardly noticed.
We also allowed them to pass the Patriot Act, which Judge Napolitano of FOX News says was unconstitutional. Some provisions of the Patriot Act allow the Executive Branch the power to: deem American citizens a terrorist threat and suspend their Constitutional rights! It also allowed the government the power to tap your phone without a warrent and do what they called “sneak and peek” searches of your home,again without a warrent, without ever letting you know they were there. Worst of all is the so called “lonewolf” provision in which the government can investigate you without a warrent, tap your phone calls, see what books you have checked out of the library, read your email, see what websites you have been going to et al, even if you have NO connection to a terrorist group or a foreign government. All Obama needs to do is say that he thinks you are a threat to the homeland and the Justice Department can do all the things mentioned above without any indication that you are indeed a terrorist. Do you think this may happen to some of us in the Tea Party movement?
The Republicans did a lot of bad things when they had control of both houses of Congress. We should not reward them for this. We should vote for Republicans that support our limited government principles and respect the Constitution. If, however, we don’t have a Republican that has our values we should support another candidate in that race that does without regard to their party. We must vote our principles not our party and we mustn’t let anyone tell us that we are “throwing our vote away” by voting for an independant. We are voting our principles, that doesn’t seem like a wasted vote to me.
We passed by South of the Border a few minutes ago and we stopped to take some pictures. It was like a ghost town. Very depressing. Obama says that we are in a recovery, you wouldn’t know it from looking at South of the Border.
I couldn’t help but think about all the business owners and employees that are struggling through this economy while the president runs around talking about how great the economy is doing. Crazy.
Meanwhile, we are driving thru NC and it is beautiful. Tom T is getting tired but we are almost there. We are having such a great time. We have not seen any other cars heading up to DC, that we could tell anyway. I know that a car from Orlando is about an hour behind us and there are some folks on Twitter that are on I-95.
Kelsey is in the back doing a crossword while Tom and I listen to Rush and chain smoke.