Tea Party Nation

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Tea Party Nation is a conservative American group considered part of the Tea Party movement. Their official website describes them as "group of like-minded people who desire our God given Individual Freedoms which were written out by the Founding Fathers. We believe in Limited Government, Free Speech, the 2nd Amendment, our Military, Secure Borders and our Country!"[1]

The group was created by former Shelby County, Tennessee assistant district attorney Judson Phillips in 2009.[2][3][4] It runs a social networking site for conservative activists[5] and is best known for organizing the 2010 National Tea Party Convention.

National Tea Party Convention[edit]

Tea Party Nation organized the National Tea Party Convention held February 4–6, 2010.[6] Around 600 activists attended the event,[7] and Sarah Palin was featured as the keynote speaker. The event was criticized for its $549 ticket price,[8][9][10][11] as well as the fact that Palin was apparently paid $100,000 USD for her appearance.[12][source needs translation] Palin has said she will donate the fee to unspecified conservative causes.[13]

Several prominent conservative organizations refused to participate in the event due to its for-profit nature. The Tea Party Patriots advised members not to participate in December 2009.[14] Erick Erickson of the conservative blog RedState.com described the convention as "scammy" on January 11.[15] The American Liberty Alliance (ALA), initially a co-sponsor, withdrew its support on January 13.[16] Later in January, Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn cancelled their plans to speak.[17]

At the convention, it was announced that a 501(c)(4) corporation and political action committee (PAC) called "Ensuring Liberty" would be formed to support candidates for office in the 2010 elections.[14][18][19]

A subsequent convention was booked for the following July, postponed until October, and ultimately cancelled. On July 18, 2011 the Venetian Casino Resort filed suit for unpaid bills allegedly totaling $642,144.[20] A judge ordered Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips to pay $748,000, including the $554,000 hotel bill and $194,300 in accrued interest, for the 1,637 reserved rooms.[21]

Criticism[edit]

Tea Party Nation is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and is the only Tea Party-related group to be noted as such.[22]

Comments on voting rights[edit]

Tea Party Nation and especially its founder have generated criticism and controversy. For example, founder Judson Phillips claimed that voting rights should be restricted to property owners, which has been criticized as discriminatory and outdated:[by whom?]

Phillips is advocating a policy of voter disenfranchisement that has its roots in the 18th century. When the United States was first founded, ownership of property was one of the requirements to vote in most elections. Many of these restrictions were phased out by the 1820s and replaced with requirements that the voter pays taxes. By 1850, these requirements, too, were phased out. Nashville Scene blogger Betsy Phillips calls the Tea Party Nation president's idea a "frivolous proposal designed to stoke intergenerational antagonism — as if the people who are older and can afford a home are somehow better citizens than the 18-year-olds who are going off to war to die for our country."

Phillips had said the founders' principle of restricting voting rights to property owners “makes a lot of sense."[23]

Reaction to Keith Ellison candidancy[edit]

In an October 2010 statement endorsing Lynne Torgerson (the Independence Party of Minnesota candidate for Minnesota's 5th congressional district), Phillips made an anti-Islam critique against Representative Keith Ellison. Phillips' controversial critique asserted that Ellison is unfit for Congress in part because Ellison is Muslim.[24][25][26][27][28][29] The candidate Phillips endorsed was also controversial for her assertion that Islam "is not 'religion' recognizable under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution."[30][31]

Reaction to Gabrielle Giffords assassination attempt[edit]

Phillips is also known for the controversial comments he made after the attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), and the murders of a federal district judge and others, during a shooting spree on January 8, 2011.[32] He described the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, as "a leftist lunatic,"[33] apparently because one person who knew Loughner in high school said he was a liberal several years ago.[34] Phillips instructed members of Tea Party Nation to blame liberals for the attempted assassination to defend the tea party movement's recent electoral gains: "The hard left is going to try and silence the Tea Party movement by blaming us for this," likening the expected blowback to the criticism heaped on "conservative talk radio, especially Rush Limbaugh" for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.[35]

One commentator, Garance Franke-Ruta, wrote about her group, "Showing no sign of tamping down on divisive political rhetoric in the wake of the shooting of 20 people that left six dead in Tucson Saturday, the Tea Party Nation group e-mailed its members Sunday warning them they would be called upon to fight leftists in the days ahead and defend their movement."[36] Writing on Forbes.com, Rick Ungar called the e-mail a "deeply disturbing memo."[37] Ungar continued, "It was immediately clear that Mr. Phillips is far more concerned about his own political interests and power than he is with the health of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords or in experiencing even the tiniest measure of compassion for the families who lost loved ones in this awful attack."[38]

Reaction to Boston Marathon bombings[edit]

After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, Judson Phillips sent out an email which said: "There are two reasons why we will be hit again. First, we have a determined enemy who hates us. Second, we have a government that is not committed to protecting America."[39][40] Philips also wrote an opinion piece which questioned "Why is the Regime [the Obama Administration] in such a hurry to get him [Saudi national Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi] out of the country?"[41]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tea Party Nation". Tea Party Nation. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Entity Detail". Tennessee Department of State. Archived from Entity Detail the original on April 9, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ "WHOIS:TeaPartyNation.com". GoDaddy.com. 
  4. ^ O'Brien, Luke (February 6, 2010). "Judson Phillips Threw a Tea Party, and Trouble Showed Up". AOL News. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P. (November 27, 2009). "Tea parties emerge as revenue stream". Yahoo! News. Politico. Archived from the original on December 1, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Tea Party Nation to Host National Tea Party Convention". Memphis Business Journal. PR Newswire. December 10, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  7. ^ Wiegel, David (February 5, 2010). "Media at the Tea Party Convention". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ Jonsson, Patrick (January 30, 2010). "Why the Tea Party Convention is tea-tering on the edge". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ Diaz, Kevin (January 11, 2010). "Palin, Bachmann Tea Party sessions closed to press". Star Tribune. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ Zernike, Kate (January 26, 2010). "Tea Party Disputes Take Toll on Convention". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  11. ^ Tea Partying for profit? - First Read - msnbc.com
  12. ^ "Palin prête pour une révolution" [Palin ready for a revolution]. TVA Nouvelles (in French). February 7, 2010. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ Zernike, Kate (February 6, 2010). "Palin Assails Obama at Tea Party Meeting". New York Times. 
  14. ^ a b Zernike, Kate (February 6, 2010). "Convention Is Trying to Harness Tea Party Spirit". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  15. ^ Zernike, Kate (January 26, 2010). "Tea Party Disputes Take Toll on Convention". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  16. ^ Our decision to sit out of the Tea Party Convention « American Liberty Alliance
  17. ^ "Tea Party convention loses two Republican lawmakers over ethics concerns". The Washington Post. January 29, 2010. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  18. ^ Time. February 5, 2010 http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/02/05/the-tea-party-goes-mainstream/ |url= missing title (help). Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  19. ^ New Tea Party PAC: Can it raise $10 million for midterm revolt? / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
  20. ^ "Las Vegas resort sues tea party group over hotel bill". Las Vegas Review Journal. July 19, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Judge: Tea Party Nation founder must pay $748k Las Vegas hotel bill - Yahoo! News". Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  22. ^ "Intelligence Files: Tom DeWeese". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  23. ^ Jilani, Zaid (Nov 30, 2010). "Tea Party Nation President Says It 'Makes A Lot Of Sense' To Restrict Voting Only To Property Owners". ThinkProgess.org. Retrieved Dec 2010. 
  24. ^ Birkey, Andy. "Tea Party Nation backs Torgerson because Ellison is Muslim". The Minnesota Independent. 
  25. ^ Elliot, Justin. "Tea Party leader: Defeat Ellison because he's Muslim". Salon. 
  26. ^ Lach, Eric. "Tea Party Nation: Retire Rep. Ellison For Being A Muslim". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  27. ^ Alfano, Sean (October 26, 2010). "Tea Party official points to Rep. Keith Ellison's worship of Islam as reason to vote against him". NY Daily News (New York). Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  28. ^ "Rep. Keith Ellison on Tea Party Anti-Muslim Bigotry". Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  29. ^ Birkey, Andy. "Tea Party Nation’s Judson Phillips defends endorsement of Torgerson over Ellison". The Minnesota Independent. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  30. ^ Steller, Chris. "Torgerson takes on Ellison — and Islam — in 5th District". The Minnesota Independent. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  31. ^ Van Denberg, Hart (Dec 15, 2009). "Lynne Torgerson denies attacking Keith Ellison's Muslim faith". City Pages. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  32. ^ "Judson Phillips – Don’t Blame Us, Blame The Leftist Lunatics". HomebrewedTheology.com. Jan 9, 2011. Retrieved Jan 9, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Judson Phillips – Don't Blame Us, Blame The Leftist Lunatics". HomebrewedTheology.com. 
  34. ^ MacNicol, Glynnis (Jan 8, 2011). "Alleged Shooter Jared Loughner May Have Met Rep. Giffords Previously". BusinessInsider.com. Retrieved Jan 9, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Judson Phillips – Don’t Blame Us, Blame The Leftist Lunatics". HomebrewedTheology.com. 
  36. ^ Franke-Ruta, Garance (Jan 9, 2011). "Tea Party Group Blames 'Leftist' for Giffords Shooting". TheAtlantic.com. Retrieved Jan 9, 2011. 
  37. ^ Ungar, Rick (Jan 9, 2011). "Tea Party Shamed By Founder Judson Phillips". Forbes.com. Retrieved Jan 9, 2011. 
  38. ^ Ungar. "Tea Party Shamed By Founder Judson Phillips". Forbes. 
  39. ^ rightwingwatch.org
  40. ^ [1]
  41. ^ "Terrorism Questions That Should Be Answered Now" The Christian Post [2]

External links[edit]