Amy Kremer

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Kremer speaking at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference

Amy Kremer (born 1970 or 1971)[1] is an American political activist associated with the Tea Party movement. She became involved in the movement in 2009 and campaigned as part of the Tea Party Express until 2014. During the 2016 presidential election she was a co-founder of two political action committees supporting Donald Trump's campaign. In 2017 she unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election in Georgia's 6th congressional district.

Early life and career[edit]

Kremer attended Auburn University.[2] She worked for Delta Air Lines as a flight attendant, but gave up her job to focus on raising her daughter.[1] She became politically active in the Tea Party movement through Twitter and was involved in organising the first Tea Party protests in 2009.[3] She later described herself as having been "just a mom who was sick and fed up with what was going on in Washington."[4] She was a founding member of Tea Party Patriots (TPP), but defected to Tea Party Express (TPE) in October 2009.[5] Following her departure TPP filed a lawsuit against Kremer alleging she had tried to prevent others from accessing the group's collective resources.[6]

Tea Party Express (2009–2014)[edit]

Kremer campaigning for Ted Cruz in the 2012 U.S. Senate election in Texas

Soon after joining Tea Party Express, Kremer urged the organization to support Scott Brown's campaign for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.[1] During the 2010 midterm elections Kremer campaigned for candidates including Joe Miller, who ran for the U.S. Senate in Alaska.[3] She also endorsed Tom Tancredo, the American Constitution Party candidate for governor of Colorado.[7] In October 2010, The Daily Telegraph named her the "most influential" person in the Tea Party movement.[5]

In a 2011 appearance on The Colbert Report, Kremer said the U.S. federal government raised "enough tax revenue to service our debt, pay for Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, and then still have about $300 [billion] or $400 billion left over." PolitiFact.com rated this statement "Half True", noting that Kremer's calculations ignored defense and homeland security spending and mandatory programs.[8] In June 2011 Kremer said TPE would support Mitt Romney if he became the Republican nominee in the 2012 presidential election.[9] A co-founder of Tea Party Patriots rejected Kremer's remarks, saying "a pledge of allegiance to the Republican Party, or any other party, violates what the Tea Party movement is all about and is completely out of touch with grassroots Americans".[10] In the 2012 elections TPE endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock in Indiana; in September 2011 Kremer described Mourdock as a "true conservative."[11]

During a September 2012 appearance on CNN's Starting Point, host Soledad O'Brien and others criticised Kremer for wondering whether President Barack Obama "loves America."[12] In 2013 Kremer said that U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, a member of the Republican Party, voted "more with Democrats than with conservatives." PolitiFact.com rated this claim as "False", citing a Washington Post analysis that found Chambliss voted with fellow Republicans 91 percent of the time in 2011 and 2012.[13] Kremer spent much of the summer 2013 congressional recess on a national tour intended to convince Republicans to support defunding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[14]

Kremer resigned from Tea Party Express in April 2014. She described the split as amicable and attributed her departure to a desire to focus on Matt Bevin's campaign for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, instead of Curt Clawson's campaign in Florida's 19th congressional district.[15]

2016 presidential election[edit]

As of February 2016, Kremer was the chair of TrumPAC, a super PAC supporting Donald Trump's campaign in the 2016 presidential election.[16] TrumPAC later changed its name to Great America PAC.[17] Great America PAC was founded by Kremer and William Doddridge, the CEO of The Jewelry Exchange.[18] Kremer resigned from Great America PAC in May 2016, shortly after Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, due to decisions which she claimed had been made without her input.[19]

In June 2016 Kremer, along with Kathryn Serkes and Ann Stone, founded Women Vote Trump, a new super PAC that aimed to raise at least $30 million to support Trump's campaign.[20] Stone said the group would organize volunteers and advertise across the United States.[21] At an event the following month Kremer said "People assume that just because [Democratic presidential nominee] Hillary Clinton is a woman that I'm going to support her. That's an insult to my intelligence. I have the ability to think on my own."[22] Kremer made appearances on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC to promote the PAC.[23] In August 2016 Kremer claimed on CNN that Clinton was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease found in people who have suffered repeated blows to the head.[24] Federal Election Commission records showed that Women Vote Trump, which changed its name to Women Vote Smart in order to comply with regulations that prohibit the use of candidates' names, had only raised $26,813, had spent $20,000, and was nearly $20,000 in debt as of March 2017. Kremer said the group "had commitments from people and then people didn't come through," but that it was "definitely out there being active with the grassroots and engaging people."[23]

2017 congressional campaign[edit]

In 2017, Kremer ran as a Republican in the special election in Georgia's 6th congressional district, which was vacant following Representative Tom Price's confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.[25] In an April 2017 interview Kremer said "the biggest issue facing the Sixth District" was its "stagnant economy", which she suggested be fixed by cutting "government regulations that stifle job growth", cutting "government waste", creating "a pro-growth environment", and lowering individual and corporate taxes.[2] She said her priorities in Congress would be employment and the economy, national security, repealing and replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and taking care of veterans.[26] Kremer said she should be elected because she had "carried the values of the 6th District" with her as she "worked tirelessly to preserve freedom and liberty through electing conservatives like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and many others".[27] The radio and television host Sean Hannity and the Tea Party activist Katrina Pierson endorsed Kremer's campaign.[28]

In March 2017 Kremer offered supporters who donated to her campaign the opportunity to win an AR-15 assault rifle.[29][30] Kremer explained: "We are very pro-2nd Amendment not only in Georgia but in the south."[30] In an email to supporters, Kremer criticised a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that affirmed Maryland's ban on military-style assault rifles (see Gun laws in Maryland) and called on supporters to "show these progressive judges that we will not surrender the rights granted by God and preserved in the U.S. Constitution".[29]

Greg Bluestein of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution observed in March 2017 that Kremer's campaign had "struggled to gain traction" against better-known and better-funded Republican candidates.[31] In March 2017 Kremer's entire campaign staff resigned after she allegedly only raised around $2,500 and was unable to pay her campaign manager and at least six other staff members.[31] One member of staff who resigned had been staying at Kremer's house and contacted police after Kremer allegedly changed the locks and prevented him from getting his belongings.[31] The staff members who resigned were subsequently hired by the campaign of Bob Gray, another Republican candidate in the special election.[32]

In the primary election on April 18, 2017, Kremer received 351 votes, or 0.18 percent of the total vote tally, and so did not advance to the runoff election.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Blackmon, Douglas A.; Levitz, Jennifer; Berzon, Alexandra; Etter, Lauren (October 29, 2010). "Birth of a Movement". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "District 6 Q&A: Amy Kremer (R)". Marietta Daily Journal. April 8, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Pilkington, Ed (October 18, 2010). "Amy Kremer takes her Tea Party Express from coast to coast". The Guardian. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ Chernin, Michael (May 16, 2014). "BPR Interview: Amy Kremer". Brown Political Review. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Top 20 most influential people in the Tea Party movement: 10-1". The Daily Telegraph. October 13, 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ Shapiro, Lila (March 18, 2010). "Tea Party Civil War? Lawsuit, GOP Friction Splits Leaders". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  7. ^ Steinhauser, Paul (October 25, 2010). "Tancredo gets big Tea Party endorsement". CNN. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  8. ^ Jacobson, Louis (May 20, 2011). "Tea Party Express' Amy Kremer says current tax revenues could cover interest, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security". PolitiFact.com. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  9. ^ Stemple, Lexi (June 4, 2011). "Tea Party Group to Back Any GOP Nominee—Including Romney". Fox News. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  10. ^ McAuliff, Michael (June 8, 2011). "Mitt Romney Splits Tea Party Groups". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  11. ^ Hennessey, Kathleen (September 29, 2011). "'Tea party' group backs challenger to Indiana's Sen. Lugar". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  12. ^ Robillard, Kevin (September 4, 2012). "Tea party leader Amy Kremer under fire on CNN". Politico. Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  13. ^ Stirgus, Eric (January 8, 2013). "Chambliss not a true conservative, critic says". PolitiFact.com. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  14. ^ Barrow, Bill (September 14, 2013). "GOP, Tea Party Face Growing Divide". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  15. ^ Killough, Ashley; Brusk, Steve; Steinhauser, Paul (April 18, 2014). "First on CNN: Amy Kremer resigns from Tea Party Express". CNN. Retrieved April 6, 2015. 
  16. ^ Haberman, Maggie (February 12, 2016). "PAC Is Backing Donald Trump, Despite Campaign's Policy". The New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  17. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (March 11, 2016). "Pro-Trump PAC hires GOP veteran as strategist". Politico. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  18. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra (March 31, 2016). "Pro-Trump Super PAC Launches New Wisconsin Ad". NBC News. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  19. ^ Haberman, Maggie (May 6, 2016). "A Donald Trump 'Super PAC' Is Hit With Leadership Woes". The New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  20. ^ Golshan, Tara (June 9, 2016). "Women Vote Trump: the Super PAC with one of the toughest jobs of 2016". Vox. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  21. ^ Bykowicz, Julie (June 9, 2016). "3 women to launch super PAC to support Donald Trump". Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 25, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  22. ^ Merlan, Anna (July 18, 2016). "In a Mostly Empty Room, 'Women for Trump' Tries Really, Really Hard". Jezebel. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  23. ^ a b Kaczynski, Andrew (March 9, 2017). "GOP Congressional candidate's 'Women Vote Trump' PAC came up $29,973,187 short of fundraising goal". CNN. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  24. ^ Graham, David A. (August 22, 2016). "Questions About Hillary's Health: The Birtherism of 2016". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  25. ^ Bluestein, Greg (February 16, 2017). "Who is in the race to replace Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th District". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  26. ^ Williams, Ross (February 15, 2017). "18 in race to take Tom Price’s place in Washington, D.C.". Marietta Daily Journal. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  27. ^ Ruch, John (March 16, 2017). "Voters Guide: Amy Kremer". Reporter Newspapers. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  28. ^ Render, Jacinta (April 13, 2017). "Co-founder of 'Women Vote Trump' is endorsed for Georgia's 6th district congressional race". WGCL-TV. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  29. ^ a b Cahill, Petra (March 7, 2017). "Amy Kremer Offers Supporters Chance to Win AR-15 Rifle in Raffle". NBC News. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  30. ^ a b Darnell, Tim (March 6, 2017). "Race to replace Price: Tea Party original raffling off AR-15 in 6th district race". WXIA-TV. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  31. ^ a b c Bluestein, Greg (March 20, 2017). "Ex-aide calls cops on GOP candidate in Georgia special election". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  32. ^ Bluestein, Greg (March 20, 2017). "Gray hires rival’s staff, defends Trump credentials in Georgia special election". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  33. ^ "April 18, 2017 Special Election". Georgia Secretary of State. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 

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