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. In February 2010, Tea Party Nation was among the twelve most influential groups in the Tea Party movement, according to the National Journal.[6] In September 2010, it was one of the top five most influential organizations in the Tea Party movement, according to the Washington Post.[7]

National Tea Party Convention[edit]

Tea Party Nation organized the National Tea Party Convention held February 4–6, 2010.[8] Around 600 activists attended the event,[9] and Sarah Palin was featured as the keynote speaker. The event was criticized for its $549 ticket price,[10][11][12][13] as well as the fact that Palin was apparently paid US$100,000 for her appearance.[14] Palin has said she will donate the fee to unspecified conservative causes.[15]

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.[16] Erick Erickson of the conservative blog RedState.com described the convention as "scammy" on January 11.[17] The American Liberty Alliance (ALA), initially a co-sponsor, withdrew its support on January 13.[18] Later in January, Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn cancelled their plans to speak.[19]

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.[16][20][21]

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.[22] 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.[23]


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.[24]

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.

Reaction to Keith Ellison candidacy[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' critique asserted that Ellison is unfit for Congress in part because Ellison is Muslim.[25][26][27][28][29][30] 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."[31][32]

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.[33] He described the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, as "a leftist lunatic,"[34] apparently because one person who knew Loughner in high school said he was a liberal several years ago.[35] 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.[36]

One commentator, Garance Franke-Ruta, wrote about the 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."[37] Writing on Forbes.com, Rick Ungar called the e-mail a "deeply disturbing memo."[38] 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."[39]

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."[40][41] 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?"[42]

See also[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 Check |url= value (help) on January 24, 2010. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ "WHOIS:TeaPartyNation.com". GoDaddy.com.  External link in |title= (help)
  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. ^ Snow Hopkins, Christopher; Mahanta, Siddhartha; Poulson, Theresa (February 4, 2010). "12 Tea Party Players To Watch". National Journal. Retrieved April 17, 2015. 
  7. ^ "The top national players in the tea party". The Washington Post. September 26, 2010. Retrieved April 17, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Tea Party Nation to Host National Tea Party Convention". Memphis Business Journal. PR Newswire. December 10, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ Wiegel, David (February 5, 2010). "Media at the Tea Party Convention". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ Jonsson, Patrick (January 30, 2010). "Why the Tea Party Convention is tea-tering on the edge". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ Diaz, Kevin (January 11, 2010). "Palin, Bachmann Tea Party sessions closed to press". Star Tribune. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ Zernike, Kate (January 26, 2010). "Tea Party Disputes Take Toll on Convention". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  13. ^ Montanaro, Domenico. "Tea Partying for profit?". msnbc.com: First Read. Archived from the original on 2010-01-19. 
  14. ^ "Palin prête pour une révolution" [Palin ready for a revolution]. TVA Nouvelles (in French). February 7, 2010. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ Zernike, Kate (February 6, 2010). "Palin Assails Obama at Tea Party Meeting". New York Times. 
  16. ^ a b Zernike, Kate (February 6, 2010). "Convention Is Trying to Harness Tea Party Spirit". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  17. ^ Zernike, Kate (January 26, 2010). "Tea Party Disputes Take Toll on Convention". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  18. ^ Our decision to sit out of the Tea Party Convention « American Liberty Alliance
  19. ^ "Tea Party convention loses two Republican lawmakers over ethics concerns". The Washington Post. January 29, 2010. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  20. ^ Time. February 5, 2010 http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/02/05/the-tea-party-goes-mainstream/. Retrieved May 24, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ New Tea Party PAC: Can it raise $10 million for midterm revolt? / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
  22. ^ "Las Vegas resort sues tea party group over hotel bill". Las Vegas Review Journal. July 19, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Judge: Tea Party Nation founder must pay $748k Las Vegas hotel bill - Yahoo! News". Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  24. ^ "Intelligence Files: Tom DeWeese". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  25. ^ Birkey, Andy. "Tea Party Nation backs Torgerson because Ellison is Muslim". The Minnesota Independent. 
  26. ^ Elliot, Justin. "Tea Party leader: Defeat Ellison because he's Muslim". Salon. 
  27. ^ Lach, Eric. "Tea Party Nation: Retire Rep. Ellison For Being A Muslim". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ "Rep. Keith Ellison on Tea Party Anti-Muslim Bigotry". Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  30. ^ Birkey, Andy. "Tea Party Nation's Judson Phillips defends endorsement of Torgerson over Ellison". The Minnesota Independent. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  31. ^ Steller, Chris. "Torgerson takes on Ellison — and Islam — in 5th District". The Minnesota Independent. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  32. ^ Van Denberg, Hart (Dec 15, 2009). "Lynne Torgerson denies attacking Keith Ellison's Muslim faith". City Pages. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  33. ^ "Judson Phillips – Don't Blame Us, Blame The Leftist Lunatics". HomebrewedTheology.com. Jan 9, 2011. Retrieved Jan 9, 2011. 
  34. ^ "Judson Phillips – Don't Blame Us, Blame The Leftist Lunatics". HomebrewedTheology.com. 
  35. ^ MacNicol, Glynnis (Jan 8, 2011). "Alleged Shooter Jared Loughner May Have Met Rep. Giffords Previously". BusinessInsider.com. Retrieved Jan 9, 2011. 
  36. ^ "Judson Phillips – Don't Blame Us, Blame The Leftist Lunatics". HomebrewedTheology.com. 
  37. ^ Franke-Ruta, Garance (Jan 9, 2011). "Tea Party Group Blames 'Leftist' for Giffords Shooting". TheAtlantic.com. Retrieved Jan 9, 2011. 
  38. ^ Ungar, Rick (Jan 9, 2011). "Tea Party Shamed By Founder Judson Phillips". Forbes.com. Retrieved Jan 9, 2011. 
  39. ^ Ungar. "Tea Party Shamed By Founder Judson Phillips". Forbes. 
  40. ^ rightwingwatch.org
  41. ^ [1]
  42. ^ "Terrorism Questions That Should Be Answered Now" The Christian Post [2]

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