Editor’s Note – Just how will the tea party movement affect results in November? That’s the million dollar question that no one really has the answer to. The left is hoping that the ‘decentralized’ nature of the movement will prevent it from acting in unison and delivering effective results, and we see signs of that all throughout the country.
Established politico’s are counting on the idea that the movement cannot pull together, knowing what the results are when it does. See Scott Brown. See Rand Paul. These same individuals fear that which they cannot control, and everyone can agree on the unpredictability of the movement.
There are indeed a wide range of opinions within the movement when it comes to candidates, including the question of whether candidates should be endorsed or not. If the movement is about driving results, well, it’s hard to imagine that happening while sitting on the sidelines. The danger of not committing was apparent recently in Illinois, where several tea party candidates remained on the primary ballot, and come election day, the grassroots vote was watered down enough to ensure victory for the ‘establishment’ candidate.
Here in Central Florida, we run that very same risk. As we approach August 24, it will be apparent that some of the grassroots candidates have little, if any chance. The question is, who will be willing to fall on their sword for the common good. Want to know true character, stay tuned for the answer to that one!
As for Tea Party Express endorsing the Democrat in Idaho, I see this as a continuation of the political correctness and politics as usual that has led this country to the brink of destruction. I can just see the TPE leadership sitting around a table discussing the idea that ‘we have to endorse a Democrat somewhere, to reinforce the idea that we are non-partisan’. Then, scouring the country to find a scenerio that best offers them that opportunity. And, it appears that Idaho was the ‘lucky’ winner!
Tea Party Tempest In Idaho Primary
By Tim Alberta
There isn’t much of national interest on the Idaho primary ballot Tuesday, but there’s one race that’s well worth watching for a unique look into tea party movement politics—the 1st District Republican primary.
In that contest, Raul Labrador and Vaughn Ward lead a crowd of GOP candidates who are vying to take on freshman Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho)—and tea party activists are deeply divided over which candidate deserves their support.
Minnick, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary, was endorsed last month by the Tea Party Express – the only Democrat in Congress to receive the national group’s support. The mid-April endorsement surprised even Minnick, who never courted the tea party support but nevertheless said he was “pleased” to have their backing.
Local activists, however, were less than thrilled with the decision. In response, the incensed local group Tea Party Boise endorsed Labrador, a state legislator with backing from several key local conservative groups. Ward has his own solid conservative grassroots credentials: former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin came to Boise last Friday to campaign for Ward, a former Marine who directed the McCain-Palin campaign in Nevada.
More than anything else, the splintered tea party presence reflects the decentralized nature of the movement—and its unpredictability—both in Idaho and elsewhere.
Russ Smerz, spokesman for Tea Party Boise, said the lack of communication and consultation over the Minnick endorsement was most frustrating to local organizers.
“We don’t know where the national tea party came up with the endorsement of Walt Minnick,” he told the Idaho Statesman. “It’s a little concerning to us that Tea Party Express would endorse someone in the state of Idaho without consulting us first.”
But Sal Russo, chief strategist for the Tea Party Express, said the group spoke to a number of local conservative organizations – including tea party groups – before endorsing the Democratic congressman, a decision they arrived at after hearing “a wide range of opinions within Idaho” on who they should support.
Russo said the group doesn’t regret endorsing Minnick, despite continued criticism from local groups.
“It’s important for our movement to include those Democrats who are willing to stand up for the principles we believe in,” Russo said. “They need to be encouraged.”
Both Labrador and Ward, who actively courted tea party supporters throughout their campaigns, were quick to criticize the national organization for swooping into Idaho to endorse an incumbent Democratic congressman, insisting that local support is more important to winning the race.
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