Tea Party Organizers Highlight Non-Partisan Grassroots Principles
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2009
Contact: Andrew Ian Dodge (207.721.0651)/firstname.lastname@example.org
Last month’s successful March on Washington, which highlighted the tea party movement’s ability to give everyday Americans a voice in government, has resulted in the media crediting various political action groups for leadership and direction of the movement. An article in October 5’s Wall Street Journal, among others, noted the role of FreedomWorks (a small-government advocacy organization headed by former Republican Congressman Dick Armey) in lending “financial clout and organizational skills to those running tea-party and town-hall demonstrations.” The Tea Party Express, a traveling troupe of activists funded through the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, ended their first tour in Washington before the September 12 rally and is planning a new national tour during the fall. Americans for Prosperity, a national conservative advocacy group, financially supports, and is supported by, some tea party organizations in parts of the country.
Tea party organizers want to set the record straight.
“We enjoy the opportunity to work with other like-minded groups across the country in advocating fiscal responsibility, free markets and adherence to the Constitution in our federal, state and local governments,” says Jenny Beth Martin, Board member of the national Tea Party Patriots. “We appreciate the efforts of FreedomWorks, among others, in providing structure to the September 12 rally. However, our funding, organization and direction is entirely centered on our grassroots teams at the state and local levels, and so we do not want to be misconstrued as being part of FreedomWorks or any other more institutionally funded advocacy group. We are not a top-down organization. We are a movement that dervives its energy and direction from local groups of patriots that want the nation to return to its Constitutional roots.”
Tea party organizers across the country note that the Our Country Deserves Better PAC has not released specifics on where the money raised on its tour will be sent, other than to say it will be spent on expenses and on selected conservative – and likely Republican - political candidates. They also point out that an executive member of the PAC has made ad hominem attacks on President Obama that they consider distasteful.
Other parts of the country have found that Americans for Prosperity-funded groups have given some tea parties a distinctly pro-Republican Party flavor, much to the chagrin of rank-and-file tea partiers who point out that federal government spending grew at alarming rates during the Bush Administration. “Although we are conservative in political philosophy, we are non-partisan in approach,” notes Mark Meckler, Tea Party Patriots national board member. “Both parties need to re-dedicate themselves to the principles of our founding fathers and remember that this should be the government of ‘We the People’ and not of special interest groups or pork-laden politics.”
The mission of Tea Party Patriots (www.teapartypatriots.org) is to curb excessive government spending and taxation and to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.