Theodore's World: Tea Partiers Go Big With Fundraising Campaign to Rival

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February 03, 2010

Tea Partiers Go Big With Fundraising Campaign to Rival


Tea Partiers Go Big With Fundraising Campaign to Rival

By Jake Gibson

Eyeing the success of and other grassroots groups, the conservative-minded FreedomWorks, which has been at the frontline organizing tea partiers into a half-million strong membership, has announced ambitious plans on the fundraising front.

"(MoveOn) raised around $31 million in 2003. We're not sure we can raise that much, but think we can be in the multi-millions and be a major player in 2010," said Rob Jordan, FreedomWorks' vice president of federal and state campaigns.

On Monday, FreedomWorks brought together dozens of conservative activists from as far away as California, Arkansas, Ohio and Florida and put them in a room full of reporters, hoping to let the grassroots speak to the Washington establishment through the press.

"It's hot in Florida, Charlie Crist is on the run," said Thomas Gaiten, a Florida field coordinator for Freedom Works, who opposes the Florida governor's bid for the U.S. Senate seat.
"I'm arranging an event on February 10 for the one year anniversary of 'the stimulus hug,'" Gaiten said, referring to a hug between President Obama and Crist last year. Crist was an exuberant host and endorsed the president's $787 billion stimulus package, for which Crist is now under fire.
"The hug" is a moment that conservatives have flogged in Florida. A few months ago Crist was leading his Republican primary competitor, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, by 30 points. But the tea party movement in Florida has been aggressively organizing for Rubio both on the ground and on the Web and the latest polls show the two neck-and-neck.

Meanwhile in Arkansas, tea partiers are confident of ousting embattled Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, who had wavered on the health care bill before supporting it in votes taken before Christmas

Lincoln "is out," said Rob Porto of Little Rock. "The only question is who is going to replace her, and we're still vetting prospective Republican candidates. We're planning a number of debates."

Greg Fettig drove the 600 miles from his native Indiana to give notice to incumbents that just because they are safe, they should be looking over their shoulder.

"I used to think I was alone, now I know there are others out there who want to stand up for fiscal conservatism," he said.

Fettig, who co-founded a group called "Hoosier Patriots," lives in the district of longtime Republican Rep. Dan Burton, but said he thinks it's time for Burton to go.

"He's got no fire. ... He's been there too long, people should just serve a term or two and then get out," he said.

The conservative, organic grassroots uprising is proving to be quite powerful, with Republicans all over the country scrambling to get in front of it, but the question remains whether the Republican Party will be able to harness it.

A National Tea Party Convention is scheduled for Nashville, Tenn., in early February with former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a darling of the movement, as one of the featured speakers.

Wild Thing's comment.......

This is great news.

....Thank you Richard for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at February 3, 2010 04:45 AM


You mean the Left Coast Hollyweirdos and www.MoveOver.orgy?

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at February 3, 2010 09:37 AM

Yep, the Tea Party has some encumbents worried about keeping their seats. I am hoping that this November a lot of Healtcare supporters are replaced by conservatives.

Posted by: TomR at February 3, 2010 10:20 AM

I don't know if having a national Tea Party or convention is a good thing. What made the Tea Party movement great was individuals throughout the country gathering together to protest the extreme excesses of the government. I only foresee problems in trying to bring them together under one roof. When that happens, personalities come into play and power struggles will erupt. Somebody wants to lead and, after all, they're all human. Leave the various Tea Parties alone to work in their own districts, answerable only to themselves and each other; not under control of some national Tea Party or movement. The Tea Party folks aren't like Liberal Democrats who have to be lead. Conservatives think for themselves and do so best independently.

Posted by: BobF at February 3, 2010 12:08 PM

One thousand people in each congressional districr each giving $500 would swing 90% of the seats.

Posted by: Avitar at February 3, 2010 02:57 PM

Hopefully this will be a message to RINO's and the Republican Party, that we are pissed and aint gonna take it anymore. The people are going 'Galt', and are taking no prisoners. Charlie Christ included.

Posted by: Mark at February 3, 2010 04:14 PM

Darth, LOL good one! They are so horrible.

BobF., interesting things to consider, thank you. I am curious to see how well the convention does. I agree about how we conservatives think for ourselves too. The Tea Parties made such a huge impact, I just get concerned they will be taken too much into something they did not start out to be. Fingers are crossed with hope it will always stay we the people.

Avitar, good point, it sure would.

Mark, I hope and pray so. Power can be a good thing if people are careful with it and so far the Tea Party's etc. have all made people know we are silent no more and there are more and more all the time joining in .

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 4, 2010 01:38 AM