How They Conned The Tea Party

The recent (8/14/16) article in POLITICO written by Paul H. Jossey entitled “How We Killed the Tea Party” tells a deplorable tale of fraud by “political operatives.” 

Assuming the assertions in the article are true, massive amounts of political contributions intended for Tea Party candidates and causes were instead diverted to “overhead.”   According to Jossey:

POLITICO last year reviewed the activity of 33 conservative PACs for the 2014 cycle.  Combined, they raked in $43 million dollars, according to the POLITICO report.  Of that, $39.5 million went to overhead including $6 million to entities owned by PAC operators; candidates got $3 million.

This is consistent with other data in the article that suggests there is an industry of unscrupulous vendors who deliberately bilk grassroots contributors as they “pass the information along in ‘list swaps’ and ‘revenue shares’ ad infinitum.”

Jossey reports that there have been a few successful challenges in court based on false advertising and that “FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel has pushed to expand the commission’s authority into this realm.”  But, he laments that the conservative media has not been sufficiently active in policing these schemes.

Jossey also reports that the Tea Party has not been alone and that “high political overhead isn’t new, nor is it limited to Republicans.

With respect to Jossey’s provocative title, I would like to suggest that the Tea Party has not been killed.  The Tea Partiers may have committed may mistakes in their efforts to respond to dysfunction in politics and government, but the circumstances that gave rise to their movement have only grown worse.  While the form and process of the Tea Party movement may have been temporarily arrested, the emotions that gave rise to the Tea Party have not been “killed” and I predict they will shortly reignite.   

Next time around, I hope they stop by NOTA to check out “Third Party 101.” 

by Steve Nemerovski

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