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Tea Party activists bitter about GOP ‘hijacking’ movement

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Revelations about the connections between a Republican lobbying firm with a long history of astroturfing and one of the two main factions of “Tea Party” protesters are raising fresh concerns that the GOP has successfully hijacked the right-wing Tea Party movement.

A Libertarian political consultant interviewed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow agrees that in many places the tea partiers’ struggle against being coopted is already “a lost cause.”

“In some places it’s being fought out,” Stephen Gordon told Maddow on Tuesday. “In some places it’s always been a lost cause. … People are trying to do the right thing, but GOP organizations and campaigns are effectively taking over the Tea Party movement in some places in the country.”

The involvement of the Republican lobbying firm of Russo, Marsh, and Associates with the group known as the Tea Party Express has been apparent for some time, but Talking Points Memo backed up those suspicions on Tuesday with hard numbers from FEC filings. The filings show that between July and November of this year, the PAC behind the Tea Party Express spent almost two-thirds of its $1.33 million budget on payments to Russo, Marsh or people connected with it.

As Raw Story reported last month, the firm’s apparent goal is to channel populist Tea Party discontent into Republican electoral victories in 2010 and 2012. Members of the more genuinely grassroots Tea Party Patriots have been expressing their anger over this for months, and Talking Points Memo has now obtained an email from one Patriot asking, “What would the true grassroots people think if they knew their money is being spent in this manner?”

Additional analysis of the FEC reports by Mother Jones has turned up a case of the PAC spending $1600 on dinner for six at a fancy Sacramento restaurant.

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“Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Express have been clashing for months over which group truly represents the movement,” the article notes. “A flashpoint came this fall when a member of the Tea Party Patriots’ board, Amy Kremer, switched sides and joined Tea Party Express, allegedly taking the Patriots’ extensive email database with her and locking the rest of the board out of the TPP website. In November, this led the Patriots to go to court to get an injunction against her to reclaim ownership of the group’s electronic resources. The fight hasn’t helped the Patriots’ view of their tea party rivals.”

Gordon explained to Maddow that the Tea Party movement was vulnerable to takeover at the start, because “many of these people had no political experience … so when somebody comes in and offers to help organize and help them with these things, yeah, that’s great.”

“But what these Republican consultants want,” Gordon concluded, “they want those email lists, they want the dollars, they want to control the organization so that they can exploit it for their political purposes. … Unfortunately, the political purposes of most establishment Republicans is not the same as a grassroots conservative Tea Party person.”

This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Dec. 29, 2009.



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Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi collapses and dies in court, state TV says

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Mohammed Morsi, the former Egyptian president who was ousted by the military in 2013, has died after collapsing in court, state TV said on Monday.

Egypt's public broadcaster said the 67-year-old former president was attending a session in his trial on espionage charges when he blacked out and then died. His body was taken to a hospital, it said.

Morsi, who hailed from Egypt's largest Islamist group, the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, was elected president in 2012 in the country's first free elections following the ouster the year before of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

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NBC SCOTUS reporter Pete Williams: ‘I don’t know what the Court wins’ in anti-gay Sweetcakes case ‘except time’

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NBC News' Pete Williams has won three national news Emmy awards. He has a reputation for offering very factual reports with little to no personal opinion. Williams for decades has primarily covered the U.S. Supreme Court and Justice Department.Monday morning on MSNBC Williams gave his report on the Supreme Court's order in the "Sweetcakes" case, involving an Oregon Christian couple who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The case is exceptionally more complicated than that – including alleged doxxing of the same-sex couple and the subsequent death threats they say they received.The U.S. Supreme Court set aside the $135,000 the anti-gay bakers, Melissa and Aaron Klein of Sweetcakes by Melissa, were ordered to pay to the same-sex couples they refused, and told the lower court to re-examine the case in light of the SCOTUS ruling in favor of Colorado anti-gay Christian baker Jack Phillips – which the court had originally made clear applied only to the Phillips case. The Court ruled Phillips was the victim of anti-religious animus by the state.Now, Pete Williams appears to be wondering about the Supreme Court's order, sending the case back to a lower court for review.Asked what today's decision means, Williams responds, "I'm not sure," then delivered his report."So today the Supreme Court sent this Oregon case back with instructions to reconsider in light of the Colorado case, but none of the infirmities that existed in the Colorado case are present in the Oregon case, so I'm not exactly sure what the Oregon courts are going to conclude from this," Williams told viewers."My guess is that if the state sues again, and it probably will, the Oregon courts will rule the same way and the case will come back here," meaning to the Supreme Court."I don't know what the [Supreme] Court gains here other than perhaps time, and letting other cases like this percolate up," Williams said.Exactly.It would appear the Supreme Court is attempting to lay the groundwork for special religious rights that would supersede the rights of LGBTQ people to not be discriminated against.It would appear Williams might agree.Watch: 

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Cops briefly suspended after video of them beating 16-year-old girl goes viral

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Officers in Lansing, Michigan, were placed on leave after video appeared on social media showing them striking a 16-year-old girl, reports WILX.

The officers approached a home where they suspected the girl and a 14-year-old boy -- wanted on probation violations, escape from custody, and runaway warrants -- were staying, police said.

The teens tried to flee, but were captured soon after. After the girl resisted being put into a police car, video shows an officer beat her on the leg.

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Maddow: GOP & lobbyist attempt to hijack tea party movement

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Rachel Maddow talks with Libertarian political consultant and blogger Stephen Gordon about the effort by Republicans and corporate interests to take over the actual grassroots Libertarian anti-tax, small-government movement.

This video is from MSNBC’s News Live, broadcast Dec. 29, 2009.



Download video via RawReplay.com

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

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NBC SCOTUS reporter Pete Williams: ‘I don’t know what the Court wins’ in anti-gay Sweetcakes case ‘except time’

Published

on

NBC News' Pete Williams has won three national news Emmy awards. He has a reputation for offering very factual reports with little to no personal opinion. Williams for decades has primarily covered the U.S. Supreme Court and Justice Department.Monday morning on MSNBC Williams gave his report on the Supreme Court's order in the "Sweetcakes" case, involving an Oregon Christian couple who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The case is exceptionally more complicated than that – including alleged doxxing of the same-sex couple and the subsequent death threats they say they received.The U.S. Supreme Court set aside the $135,000 the anti-gay bakers, Melissa and Aaron Klein of Sweetcakes by Melissa, were ordered to pay to the same-sex couples they refused, and told the lower court to re-examine the case in light of the SCOTUS ruling in favor of Colorado anti-gay Christian baker Jack Phillips – which the court had originally made clear applied only to the Phillips case. The Court ruled Phillips was the victim of anti-religious animus by the state.Now, Pete Williams appears to be wondering about the Supreme Court's order, sending the case back to a lower court for review.Asked what today's decision means, Williams responds, "I'm not sure," then delivered his report."So today the Supreme Court sent this Oregon case back with instructions to reconsider in light of the Colorado case, but none of the infirmities that existed in the Colorado case are present in the Oregon case, so I'm not exactly sure what the Oregon courts are going to conclude from this," Williams told viewers."My guess is that if the state sues again, and it probably will, the Oregon courts will rule the same way and the case will come back here," meaning to the Supreme Court."I don't know what the [Supreme] Court gains here other than perhaps time, and letting other cases like this percolate up," Williams said.Exactly.It would appear the Supreme Court is attempting to lay the groundwork for special religious rights that would supersede the rights of LGBTQ people to not be discriminated against.It would appear Williams might agree.Watch: 

Continue Reading

Facebook

Cops briefly suspended after video of them beating 16-year-old girl goes viral

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on

Officers in Lansing, Michigan, were placed on leave after video appeared on social media showing them striking a 16-year-old girl, reports WILX.

The officers approached a home where they suspected the girl and a 14-year-old boy -- wanted on probation violations, escape from custody, and runaway warrants -- were staying, police said.

The teens tried to flee, but were captured soon after. After the girl resisted being put into a police car, video shows an officer beat her on the leg.

Continue Reading
 

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Trump’s golf courses fired these five undocumented workers — now they have a plan to spoil his 2020 launch

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Five undocumented immigrants who worked for President Donald Trump's golf courses for years are planning to crash his big 2020 campaign kickoff rally in Florida on Tuesday.

The New York Daily News reports that the former Trump workers plan on going to his rally to highlight his "cruelty and hypocrisy" for welcoming undocumented immigrants to work at his clubs until they became a political inconvenience.

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