Tea Party Favorites in U.S. Senate Races

Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 09:30 am
Armed revolt part of Sharron Angle’s rhetoric
(By Anjeanette Damon, David McGrath Schwartz, Las Vegas Sun, June 17, 2010)

There’s no doubt a chunk of the electorate is angry at the federal government. But are voters willing to take up arms?

U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle seemed to raise that specter in three interviews in the past six months, suggesting that some would seek “Second Amendment remedies” if Congress isn’t reined in.

She said the purpose of the right to bear arms is to check the federal government. But she stopped short of saying that she would support an armed uprising.

“Our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason, and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government,” Angle told conservative talk show host Lars Larson in January. “In fact, Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.”

Also that month, she told Reno conservative talk show host Bill Manders she hoped her opponent, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, would be defeated at the ballot box before the electorate resorted to more aggressive measures.

“I’m hoping that we’re not getting to Second Amendment remedies,” Angle said. “I hope that the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.”

And last month she told the Reno Gazette-Journal “it’s almost an imperative” that conservatives win.

“The nation is arming,” she told the newspaper. “What are they arming for if it isn’t that they are so distrustful of their government? They’re afraid they’ll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways. That’s why I look at this as almost an imperative. If we don’t win at the ballot box, what will be the next step?”

Is she simply tapping into an intense mistrust of the federal government? Or is she advocating something?

Fred Lokken, a political scientist at Truckee Meadows Community College, said Angle has an obligation to explain what she means.

“She needs to assure us she’s not advocating violence against our sitting government or those serving in the sitting government,” he said.

Reid spokesman Jon Summers said, “Her rhetoric that if she doesn’t win at the ballot box people should go to the bullet box undermines the Democratic process.

“We know people are upset,” he added. “Clearly the economy isn’t where it needs to be. The unemployment situation, the foreclosure situation, are not good. Sen. Reid is doing everything he can to turn it around.”

Angle spokesman Jerry Stacy stressed Wednesday that Angle is not “advocating for a revolution.” But he didn’t back away from Angle’s comments that trouble could be brewing.

“We should all be worried, but again, she’s not advocating or suggesting a revolution,” Stacy said.

In the Gazette-Journal interview, Angle said she prefers to fight at the ballot box.

“That’s why I’m in the battle the way I’m in the battle,” she said. “I still have a great deal of faith in our political system and a great deal of faith in the American people and voter.”

The armed revolt sentiment doesn’t belong to Angle alone.

Rick Barber, a candidate in a Republican congressional runoff in Alabama, is airing an ad in which he appears to conspire with 18th-century revolutionaries to stage an armed revolt.

John Chachas, who lost to Angle in the primary, said it’s not necessarily an ill-advised campaign message, especially to her base. Although he is a self-described gun owner who “likes to kill things,” Chachas said he was surprised by how intense the gun rights issue became on the campaign trail.

“It speaks volumes, it seems to me, to how imposed upon people in rural America feel by these things passed on a national level,” he said. “It really has them up in arms. It has them really unhappy.

“You sort of see it on TV and might think, ‘Oh, that’s just Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann on one end and Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck on the other,’ and convince yourself with some ease that it’s a figment of media creation. It is not. It’s deeply felt.”

Bob List, a Republican national committeeman and former Nevada governor, wouldn’t speculate on the meaning of Angle’s comments. But, he said, “people are far more riled up about what’s going on out there than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.

“They’re furious.”

He said he doesn’t think an armed revolution is coming.

“What will happen is people will go to the ballot box and vote out the incumbents who are doing this,” he said.

Larson, host of a nationally syndicated talk radio show, said he agreed with Angle’s sentiment that the purpose of the Second Amendment is a check on the federal government.

“That doesn’t mean she was advocating war if she loses,” Larson said. “She was saying at some point, the purpose of the Second Amendment wasn’t first for hunting, or personal protection. It was to make sure government never got out of control.”

Still, the comments may be extreme for the typical general election voter, even in Nevada, which has an overwhelming political culture of support for Second Amendment rights.

Lokken pointed to himself. He said he is registering as a nonpartisan voter.

“This is not the Republican Party I signed up for,” he said.
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Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:17 pm
Sharron angle has been hiding from the press. She was recently tracked down but addressed reporters in an angry manner and walked away from them. Acting like that in front of rolling cameras is not a demonstration of how to win friends and influence people.

Angle here is compared to rand paul:

What Rand Paul and Sharron Angle Have in Common: A Far-Right “Biblical Law” Political Party
Posted By Adele Stan On June 15, 2010 @ 2:26 pm In Republican Party, Rights and liberties, Tea Party movement, belief | 18 Comments

It could be the most important political party you’ve barely heard of — the Constitution Party, a far-right party that combines the sort of quasi-libertarian ideology spouted by Ron Paul with a Christian Reconstructionist bent for the biblical law of the Book of Leviticus (you know, the law that mandates death by stoning for practitioners of gay sex and adultery).

But when it comes to Constitution Party street cred, Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee for Nevada’s U.S. Senate seat, seems to have Paul, and his son, Rand (the GOP’s nominee for Kentucky’s Senate seat) beat. Angle, reports TPM’s Justin Elliott, spent six years as a member of Nevada’s Independent American Party, the state’s Constitution Party affiliate.

When Tea Party favorite Rand Paul defeated the establishment Republican candidate to win the nomination for the Kentucky Senate seat being vacated by Jim Bunning, AlterNet reported the Paul family’s ties to the Constitution Party, whose founder, Howard Phillips, keynoted the elder Paul’s 2008 Minneapolis rally celebrating his quixotic presidential bid.

Then Bruce Wilson revealed that Paul the younger keynoted a convention of the Minnesota state chapter of the Constitution Party.

Now along comes Angle, who, from 1992 – 1998, according to IAP members, belonged to their party until her decision to run for political office made it more expedient to become a Republican.

If the name of the Constitution Party sounds vaguely familiar, perhaps you recall the dust kicked up when, during the presidential campaign Todd Palin was revealed to have belonged, for seven years, to the Alaska Independence Party, that state’s Constitution Party affiliate.

If the Tea Party could be said to have a founding father, I’d name him as Constitution Party founder Howard Phillips. Deeply influenced by the Christian Reconstructionist theology of Rousas John Rushdoony, Phillips not only helped found the religious right, but created a political party that has served as a haven for such figures as Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry and neo-militia leader Matthew Trewhella. (Founded in 1992 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party, the organization adopted the name “Constitution Party” in 1999.)

Phillips also chairs the Conservative Caucus, a political organization that served, during the presidential campaign, as a virtual clearinghouse for anti-Obama messaging — the very messaging that would find itself amplified by the Tea Party movement. It was from Phillips’ shop that I first heard the trope about Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and heard tales of the future president’s socialist past.

The Caucus works closely with the John Birch Society, and has featured Ron Paul as a speaker at several of its events. It is a tireless crusader against something called the North American Union, which it claims nefarious forces are trying to create after the model of the European Union.

With the nominations of Angle and Paul to GOP tickets, Phillips — a former Republican who worked in the Nixon White House — is closer than ever to seeing his ideology injected into one of the nation’s two major parties. For a taste of that ideology, here’s a snippet of the preamble to the Constitution Party’s platform:

The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States.


The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.

For more on Sharron Angle and the Constitution Party, check out Julie Ingersoll’s post at Religion Dispatches.
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Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:21 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
I can just see the headlines, "Finn Accuses Failures Art of Losing His Mind."
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Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:22 pm
The Democrats do attract the slight right voters.
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Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:24 pm
They send out emails.
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Reply Sat 19 Jun, 2010 10:31 pm
The Manchurian Tea Party Candidates
— By Adam Weinstein| Fri Jun. 18, 2010 2:39 PM PDT

— Courtesy of Florida Tea Party / Creative Commons

Ah, Florida! Where recounts don't count; where even school boards are corrupt; where holy water is a weapon; where kids of pols are all black sheep or dark horses. It's a political playground down there, but beyond the loud bullies, this playground's got a fair share of quiet, devious, nerdy geniuses.

Which makes the latest allegations by Florida GOP chairman and state Sen. John Thrasher slightly plausible. His charge: Lefties have pulled an "Alvin Greene" in the Sunshine State. According to the estimable St. Pete Times:

Republicans see a conspiracy theory: a number of the tea party candidates are former Democrats, some appear financially strapped to pay the $1,800 filing and others are filing to run in districts far away from their listed address. A number of the seats are also targeted by Democrats for takeover.

"The recent flurry of last minute filings by so–called 'tea party candidates' looks awfully suspicious," said GOP Chairman John Thrasher in a statement. "While a few tea-party candidates across the state do have ties to the tea party movement, in the majority of instances, it appears that the Democrats have coordinated a dishonest attempt to hide phony candidates behind the name "tea party" and to confuse voters who may be supportive of the tea party movement, effectively stealing votes from true conservative candidates and injuring the grassroots tea party movement as a whole."

Apparently, all this is being coordinated by one Fred O'Neal, an Orlando attorney (and registered Democrat) who last year created the "Tea Party of Florida" as an actual political party, much to the dismay of some more ardent patriot activists. There are whispered rumors of a link between O'Neal and firebrand Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, he of Rachel Maddow fame. One thing's for sure, they share a burning hatred of old-line Republicans, as this letter from O'Neal to a GOP candidate attests:

Republican politicians, in my experience, tend to vote the way their "masters" tell them to vote, rather than in the best interest of the people...

If you think "trickle down economics" and representing special interests is best for the country, then you have a right to say so and you have a right to run for office in a political party which generally agrees with your philosophy.

I, on the other hand, disagree. I think the American people have been "trickled on" enough.

Whew! It's hard to say what the impact of O'Neal's recruited Tea Party candidates will be. But this has always been the big risk underlying the Republican Party's delicate courtship of the angry patriot movement: Grassroots libertarians by nature aren't big joiners, so it's hard to claim their support without driving them out of your camp.

The state Democratic Party, of course, poo-poos any allegations that these Tea Partiers are their plants. "Despite their beliefs, the black helicopters are not coming to get John Thrasher," party spokesman Eric Jotkoff told the Times. "Maybe they should spend more time cleaning up their party."
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Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:27 am
Tea vs. TEA: Parties Battle in Court
(Kenric Ward, Sunshine State News, June 24, 2010)

Battling over names and rights, "tea party" groups sparred Wednesday in federal court in West Palm Beach.

"The defendant has overstepped his attempt at monopoly," attorney Frank Herrera told U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra, contending that Frederic O'Neal had no exclusive right to the Florida Tea Party name.

O'Neal, who registered the Florida Tea Party with the state Division of Elections, countered that tea groups represented by Herrera could have registered the name with the state, but did not.

O'Neal further alleged that South Florida Tea Party director Everett Wilkinson, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, created "confusion" by identifying himself as "chairman of the Florida Tea Party" -- the title held by O'Neal.

Herrera replied that O'Neal's group had put a "stink in the air" over rights to the name.

"We don't need his permission (to use the name)," said Herrera, who identified himself as an attorney specializing in patents and trademarks.

In their lawsuit, the rival tea groups asserted that O'Neal's TEA Party "obtained gains, profits, and advantages as a result of their unlawful acts that they are the 'original' or 'authorized' tea party."

"Upon information and belief, the public is confused whether the Florida registered political party is indeed endorsed or associated with the 'tea party' movement," the suit stated.

The suit claimed that O'Neal's "registration of the political party 'Tea Party' in Florida would give him unfettered protection to stop any 'person,' 'group' or 'organization' that uses 'tea party.'”

In seeking relief from the court, 33 plaintiffs from across Florida and the nation, asked in their initial filing that the TEA group "be required to amend their filings (and name) with the appropriate office of the State of Florida such that their registered political party currently registered as 'Tea Party' must include other terms in order to avoid public confusion that the Florida 'Tea Party' is somehow endorsed or approved by the plaintiffs."

Herrera suggested that one remedy could be for O'Neal's party to spell out the acronym and rename itself "Taxed Enough Already."

O'Neal, in his response, said the rival groups could themselves have formed a political tea party and registered it with the state and the Federal Elections Commission.

"But, for whatever reason, they chose not to," he said.

The Orlando attorney argued in his motion for dismissal that the lawsuit contained "political questions (that) have been held to be nonjusticiable" in court.

O'Neal further disputed the plaintiffs' contention that he had threatened rival tea groups in three e-mails. He stated in his court response that the e-mails had been "doctored."

"The suit never claimed they were threatened, only that they 'feared' such action," O'Neal wrote.

Judge Marra, who adjourned court without a ruling, closely questioned both sides, but appeared skeptical that an actual "controversy" had been proven by the plaintiffs or that his court had the necessary jurisdiction.

At one point, the judge asked Herrera if the attorney thought that the Republican and Democratic parties had infringed on the terms "republican" and "democratic."

Herrera responded that O'Neal did not "understand" trademark law and that the Florida statute governing party registration "makes no sense."

"It's so vague that I could start a Judge Marra Party," he said.

Herrera did not comment after the hearing, saying, "I don't talk to the press."

But O'Neal and fellow defendants Doug Guetzloe and Nick Egoroff had plenty to say.

Calling the case "the most bogus lawsuit I've seen," O'Neal said, "The judge had a good grasp of the issue. This suit was brought for purely political purposes."

Guetzloe, a TEA Party consultant and former Orange County GOP official, extended his criticism to Bill McCollum, whom Wilkinson accompanied Friday when the attorney general filed for the Republican gubernatorial primary.

"By identifying himself as chairman of the Florida Tea Party, Wilkinson distorted the political process. The attorney general perpetrated that lie and misrepresentation," Guetzloe said.

Wilkinson did not appear in court and was not immediately available for comment.
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Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 04:11 pm
Reid vs Angle Comes to Capitol Hill
(Matthew Jaffe, ABCnews.com, June 30, 2010)

The battle between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle for the Nevada Senate seat is playing out today on Capitol Hill.

At the center of the feud is Reid’s push for an extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless. The Senate Majority Leader has been trying for months to overcome a partisan deadlock on the issue, but Republicans have blocked his attempts time and time again. Earlier this month, benefits ran out for around 1.2 million people.

This week Reid is taking another stab at it, but with a twist. By combining the reinstatement of unemployment insurance with an extension of the popular homebuyer tax credit, he hopes he can drum up enough support to pass the measure.

“It’s the right thing to do, it’s what is needed, and it’s what the people of this country deserve,” he told reporters at a press conference Wednesday in the Capitol.

But Angle, his opponent in Nevada, believes jobless benefits should be scaled back, arguing that people get so much money for nothing that they decide not to go back to work.

“The truth about it is that they keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point that people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn’t pay as much as the unemployment benefit does and what we really need to do is put people back to work,” Angle told the Las Vegas Sun’s Jon Ralston in an interview on Tuesday.

“What has happened is the system of entitlement has caused us to have a spoilage with our ability to go out and get a job,” she said.

“There are some jobs out there that are available,” continued Angle. “Because they have to enter at a lower grade and they cannot keep their unemployment, they have to make a choice now. We’re making them make a choice between unemployment benefits and going back to work and working up through the ranks of that job and actually building up a good wage again and building up some seniority. What we need to do is make that unemployment benefit go down, not just completely remove the safety net from them while they go out and go to work.”

Nevada, incidentally, has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 14 percent. Unemployment benefits there can range as high as $362 a week. The Senate bill, at a cost of nearly $34 billion, would extend jobless benefits for six months through November at a cost to the deficit of nearly $34 billion. It would also retroactively reinstate benefits for people who lost them when the program ran out at the end of May.

So today on Capitol Hill Reid responded to Angle’s argument, an argument also shared by some other critics such as Rand Paul, the Republican candidate for the Senate seat in Kentucky.

“They don’t know what they’re talking about,” Reid said.

“Nobody’s getting rich on unemployment insurance, but every day we deny it to those who are out of work, we weaken our nation,” he said.

That was a view echoed by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

“The clock is ticking,” Solis said. “Those Americans who have lost the jobs through no fault of their own are counting on the Senate to stand up.”

Whether or not the Senate will stand up remains to be seen, but Reid said today that two Republicans had told him they would support the extension.

A vote is expected on Thursday. The Reid-Angle feud, meanwhile, will not be settled until the November elections.
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Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 01:39 pm
Angle Walks It Back: I Was 'Incorrect' To Call $20B BP Account A 'Slush Fund'
(Eric Kleefeld | TPM.com | July 8, 2010)

Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee for Senate in Nevada against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has very quickly reversed herself on comments she made on a radio show yesterday, in which she slammed the $20 billion escrow account that BP negotiated with the Obama administration to pay damage claims resulting from the Gulf oil spill. Angle's reversal -- she now says her description of the account as a "slush fund" was "incorrect" -- provides a further data point that while bashing the fund may play well with some on the right, it is also politically untouchable with the wider electorate.

Angle released this statement:
"There's been some confusion this morning regarding my position on BP and the oil spill. Having had some time to think about it, the caller and I shouldn't have used the term "slush fund"; that was incorrect. My position is that the creation of this fund to compensate victims was an important first step-- BP caused this disaster and they should pay for it. But there are multiple parties at fault here and there should be a thorough investigation. We need to look into the actions, (or inactions) of the Administration and why the regulatory agency in charge of oversight was asleep at the wheel while BP was cutting corners. Every party involved should be held fully accountable."

Angle's rapid walk-back on this mirrors the same path followed by Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who apologized to BP for the creation of the fund. Barton was forced by GOP leadership to retract his statements that same day. Of course, the curious thing here is that Barton's comments happened three weeks ago -- so Angle really should have had enough time to learn from this prior example.
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Reply Fri 9 Jul, 2010 03:41 pm
Sharron Angle struggles on the national stage
(By Rachel Rose Hartman, Yahoo News, July 9, 2010)

How does a political protest movement that encompasses some 30 percent of Americans sit on the national stage? Not always so comfortably, it turns out.

U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle of Nevada, a tea party favorite who is running to unseat Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, has been trying to pull off this awkward balancing act since she won the GOP primary last month. In her latest entry in national political debate, liberal political websites including the Huffington Post have picked up on a radio interview Angle gave last week detailing her opposition to abortion in cases involving incestuous rape. The hypothetical example that KXNT-AM host Alan Stock presented to Angle was a 13-year-old girl impregnated by her father. Angle replied:

"My own personal feelings -- and that is always what I express -- my personal feeling is that we need to err on the side of life. There is a plan and a purpose and a value to every life no matter what its location, age, gender or disability. ... I think that two wrongs don't make a right. And I have been in the situation of counseling young girls, not 13 but 15, who have had very at-risk, difficult pregnancies. And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade."

Angle's comments reflect an institutional dilemma for candidates like herself and fellow tea party favorite Rand Paul, the Republican nominee in Kentucky's open Senate race. Both candidates are mounting major statewide campaigns in nationalized races without the full benefit of their own national party's support.

After suffering some unwelcome scrutiny for his libertarian critique of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Paul has tried to reassure GOP establishment figures that he's ready for prime time by edging toward the mainstream.

But Angle has so far tried a different, split-screen approach to her campaign, continuing to pitch campaign appeals to her conservative base while avoiding the national mainstream press. As a result, her campaign has suffered a series of difficulties that may serve as cautionary tales for future tea party candidates. Here's a review:

• Angle is threatening to sue Democratic opponent Harry Reid for reposting the website she used for her primary campaign, which displays stances Democrats have labeled extreme. As Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent has noted, the move creates the odd effect of prolonging public attention to the political views that Angle is apparently hoping to prevent the Reid campaign from publicizing. If Angle makes good on her legal threats, Sargent writes, "it could end up drawing even more media attention to her original website than it otherwise might have received. It's a curious strategy."

• In a KXNT radio interview this week, Angle labeled BP's $20 billion compensation program "a slush fund" and said Democrats were using the Gulf oil disaster to help jump-start cap-and-trade energy reform efforts, the Associated Press reports. Many observers blasted Angle for the remarks — including President Obama, who used Angle's words to label her as "extreme."Angle backtracked on the "slush fund" characterization, terming it "incorrect in a statement on her website Thursday.

• In two separate interviews Wednesday on conservative radio, Angle said Reid's campaign attacks were attempts to "hit the girl," Politico reported. It quoted her as saying on Stock's show: "It is also the corruption in Washington, D.C., that is characterized by Harry Reid — let's-make-a-deal cronyism, politics as usual — and so we’re saying: 'Dirty Tricks' Harry is up to his dirty tricks one more time, and he’s just trying to hit the girl."

• Angle gave an interview July 2 to conservative blog Hot Air in which she went on the defensive, clarifying that she is not aligned with the so-called birther movement, which questions the legitimacy of Obama's U.S. citizenship. "In the past few days," blogger Ed Morrissey wrote, "rumors have swirled that Angle is a crypto-birther. I asked her 'flat out' whether she believed Barack Obama was born somewhere other than Hawaii, and she replied, 'No. Is that flat-out enough for you?'"

• This is all to say nothing of Angle's past policy positions, some of which were featured on the web page that the Reid campaign resurrected. Democrats can be expected to exploit several of Angle's stands as too extreme for mainstream or independent voters in the November ballot. Among them are her support for phasing out Social Security and Medicare; for repealing the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which established the federal income tax; and for abolishing the federal Department of Education.
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Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 07:42 pm
House Approves Tea Party Caucus
(Daniel Newhauser, CQ-Roll Call, July 19, 2010)

The House Administration Committee on Friday officially approved Rep. Michele Bachmann ’s request to form the House Tea Party Caucus, the Minnesota Republican announced on Facebook and Twitter on Monday.

The tea party protest mainstay, who found out about the confirmation Monday, now becomes the chairwoman of the caucus, institutionalizing the movement that has been gaining significant steam in tax day protests and GOP primaries around the country.

“She’s excited to get the ball rolling,” Bachmann spokesman Dave Dziok said. “The next step will be getting Members on board.”

Bachmann got her first colleague Monday: House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) has joined the caucus, confirmed conference spokeswoman Mary Vought.

Bachmann filed paperwork to create the caucus Thursday, and on Friday, sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging the California Democrat to help with leadership support.

“In conversations my staff had with the [House Administration] Committee, some concerns were voiced that this caucus may face roadblocks due to the perceived political nature of the label ‘Tea Party,’” the note read. “The Tea Party Caucus is strictly issue based in nature, promoting policies of fiscal responsibility and limited government with a strict adherence to our Constitution at the forefront. By rejecting such an organization, we would be silencing the voices, values and principles held dear by millions of Americans.”

Bachmann hasn’t yet announced which other Members will join her in the caucus, but last week John Kennedy, spokesman for Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), said King might be interested.

King is also known to frequent tea party protests and, like Bachmann, he introduced a bill to repeal the health care reform law.

Rand Paul (R) has expressed interest in starting a similar caucus in the Senate if he wins his election bid in Kentucky.
failures art
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 07:49 pm
1) I'm glad.
2) I think this will backfire.

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Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 01:15 pm
U.S. SENATE RACE: Reid takes lead on Angle

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid has opened a strong lead over Republican opponent Sharron Angle after pummeling her in a ubiquitous TV and radio ad campaign that portrays the Tea Party favorite as "too extreme," according to a new poll for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Democratic incumbent's aggressive strategy of attacking Angle's staunch conservative views from the moment she won the June 8 primary has cost her support among every voter group -- from men and women to both political parties and independents -- in vote-rich Clark and Washoe counties.

"He's had five perfect weeks," said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, which conducted the survey. "The race has been all about her, and he's been doing a good job of pounding her."

Yet Coker said it's too soon to write off Angle. More than one-quarter of the nonpartisan swing voters who probably will decide the Nov. 2 election haven't jumped to the still-unpopular Reid but instead are undecided or in the "other" or "none of these candidates" columns, the poll showed.

"I wouldn't write her obituary just yet," Coker said, noting it's a long way to November. "Three and a half months is a lifetime, and at some point she's going to be able to start fighting back."

The Mason-Dixon poll showed that if the general election were held now, Reid would win 44 percent to 37 percent for Angle. Ten percent were undecided, 5 percent would choose "none of these candidates," and the remaining 4 percent would pick another candidate on the ballot.

That is the best Reid has done against Angle this year in a series of Mason-Dixon polls. Previously, the two had been locked in a statistical dead heat with Angle finishing just ahead of Reid in February, 44 percent to 42 percent, and in June, 44 percent to 41 percent, and Reid finishing just ahead of Angle in May, 42 percent to 39 percent.

The phone survey, taken Monday through Wednesday of 625 likely voters in Nevada, is the first in which Reid has finished ahead of Angle outside the margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The Reid campaign attributed the senator's momentum to its efforts to expose the former Reno assemblywoman's views.

They include allowing young workers to opt out of Social Security and instead open personal retirement accounts, doing away with federal agencies such as the Education Department to cut spending and developing Yucca Mountain into a nuclear reprocessing facility.

"We have always said that as Nevada voters become familiar with Sharron Angle's extreme positions on Social Security, education and Yucca Mountain, they will reject her agenda," Reid campaign spokesman Jon Summers said in a statement. "Nevadans know Senator Reid is working every day to create jobs, keep people in their homes and get our economy back on track."

The Angle campaign -- a mom-and- pop operation that had been piling up debt during the GOP primary -- acknowledged it has been overwhelmed and overmatched by the rapid-fire Reid camp, which has been spending about $1 million a month, including on nonstop ads.

But Angle spokesman Jerry Stacy said the campaign is now capable of battling back after raising nearly as much money as Reid during the latest fundraising quarter that ended June 30: $2.3 million compared with $2.4 million. Angle's campaign now has nearly $1.8 million cash on hand, compared with $9 million cash for Reid, who has raised $19.2 million this election cycle.

"While we were busy raising money, Harry Reid was busy distorting Sharron Angle's record while trying to hide from his own," Stacy said in an interview. "Now it's our turn. Now that we have the money, we're going to be able to run a more effective campaign."

Stacy said that Reid's best hope of winning re-election is to keep the focus on Angle because he is unpopular at home. Also, President Barack Obama and Reid are having difficulty convincing voters that the $787 billion stimulus bill and industry bailouts are working to turn the economy around.

"Harry Reid knows he's in trouble, and he can't build himself up," Stacy said. "He can't run on his record and win. People counted Sharron out during the primary, but we proved them wrong. Do not count Sharron Angle out now. What this race is really about is the economy."

Nevada has suffered more than other state during the recession. It has a record unemployment rate of 14 percent, the highest in the nation, and record high home foreclosure and bankruptcy rates.

Angle's first and only TV ad in the general election hits Reid on the economy. Stacy said a second commercial has been cut and will air soon, also taking Reid to task for Nevada's dismal standing, becoming the hardest-hit state in the nation during the Senate leader's watch.

But Reid is starting to go toe-to-toe with Angle on economic issues, both by attacking her in TV and radio ads and by having Obama come to Nevada as he did last week to promote Reid and the Democrats' moves to create new jobs and spur private business development.

While Reid helped save the $8.5 billion CityCenter project on the Strip by pressuring banks to continue funding it, Angle has said she would not have interfered, something the senator's campaign points out in its attack ads. Reid also has a positive ad promoting his CityCenter role.

Angle and other fiscally conservative Republicans argue that private enterprises should fail or succeed on their own and government shouldn't choose which industries are "too big to fail."

Since last month, Reid's campaign has managed to make Angle nearly as unpopular as Reid.

According to the latest Mason-Dixon poll, 46 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of Reid and 37 percent have a favorable view of him now. That compares with 52 percent to 35 percent in June.

Angle's unfavorable rating, meanwhile, jumped by double digits -- from 25 percent in early June to 43 percent now -- while her favorable rating is now 33 percent compared with 38 percent last month.

"I was surprised how quickly and how effectively the Reid campaign came out against her after the primary," said Eric Herzik, political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. "I think Angle got caught off guard. Harry Reid didn't give her any breathing time, so she got defined as 'wacky Sharron.' "
0 Replies
Reply Thu 29 Jul, 2010 11:20 am
Angle spends more than $600,000 on shady firm
(By Justin Elliott, Salon.com, July 29, 2010)

Sharron Angle, who has fallen behind Harry Reid in several recent polls and can scarcely afford to squander any resources, has sunk $637,000 into a notorious D.C. direct mail firm. A Salon review of the Nevada Republican's FEC filings found that Angle has forked over about 20 percent of all the money she's raised to Base Connect, which is known for charging its conservative clients exorbitant fees -- as high as 80% -- and was recently dropped by a sitting Republican congressman because of its terrible reputation.

Formerly known as BMW Direct, Base Connect describes itself "a full-service creative agency for conservative candidates running at the national level." For the past several election cycles, the firm's M.O. has gone like this: find a longshot conservative candidate running against a well-established Democratic incumbent, then launch a national fundraising campaign by sending direct mail to a list of true-believing but small-time conservative donors around the country.

The catch is that as much 75 or 80 or even 95 percent of the money raised is paid back to Base Connect and its "partner" companies (which are based in the same suite in the same building just off K Street in Washington). GOP consultant Bill Pascoe dubbed this "subprime fundraising." And Erick Erickson once said that candidates who use the firm are in danger of losing RedState's endorsement, presumably because conservative donors' money is going to a fundraising agency rather than actually helping the cause. Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) dropped all ties with Base Connect after Talking Points Memo reported in March he was paying the firm 75 percent in fundraising fees.

Both Angle's campaign and Base Connect did not respond to requests for comment, so it's not clear how much money the firm has raised for Angle. But she is clearly one of its major clients this cycle -- featured all over Base Connect's Web site and Twitter feed. Angle has paid $637,000 to Base Connect and two "partner" companies called Century Data Mailing Service and Legacy Lists Inc, according to FEC filings. All three firms operate out of suite 410 at 1155 15th St, NW.

The $637,000 amounts to about 20% of all the money Angle has raised this cycle, and about 35% of what she's spent so far. She seems to still be using the firm, as the most recent payments came on June 30, according to second quarter FEC data.

The classic Base Connect candidates are people you've never heard of like Charles Morse, a Republican who took on Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) in 2008 but dropped out before the general election after getting just 145 votes in the GOP primary. The Boston Globe reported that his longshot campaign took in a staggering $700,000 with the help of Base Connect (then BMW Direct) -- but the firm was paid 96% of the money. Another no-name congressional candidate, a black Republican named Deborah Honeycutt in Georgia, raised gobs of money with Base Connect in 2008 -- and paid the firm gobs of money in return. She went on to lose by 38 points.

Base Connect has argued that it is giving obscure candidates a chance and that postage and printing accounts for a significant amount of the money paid to the company.

Angle may have been attracted to the firm because she herself was originally a longshot Tea Party candidate with nothing to lose. But since she emerged from the wreckage of the GOP primary as the Republican chosen to take on Harry Reid -- considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation -- Angle's campaign has been in free fall. It has struggled with revelations of Angle's far-right views, a paranoid media strategy, and failure to respond effectively to Reid's attacks. National Republicans have dispatched a veteran communications operative to help get her campaign back on track. But Angle's relationship with Base Connect will do nothing to recast her image as a mainstream figure who can run a disciplined campaign against the Majority Leader.

UPDATE: We may have just found out how Angle ended up employing Base Connect: Jordan Gehrke, who was just named Angle's communications director after a stint as her deputy campaign manager, used to work as director of business development for Base Connect when it was known as BMW Direct. It's not clear when he left the firm. But this is not the first time current or former Base Connect staffers have been involved in the campaigns that employ the firm.
Reply Fri 30 Jul, 2010 10:42 am
It sounds like the right wing has found a company run by one of their own to rob them. No tears for angle.
0 Replies
failures art
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2010 12:27 am
Interesting read from the Washington Post...

Washington Post wrote:
"Tea party" activists drawn to Williamsburg and its portrayal of Founding Fathers
By Amy Gardner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 1, 2010; A01

WILLIAMSBURG -- The original Tea Party may have been in Boston, but some modern-day "tea party" activists are finding a powerful narrative this summer at a different historic landmark: Colonial Williamsburg.

Amid the history buffs and parents with young children wandering along the crushed shell paths of Virginia's restored colonial city, some noticeably angrier and more politically minded tourists can often be found.

They stand in the crowd listening closely as the costumed actors relive dramatic moments in the founding of our country. They clap loudly when an actor portraying Patrick Henry delivers his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. They cheer and hoot when Gen. George Washington surveys the troops behind the original 18th-century courthouse. And they shout out about the tyranny of our current government during scenes depicting the nation's struggle for freedom from Britain.

"General, when is it appropriate to resort to arms to fight for our liberty?" asked a tourist on a recent weekday during "A Conversation with George Washington," a hugely popular dialogue between actor and audience in the shaded backyard of Charlton's Coffeehouse.

Standing on a simple wooden stage before a crowd of about 100, the man portraying Washington replied: "Only when all peaceful remedies have been exhausted. Or if we are forced to do so in our own self-defense."

The tourist, a self-described conservative activist named Ismael Nieves from Elmer, N.J., nodded thoughtfully. Afterward, he said this was his fifth visit to Colonial Williamsburg.

"We live in a very dangerous time," Nieves said. "People are looking for leadership, looking for what to do. They're looking to Washington, Jefferson, Madison."

"I want to get to know our Founding Fathers," he added. "I think we've forgotten them. It's like we've almost erased them from history."

It's a common point of view among tea party activists. They say their unhappiness with Washington reflects how far the federal government has strayed, through taxation and regulation, from the Founders' intentions.

"They all should come here and listen," said Bob Rohrbacher, a retired plumber from Floral Park, N.Y., who opposes President Obama and was inspired to visit Williamsburg while watching Glenn Beck on Fox News. "They've forgotten about America."

Hundreds of visitors gather to listen to the "Revolutionary City" reenactments that take place throughout the day along the historic area's Duke of Gloucester Street.

One day last week, Patrick Henry stood on the south side of the colonial Capitol building and announced that a congress of representatives from all the colonies would begin meeting annually to protect the "united interests of America." The cheers were so enthusiastic that the tourists themselves might have been mistaken for colonists, were it not for the fanny packs and trilling cell phones.

One man, wearing a red, white and blue golf shirt emblazoned with the American flag and the text of the Declaration of Independence, joined the actors in exclaiming, "Well said!" every time a character uttered something patriotic.

The executives who oversee Williamsburg said they have noticed the influx of tea partiers, and have also noted a rise in the number of guests who ply the costumed actors for advice about how to rebel against 21st-century politicians. (The actors do their best to provide 18th-century answers.)

"If people . . . can recognize that subjects such as war and taxation, religion and race, were really at the heart of the situation in the 18th century, and there is some connection between what was going on then and what's going on now, that's all to the good," said Colin Campbell, president and chairman of Colonial Williamsburg. "What happened in the 18th century here required engagement, and what's required to preserve democracy in the 21st century is engagement. That is really our message."

The foundation that runs the programs at Colonial Williamsburg is nonprofit and nonpartisan, so neither Campbell nor other employees would venture an opinion on the significance of the tea party. But they welcome the business. Like most museums and historical sites, Williamsburg suffered during the recession; even before that, attendance had been dropping for more than a decade. In the late 1990s, annual ticket sales topped 1 million. Last year, that number had dropped to 660,000.

Campbell's hope is that such visitors come away having learned something about the nuance and messiness of history -- a theme that runs through all of Colonial Williamsburg's programming.

Sometimes, the activists appear surprised when the Founding Fathers don't always provide the "give 'em hell" response they seem to be looking for.

When a tourist asked George Washington a question about what should be done to those colonists who remain loyal to the tyrannical British king, Washington interjected: "I hope that we're all loyal, sir" -- a reminder that Washington, far from being an early agitator against the throne, was among those who sought to avoid revolution until the very end.

When another audience member asked the general to reflect on the role of prayer and religion in politics, he said: "Prayers, sir, are a man's private concern. They are not a matter of public interest. And nor should they be. There is nothing so personal as a man's relationship with his creator."

And when another asked whether the Boston Tea Party had helped rally the patriots, Washington disagreed with force: The tea party "should never have occurred," he said. "It's hurt our cause, sir."

That may not have been the answer the man expected from the father of our country. But even in that spirited crowd, no one was going to tell George Washington he was wrong.

source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/31/AR2010073103051.html

My first thought was how silly this was, but then (with some empathy) I thought about it, and these people are serious. To them it was actually like visiting the founding fathers. All I could think about was those long die-hard Elvis fans still looking for the king, to us they look ridiculous, but in their minds the experience is very real.

Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 12:25 pm
Joe Miller poised to take Senate seat from Alaska's Lisa Murkowski
(By Philip Rucker and Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post, August 25, 2010)

The 43-year-old bearded Alaskan who shocked the political world overnight by pulling ahead of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the state's Republican primary fashions himself as a rugged individualist who campaigned on weaning Alaska off its dependence on federal largess.

Results on Wednesday showed Joe Miller holding a slim lead of about 1,900 votes over Murkowski, but a winner might not be declared until election officials count as many as 10,000 absentee ballots, which could take several days.

Nevertheless, early returns suggested a stunning upset, as Miller carried the anti-spending furor of the "tea party" movement to the most unlikely frontier: a state that has benefited far more from pork-barrel spending over the years than any state in the Lower 48.

Whereas Murkowski continued a long tradition of Alaska politicians touting their ability to steer an outsize proportion of Washington dollars back home, Miller campaigned on his belief that the federal investment there had made Alaska a sort of "federal fiefdom." Miller argued, apparently with some success, that with the government effectively bankrupt, Alaska should assume responsibility for its own destiny.

"He feels like that era is over because the federal government can't afford it," Randy DeSoto, Miller's communications director, said in an interview Wednesday morning. "Joe's basic belief is that the state is somewhat of a 'federal fiefdom.' . . . He would fight to retain more autonomy for Alaska."

It was an unlikely political appeal, coming on the heels of the death of longtime Republican senator Ted Stevens, whose legacy was bringing home billions of federal dollars to build roads, bridges and airports to modernize Alaska - not only the nation's physically largest state, but also its most isolated and undeveloped.

"It's just time for a change - time that we stand on our own two feet and that the federal government allows us to develop our natural resources and not put so many restraints on us," state Rep. Tammie Wilson (R), who endorsed Miller, said in an interview. "We're going to have to build our own roads and support our own people and put them back to work rather than have them sit at home waiting for a check from the government."

Miller quietly built momentum with this message of fiscal responsibility and government restraint, first with an endorsement from former governor Sarah Palin and later with the donations and support from tea party activists and backing from such national conservative figures as former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and talk show hosts Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin.

"The tea party movement and the social movement, really kind of the Reagan coalition, being rebuilt here in Alaska is what allowed him to get on top," DeSoto said.

Miller pummeled Murkowski on the airwaves in recent days, casting her as "a liberal" who was out of step with the values of Republican primary voters. This seemed to catch Murkowski off guard.

"Joe Miller turned Lisa Murkowski into a Democrat, a Tony Knowles Democrat," said Michael Carey, a longtime political correspondent at the Anchorage Daily News, the state's largest newspaper, referring to the former Democratic governor. "This was either brilliant or dumb luck. He just rolled her up in the most conservative areas of the state. Those voters always - always - look for the most conservative candidate, and they sure found him."

Two months ago, officials at the National Republican Senatorial Committee met with strategists for Murkowski's campaign and urged them to tap her campaign treasury of almost $2 million to begin running ads against Miller. The Murkowski campaign refused, saying that to attack him would merely elevate an opponent whom they didn't consider a serious threat.

Instead, she stuck with her campaign of feel-good ads touting her accomplishments - a message that, in retrospect, seemed to not speak to the angry mood of the electorate.

Miller tried to define Murkowski as part of the "Washington aristocracy," a reference not only to her lineage as a daughter of former Republican governor and senator Frank Murkowski, but also the financial support she had received over the years from corporate interests.

In particular, Miller attacked Murkowski for her votes supporting the 2008 Wall Street bailout and for opposing a repeal of President Obama's health-care overhaul. He also attacked her for supporting a cap-and-trade energy tax (which he opposes) and for supporting abortion rights (which he opposes).

"We felt that the way the race would be won is if people knew where Murkowski stood on the issues and they were comfortable that Joe was qualified and would represent them," DeSoto said. "Most people assumed that since she's a Republican, she's basically a conservative Republican. But when we started pointing out all the times she voted against her party, through television and Joe saying it and social media, that played into the mix."

Miller presented himself as a conservative, small-government Republican, sharing values with former president Ronald Reagan. A Kansas native, Miller is a graduate from West Point, served as an officer in the Army and was awarded the Bronze Star during the first Gulf War.

Miller says he was drawn to Alaska 16 years ago because of his love for the outdoors. After graduating from Yale Law School, he accepted a job at an Anchorage law firm. By age 30, he had been appointed a state magistrate and a superior court master for the 4th Judicial District, and eventually became U.S. Magistrate judge in Fairbanks, according to his biography on his campaign Web site.

Miller resigned from the bench in 2004 to run for state representative, but after winning the Republican primary he narrowly lost in the general election. He has since been a private-practice lawyer in Fairbanks, where he lives with his wife, Kathleen, and their children.

Tuesday night, as returns were coming in with him in the lead, Miller tweeted: "What's the moose hunting like in the Beltway?" He later tweeted, "What's a 'Beltway traffic jam'? Is that when a caribou herd crosses a road?"

"He's just a person," Wilson said. "He represents the hardworking man or woman who's just trying to make ends meet. He's willing to get out there and work hard and stop to talk with anybody who would talk with him."

This year, Miller campaigned in his pickup truck, allies said, knocking on doors to talk with voters. When the campaign took him far from Fairbanks, he traveled by motor home or airplane. His large white campaign signs were frequently sighted along Alaska's highways.

Miller's operation is decidedly homespun. He shunned the political establishment and brought in as his consultants not veteran strategists but longtime and loyal friends. DeSoto, his spokesman, is a writer and former West Point classmate. His campaign manager, Robert Campbell, is a lawyer from Alaska's Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Campbell's brother, Walter Campbell, is also advising Miller, as is Palin and her husband, Todd, who is a longtime friend of Miller's.

If elected, DeSoto said, Miller would fashion himself after Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), both among the Senate's most conservative members.

"He likes to look at the facts," DeSoto said. "He's principled. If he has an idea, he'll want to see it through, and he won't want to be in any way someone who's thought of as selling out."
0 Replies
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 10:43 pm
@failures art,
I wanted to post a link to Richard Thompson's brilliant song about a woman obsessed with Elvis, Galway to Graceland, but there seems to be an internal mistake.

Too bad because both the Elvis is alive fans and the Tea Totalitarians are obsessed.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 03:26 pm
Is the tea party becoming the new Grand Old Party?
(By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press, September 1, 2010)

Is the tea party the new Republican Party? The grass-roots network of fed-up conservative-libertarian displayed its power in its biggest triumph of the election year: the toppling of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's GOP primary. Political novice Joe Miller is the fifth tea party insurgent to win a GOP Senate nominating contest, an upset that few, if any, saw coming.

With the stunning outcome, the fledgling tea party coalition and voters who identify with its anti-tax, anti-spending sentiments proved that democracy is alive and well — within the Republican Party. Don't like who is representing you? Rise up, fire them and choose someone new.

The tea party has taken hold in the Grand Old Party, unseating lawmakers, capturing nominations for open seats and forcing Republicans to recalibrate both their campaign strategy and issues agenda. Out is talk of delivering federal dollars back home; in is talk of fiscal discipline.

Within minutes of Murkowski conceding late Tuesday night, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., was among the conservative Republicans cheering Miller.

"He pulled off the upset victory of the year because he ran on principles and because Alaskans, like all Americans, want to stop the massive spending, bailouts and debt that are bankrupting our country," said DeMint.

Taking a shot at Murkowski if not the entire Republican establishment, he added: "Joe Miller's victory should be a wake-up call to politicians who go to Washington to bring home the bacon. Voters are saying 'We're not willing to bankrupt the country to benefit ourselves.'"

Murkowski, who was seeking her second full term, was the first GOP incumbent to lose her renomination bid to a tea party-backed challenger in a Republican primary.

But Utah Sen. Bob Bennett lost his job, too, fired at the state convention in May when tea party activists and other GOP voters rallied behind Mike Lee. And tea party favorites Rand Paul in Kentucky, Sharron Angle in Nevada and Ken Buck in Colorado won their primaries over establishment-supported candidates in open races.

Now, the country's latest political phenomenon is turning its sights on the Sept. 14 Delaware Senate primary in hopes that its preferred candidate can vanquish a moderate hand-picked by GOP leaders in Washington, Rep. Mike Castle, to win an open seat once held by Vice President Joe Biden.

"Up next: Christine O'Donnell for U.S. Senate in Delaware," declared Amy Kremer, chairman of the Tea Party Express, which says it spent some $600,000 in the final weeks of Alaska's Senate race to help Miller. The California-based group says it will shell out $250,000 on O'Donnell's behalf.

Afterward, the coalition's challenge will be to prove that its might is more than a fluke by ensuring that tea-party GOP nominees beat Democrats on Nov. 2.

That won't be difficult in some places.

It's nearly a foregone conclusion that Miller, an attorney endorsed by friends Sarah and Todd Palin, will be a senator; Alaska is a Republican-leaning state in a clearly GOP year. Still, Senate Democrats moved quickly to see whether Miller's victory could give them an opening, conducting a poll to gauge the potential competitiveness of the race.

Even before Murkowski conceded, Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, chairman of the Democrats' campaign committee, said in an interview his organization might come into the state behind party nominee Scott McAdams.

Lee is a shoo-in to win in Utah; it's such a conservative bastion that Democrats are ceding the Senate seat.

Less certain is whether Paul will beat Democrat Jack Conway, whether Buck will overtake Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and whether Angle will engineer the biggest of all tea party victories — ousting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. All those races are competitive.

There's no telling how outsider candidates who want to eliminate the Education Department or phase out Social Security — and who view themselves as independent of the party apparatus even as they get help from the GOP — would act as members of a body that's the epitome of the establishment.

Party politics dominate the buttoned-down Senate, but no on knows whether the outsiders would follow the traditional rules — or even support Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. It's possible that these new GOP senators could align themselves with DeMint, who has endorsed tea party candidates in GOP primaries nationwide.

Chris Chocola, president of the anti-tax Club for Growth, cast Miller as part of the GOP's next chapter, saying: "Joe Miller represents a new generation of pro-growth conservative leadership committed to America's founding principles of limited government and economic freedom."

The GOP establishment was more muted as it contemplated the loss of Murkowski, one of its own.

"I offer my sincere congratulations to Joe Miller and offer him my strong support," said Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who leads the GOP's Senate campaign effort.

Democrats, meanwhile, crowed that Miller's win simply gave credibility to their argument that the GOP and the tea party were the same, offering extreme policies. Vice President Biden has led the charge, painting "the Republican tea party" as "out of step with where the American people are."

Democrats may score points with their base voters with that pitch.

But there's a danger, too. Some Democrats privately worry that the party risks alienating important numbers of independent voters who already are trending toward the GOP, identifying with the tea party's disgust with what it calls out-of-control spending and the growth of government under President Barack Obama.
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 04:51 pm
our local senator Tiahrt, who was endorsed by Mz Palin and the tea party, lost in the republican primary.


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