A Statement on the Tea Party Express

Tuesday, October 6, 2009
By Josh

Edit: National Tea Party Patriot’s statement http://freedomswings.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/tea-party-patriots-are-truly-grassroots-and-non-partisan/

Houston Tea Party Society does not promote, support, or endorse the activities of the “Our Country Deserves Better” PAC and its “Tea Party Express” bus tour. We are not alone, as a growing number of Tea Party organizers in the country are disclaiming any association with TPE. Our legal counselors have advised us that there are many legal intricacies involved in cooperating with such an organization, and HTPS prefers to err on the side of caution. HTPS does not agree with their tactics and does not feel that Tea Party Express shares our grassroots opinions. Several groups have even started describing it as “The Astroturf Express”.

The first TPE tour spawned stories of negative experiences from their Grassroots Tea Party partners. When HTPS learned the Tea Party Express would be coming to Houston, we met with the other Grassroots tea party organizations in the area to discuss it. The groups unanimously decided that a TPE tour stop could not be supported by any of them. Organizers in Austin shared this opinion, and HTPS and the Austin Tea Party contacted Deborah Johns of Our Country Deserves Better asking them to not include these cities in their tour. Our Country Deserves Better then showed their feelings for the Grassroots by insisting on coming anyway, despite the pleas of the local organizers.

The TPE represents itself as a grassroots political organization, but a quick look into their history and activities shows where OCDB PAC has spent its resources. Local organizers have been consistent in attempting to avoid partisan “party politics as usual” and local tea party donations have gone to events and local activist infrastructure.

The Tea Party Express raises money for the “Our Country Deserves Better” PAC, which gives those funds to political campaigns. When asked, OCDB PAC will not disclose for whom they are raising funds, and merely states it is “to be decided.” HTPS and our local and state allies do not believe Tea Parties are meant to be fundraisers for PACs and politicians. Not all people attending an HTPS event are Republicans, and HTPS strives to be inclusive of those who agree with the tea party principles, regardless of party affiliation.

Another issue surrounding OCDB PAC are the bus-riders themselves. Some personalities on the bus have viciously clashed with grassroots organizers, made exceedingly childish and offensive public statements about others, and savaged grassroots organizers over the internet. HTPS considers people with that temperament unfit to credibly represent the movement.

We realize the Tea Party Express brings media attention and excitement to the areas it visits. It also brings headaches and frustrations HTPS and our partner organizations do not need. We cannot support a PAC that uses the “Tea Party” brand for these partisan activities, nor endorse an event put on by people who refuse to listen to the grassroots organizers. OCDB PAC does not support or respect the grassroots tea party groups; more than anything, HTPS believes that speaks volumes about their real commitment to tea party principles.

Sincerely,

Houston Tea Party Society

More:

http://www.socaltaxrevoltcoalition.org/3.html down at “WHY SOCALTRC WILL NOT SUPPORT THE TEA PARTY EXPRESS:”

http://washingtonindependent.com/62054/tea-party-patriots-vs-tea-party-express

http://maineteaparty.blogspot.com/2009/10/statement-on-non-partisan-status.html Maine’s Statement

http://912candidates.org/tx/2009/10/07/tea-party-organizers-highlight-non-partisan-grassroots-principles/ Austin’s Statement

http://www.centralvalleyteaparty.com/index.php?id=206 Central Valley’s statement

http://www.reddingteaparty.com/notes/Tea_Party_Express Redding California’s Statement (requires registration)

http://templeofmut.wordpress.com/2009/09/28/tea-party-express-is-not-the-face-of-the-tea-party-either/ California State Statement

http://philrusso.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/the-tea-party-express-fruad/ Orlando Tea Party

Additionally, the state Tea Party Patriots is about to release a statement as well and we will link to it when available, as well as additional links.

EDITED TO ADD TPE financial reports:

http://www.resistnet.com/group/lonestarpatriots/forum/topics/robin-stublen-reports-on-tea-1?xg_source=activity

97 Responses to “A Statement on the Tea Party Express”

  1. USPatriot

    Great Job!!!

    Thanks for staying true to OUR grassroots movement and for being courageous enough to stand against the “politics as usual” crowd.

    It is OUR movement, and we are “We the People”!! And We the People are sick of these ‘political heads’ sticking them where they do not belong!

    Again… great job and God bless!

    #1224
  2. Milton Richards

    Isn’t this a case of “throwing the baby out with the bath water?” OK, you don’t like how they spend their money. OK, you don’t like some of the personalities on the bus. OK, you don’t like their “tactics.” I can agree. But, a quick visit to their website [http://www.ourcountrydeservesbetter.com/ads/index.html] revealed that nearly all of their commercial ads are aimed at Obama or some other liberal. The common ground of HTPS and TPE is to oppose and defeat Obama and other liberals [incumbents and candidates] by supporting those candidates with conservative values. How will you be able to deny support of candidates to office arising from your ranks on the basis of remaining non-partisan when the candidates will most likely be declaring under the Republican banner? This doesn’t seem logical to me. The tone of your post seems to discourage HTPS members from supporting the TPE in any fashion. The one positive thing you had to say about them is “…the Tea Party Express brings media attention and excitement to the areas it visits.” A visit by the TPE will surely boost the conservative cause and add members and supporters not only to your group but to other tea party and 9-12 groups as well. This is the bottom line.

    #1225
  3. Gwen Morris

    In response to Milton Richards, TPP must be very careful not to engage in activities that go against the “non-profit” status that TPP are trying to get. I belong to a group out of CA and our group has been told to stay away from PACs as we could be found in violation of the non-profit guidelines that are set forth by the state,which would mean that every $$ we have received would be taxable and fines could also be assessed. This group, TPE, is out for themselves. The proof to that is they would come out and state that they are NOT affiliated with TPP but they don’t. If we are not careful our movement will we taken away from us!!! We must stand firm and band together!!!

    #1226
  4. Max

    How sad that the Houston Tea Party is devoting so much time to creating controversy where there is none, and attacking other conservative groups based on small differences.

    I think you need to review what the TRUE mission of the tea party movement is, and get back to work on that, rather than beat up each other which is EXACTLY what liberals want us all to do.

    Shame on you guys!

    #1227
  5. Josh

    Max, It’s an FYI to confirm we have nothing to do with them. Us being a nonprofit and them being a PAC makes it legally difficult to work with them and we need to confirm that we aren’t… There are other issues with how they’ve conducted business as well… We and other organizers have demanded they clean up, they have decided not to.

    #1228
  6. Max

    You’re kidding right? This is one grassroots group labeling another as “astroturf” and you call that an FYI? Why on earth the name-calling?

    And you actually link to the extremely liberal blog WA Independent?

    I also find it absurd that you actually asked the Tea Party Express not to come to Austin, as if you own the town.

    I hope the citizens of Texas see through your call to obedience and support the tea party movement in all it’s wonderful forms.

    Stop trying to control the grassroots!!

    #1229
  7. Jeanette Richards

    While I don’t think we need to ENDORSE them, I see no reason why we should spend time attacking them or putting out information that we are not connected. There are different tea party groups just as there are different people. Let’s not let ego get in our way by claiming that this is OUR movement as if to say that there is no room for others unless they agree to our way of thinking and promoting conservatism. There is no time for this…….we need to get on with the business at hand and start returning conservative candidates to office so Obama and his gang’s policies can be reversed or changed.

    #1230
  8. Max you do understand the difference between non-partisan and partisan right? TPE is not non-partisan at all so is not a group at non-partisan would want to find itself allied to. There is an assumption that all tea party groups are one with each other. Making it clear there are differences to give people choice is a good idea.

    #1231
  9. Milton Richards

    I totally understand the legal ramifications and preserving non-profit status, etc. I also agree that a clarification statement may have been necessary. Distancing yourself from a group with a similar name that you disagree with is totally appropriate, but go back and read the statement. The first sentence is perfect. Everything after that is really not necessary.

    #1233
  10. Josh

    Understandable Milton, and perhaps could have worded it better. We did want to show there were other reasons for doing it and we weren’t alone. We do talk to other organizers a lot, and everyone is pretty sick of the Tea Party Express. They have such a media profile you are either forced to go along with them endangering your status and costing your principles, or define what you are and that you are apart from them and get accused of infighting and other associated drama. Having the bus come through is like having a missile shot at you.

    We and other cities along their route simply wanted to opt-out and just avoid the drama altogether, they chose not to respect and and this is what happens :/

    #1234
  11. Josh

    Oh, and do have to call someone out here, “Max” by the e-mail he provided “flyingsaxon@gmail.com”, a quick search brought up it belongs to “Levi Russell” who is the contact for the “Tea Party Express” press releases http://noisyroom.net/blog/2009/09/22/tea-party-express-to-hit-road-again-october-25th/

    Come on, how shameless are you, sock puppet? Talk about trying to “Control the Grassroots!”

    #1235
  12. Carrie

    I finally thought I found a group that represents my opinion then I get an email telling me basicaly to look out for FAKE Tea Party groups who represent PACs. This news worries me. I do not want the money I donate to the Houston Tea Party Society going to any political candidate. That money is for the movment itself not politicians.

    #1236
  13. Max

    .. And? Does this somehow mean that my opinion isn’t valid? I’m giving you my personal take on the matter, seperate from any group or organization.

    What I object to is the same issue Jeanette pointed out above. The sheer volume of energy being expended in attacking a fellow conservative group is tiresome to the point of sickening.

    Why is it that Michael Steel attacks Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Scarborough go after Glenn Beck, Savage hates Hannity, the GOP can’t stand Sarah Palin, and now the grassroots have joined in the mud slinging? It goes on and on.

    If all this effort was spent working toward common goals, fighting common enemies, and encouraging other conservative individuals and groups to rise up and DO something (even if it’s not 100% in agreement) we would be much much further along.

    The Tea Party Express is like a missle being fired at you? Give me a break. No matter the label, this is about raising the profile of our legitimate concerns and gripes about the administration to a level where change can actually take place. We need to get over ourselves and get back to work. Despite these two groups having been pitted against each other, they are 99% in complete agreement on the issues.

    All of our time, effort, and energy should be directed at issues that really matter, not pulling each other down.

    #1237
  14. Katy

    Be it Freedom Works or Our Country Deserves Better, they are both the same old same old thing we have been fighting against – the Washington Insiders and the career political operatives that do what they want, not what the American people want. These groups have been around for awhile. FreedomWorks was created in July 2004 when Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) and Empower America merged. CSE dates back to at least 2001 and Empower America 2002.

    OCDB was formed in August 2008 in Sacramento, CA. They seem to be a single issue focus PAC in some regards. They spent $300K (about half of what they raised) in the first half of this year opposing Harry Reid, a noble cause, but is that the best use of such a large portion of their money? $50K went to help Jim Tedisco of NY directly, but $100K went to oppose his opponent, Scott Murphy.

    It’s the same old Washington Politics – spend your money trashing the other guy, but never offer up real solutions for America. No wonder everyone calls the Republicans the Party of NO and maybe you can see why the Tea Parties want to distance themselves from these groups.

    Until the awakening of the grassroots Tea Parties, neither of these organizations got hardly any amount of recognition. Look how long Freeddom Works has been around – and what did they accomplish in that time period? Nothing, until the citizens in the communities woke up and got active. Without the grassroot Tea Party activities around the country these last few months, hardly a soul would have been awake enough to find their way to DC on September 12th.

    Don’t be had by these same old Washington Insiders and career politicians.

    #1238
  15. Josh

    Levi, the problem is, by using “Tea Party” to brand itself, it misrepresents itself to the public forcing us to make a statement of clarification. If you don’t want to create more drama, just tell the truth! People donate thinking it’s going to the grassroots when it’s going to the PAC. There are groups I don’t agree with 100% that I will work with, as long as they stay honest.

    #1239
  16. Kim

    How embarrasing for us Houstonians. We are ALL Americans and as long as we are for the same cause who CARES if they have a political side or not because at SOME POINT we are ALL going to have to be political in order to regain our country from the liberals. Whether you like it or not, this IS political. What you are doing is lining yourself up to a possible 3rd party movement which means we will surely loose the election again to the liberals because no matter what, whether we like it or not, there are two parties, Republican and Democrat and sorry to say the Democrats are more liberal than the Republicans EVEN though there are Republicans who are going to have to go as well.

    #1240
  17. USPatriot

    Hey Levi….

    You disgust me! Partisan hacks like you ARE THE PROBLEM!!! you and your ilk at the TPE should be ashamed. Are the overwhelming problems that face our nation just a “gotcha game” to get the GOP back into office? They are part of the problem too!

    I was a Democrat in 1984 because I was a naive 18 year old. Then by the 1988 elections I wised up and became a Republican. Today, however, I am NOT aligning myself with ANY party. Why? Because of “rePUBICans” like YOU, and DemoRATS like Reid, Pelosi, and Obamanation.

    This is a (or at least was until your ‘bosses’ saw the political gain that could be had) honest to goodness grassroots movement! And as far as I am concerned, and a HUGE majority of Patriots I speak to… you and your kind ARE NOT WELCOME! So, go home, stay home, and let “We the People”, not some GOP or DEM hack, run the show. Remember… this is NOT ABOUT POLITICS… it is about taking OUR nation back. And if YOU can do that without any ties to these hack-packs… then welcome! If not… go away!!!

    MOLON LABE!

    #1241
  18. Max

    USPatriot:
    “this is NOT ABOUT POLITICS… it is about taking OUR nation back”

    I agree with the second half of this statement. It IS about taking our nation back. Now how do we go about doing that? I think we have two options:

    1. Influence currently elected officials to vote for and support conservative principles, or

    2. Elect NEW officials that we trust to represent conservative principles and hold them accountable.

    Are there any other options you’re considering?

    If we go with #1, we write, email, call, rally, and otherwise pressure politicians to support the Constitution and uphold basic conservative ideals. If we go with #2, we find new candidates either currently in politics (city mayors, senators, assemblymen, governors, etc) and push them, or we find totally new candidates from within the grassroots. Either way, they eventually need to end up on a ballot with either a (R) or (D) after their name, right? So, how is it not about politics?

    What we are demanding is that elected officials, whoever they are, get back to the values our country was based on, rather than the ‘smash & grab’ attitude that has put us in a national tailspin.

    #1242
  19. Mark

    It’s a pleasure to see the real grassroots of the movement take a stand and refuse to be associated with people like Mark Williams and the organizations that support him.

    To those who post here that we should all just work together, you should check out this video of Mark Williams defending the fact that he calls President Obama an “Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug,” and the “Racist in Chief.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fymdNxn82M.

    You need to watch until the end, when he’s mocked for making those statements, and he tells James Carville, “thanks for firing up my base.”

    So…ask yourself…if you support an organization with this man as the Spokesperson and Vice Chair…are you who he is referring to when he talks about firing up “his base”? Is that a group you wish to be part of? He has also directly attacked our fellow tea partiers as “astrotuf” on his own blog. He is currently threatening legal action (a Cease and Desist letter has been received) against a tea partier who had reposted his original post attacking tea party organziers.

    Now receiving massive nationwide blow back via email, blogs and phone calls from thousands of angry tea party activists, he has taken down the negative post from his blog and is now seeking to legally suppress his own words about tea partiers. For a more detailed explanation go to http://www.socaltaxrevoltcoalition.org/3.html You’ll find their notice (in red) that they can’t post Williams’ written statement any longer because he has threatened them with legal action.

    Much like the big government we are fighting, he is trying to hide information to make it difficult for you to know the facts about what he has done. And in the same way, the Tea Party Express would prefer you don’t know who they are. The truth is they are a PAC that raises money for Republican candidates and causes. Nothing wrong with that…but is that who people who donate to the Tea Party Express really think they are giving money to? And if you look at the FEC filings for the PAC http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/expend.php?cycle=2008&cmte=C00454074, you’ll see that the great majority of the money they collect goes to Russo Marsh & Rogers, which is a Republican political consulting firm. You can see their experience listed on their website here: http://www.rmrwest.com/index.php/RMRWest/Experience/. Again, nothing inherently wrong with any of that. But is that what tea parties are about? Is that what the tea party movement is all about?

    So in summary:

    1. The Tea Party Express has a national spokesperson, Mark Williams, who goes on national television as a “tea party leader,” and calls the President an “Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug,” and the “Racist in Chief.”

    2. Mark Williams has attacked legitimate tea partiers of being “astroturf.” He is now trying to suppress that writing by removing it from his own blog and threatening legal action against tea partiers who post it. He doesn’t want you to know the truth.

    3. The Tea Party Express is a fundraising front for the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, which historically funnels the majority of contributions to Russo, Marsh & Rogers, a long established Republican media consulting firm in Sacramento, California.

    The three items above are easily provable facts, for anyone who follows the links and is interested in knowing the truth. Having seen those things for themselves, and made their own judgments, many well respected tea party leaders and local organizations across the country have taken a stand to separate themselves from the Tea Party Express, Mark Williams and OCDB. However, if you review the facts above for yourself, and come to a different determination, that decision should be respected.

    Tea partiers are independent activists, and that’s a huge part of their strentgh. Outsiders to the movement consider the dispersed nature of the leadership of the tea parties to be a disadvantage. But it is a mistake to see weakness in this. Strong leadership is spread all across the country, in every local tea party. And while they are controlled by no one, they have become increasingly adept at coordinating for the benefit of the movement. But political organizations, politicians, parties and individuals who attempt to co-opt the movement for their own purposes will likely find themselves at the center of a spontaneously organized, yet well coordinated group of independent activists working fiercely to protect the movement.

    #1243
  20. Josh

    Kim, we are NOT going thrid party, we are simply trying to keep our independence and stay grassroots. It allows us to do a lot more than being manacled to the Republican Party proper. I say this as a rather partisan Republican who has to take that off for Tea Party, it’s not what that’s about. I’m having to work with people I don’t 100% agree with on our common principles.

    I don’t deny that most of the new politicians that will come out of this will be Republicans, but it’s their job to campaign for themselves. We’ll be working on voter education, organizing, and getting out the vote, but we won’t endorse. It’s up to those candidates to work to get those votes themselves.

    #1244
  21. Wow, this is quite sad to see the Houston Tea Party Society writing this. First of all, we are a CONSERVATIVE PAC not a Republican one.

    We not only filed as a non-aligned multi-candidate PAC, but we’ve been out there since our inception championing CONSERVATISM not the Republican Party.

    I could go on into all the specifics of this, but I think actions speak louder than words.

    So watch the video from the news coverage and then tell me was the Tea Party Express championing conservatism or the GOP? We don’t have to guess folks, we’ve already conducted the first “Tea Party Express” and I’m so very proud of the work we did. No need to smear us with speculative guesses or accusations. We have a record to speak for and you can see it here: http://www.teapartyexpress.org/media/index.html

    #1245
  22. USPatriot

    Hey Levi…

    I finally get it. I realize now how partisan you REALLY are! C’mon, give ME a break!

    Here’s the answer to your question(s):
    1) All the communication in the world makes NO difference. I have been there, done that! For the last 4 1/2 years (not including the last 6 months because I have given up on the ‘establishment’ in DC) we did just that! Over and over, and over again. And to what avail? NADA!! Certainly you are intelligent enough to realize that ‘they’ don’t give a tinker’s-damn about yours or my opinion!

    2) You only gave (R) or (D) as an option. THOSE ARE NOT an option any longer in my mind! There must be a NEW party, made up of ‘real people’ that have had it… know the US Constitution and UPHOLD it with their life if necessary, and are NOT current politicians! Or have you forgotten your history? If so… go back and read up on WHO served in Washington pre-1900.

    And lastly, there are ALWAYS “other options” on the table, but you wouldn’t understand those. Besides, if you are so hell-bent on convincing us (or maybe you’re just trying to convince yourself) that POLITICS is the answer, then my friend, you are too far gone to truly understand the original morals, values, ethics and beliefs that the Founders only enumerated within the “Founding Documents”. For they, as we ALL should, understood WHO true freedom and liberty comes from!!

    Think about it……

    MOLON LABE!!

    #1246
  23. USPatriot

    Joe W.,

    Why would a “grassroots” organization want ANYTHING to do with ANY PAC? Do you know the law? Do you understand that it’s “WE THE PEOPLE”? If so, then you must also understand that ANY Political Action Committee CANNOT be intertwined within a movement that is about saving our nation!

    If they want to become involved, and I think they should, then they need to be UP FRONT, HONEST and NOT ride the coattails of an established “GRASSROOT” of the ‘people’ movement!

    Simple as that!

    #1247
  24. By the way, I too wondered why any group would tell another they can’t come to a city?

    If people don’t want to work with us, that’s fine. We obviously will only be able to work with those who want to work with us.

    But to tell us not to come to a town? That’s odd.

    Especially since tea party activists in Houston and Austin have specifically asked us to bring the Tea Party Express to these cities.

    I always remind people that the Tea Party movement is just that, a movement. It’s not just the Tea Party Patriots or Tea Party Nation or Taxed Enough Already, or Americans for Prosperity or Our Country Deserves Better Committee or Free Republic or Smart Girl Politics, etc…

    It’s a movement comprised of individuals who belong to ALL of these groups and more. There’s no one group who decides who is and isn’t part of the tea party movement. No one person either. Rick Santelli deserves the credit for inspiring this movement, if anyone.

    But what I find most interesting is those who are trying to push the Our Country Deserves Better Committee out of the tea party movement (because of ego’s sadly) ignore the fact that the organization has been involved in, supportive of, and participating in, the tea party movement since Day 1. Do you realize we were involved BEFORE some of our critics were?

    Here’s just a partial history of our involvement – dating all the way back to Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC:
    http://ourcountrypac.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/weve-been-proud-supporters-of-the-tea-party-movement/

    #1248
  25. Josh

    And you’ve been deleting comments off that blog post too, Joe.

    “Especially since tea party activists in Houston and Austin have specifically asked us to bring the Tea Party Express to these cities.”

    No, we told you NOT to come! It would jeopardize our nonprofit status to work with you as well.

    “First of all, we are a CONSERVATIVE PAC not a Republican one.”

    Are you kidding? Just us looking in your books makes our eyes bug out…

    #1249
  26. Josh: I think you are missing something, I’m OK with the Houston Tea Party Society chosing not to work with us. That’s your decision, and I respect it. I don’t agree with it, as I think we’re stronger working together instead of separately, but it’s your decision for you to make for yourself.

    But you might be surprised to learn there are other tea party activists in Houston – who ARE excited to be working with us.

    #1251
  27. USPatriot

    Let’s see… Hey Josh…

    You know what I think? This is synonymous to Glenn Beck’s book:

    ARGUING WITH IDIOTS!!

    Don’t you agree? Why waste our time any longer?

    LOL!!

    #1252
  28. US Patriot: I think you might be confused about what a PAC is. It’s simply an organization that is allowed to spend money both in support of and opposition to candidates for office.

    A PAC can be grass roots or establishment. It depends on how its set up.

    I’ve been to lots of tea party rallies. I can promise you that at almost every single one there have been speakers who have spoke out against, and in support of, candidates.

    Do you understand that?

    Do you get that our organization has just over 300,000 supporters across the country? And there views are just as important to the tea party movement as the Houston Tea Party society or any other group.

    In fact, you might be surprised to learn that the Tea Party Patriots national organization has been working on putting togehter a Tea Party Patriot PAC already, since at some point we can’t just have rallies but have to support and oppose candidates for office.

    You’re trying to pick a fight with friends when there isn’t anything we disagree with.

    #1253
  29. USPatriot

    Hey Joe,

    That is OLD news my friend. And that’s their choice. It’s only odd that you feel it necessary to bring them into this? What good is that to anyone? What? you just want to prove yourself right, or holy or something? C’mon, let’s keep this above the intellect of an 8th grader… how about it?

    ;-)

    #1254
  30. “their” should be used instead of “there”

    Apologize for the error.

    #1255
  31. US Patriot: I’ve corrected the record as it is. Just be glad I haven’t posted the real back story about what this is about and the smear campaign that’s been waged by a TPP activist since July to try to smear the Tea Party Express.

    Have a nice day, even though I’m pretty sure we’re not “friends” – I don’t view people who attack our good work as “my friend.”

    Sorry you won’t be joining us for our upcoming Tea Party Express rallies. The first tour was a smashing success and very invigorating to the movement and those who participated.

    #1256
  32. USPatriot

    Fact: Yes… I know what a PAC is. Thanks for insulting my intelligence. Are you sure you’re a Conservative? You sound mighty like a leftist antagonist!

    Fact: So what if you have 300,000 or 3,000,000 “supporters”. Houston has 10′s of thousands that are now OFF THE BUS!

    Fact: THIS IS NOT ABOUT COMPETITION!!! That is exactly what a PAC does to a pure “grassroots” movement. If totally screws it up, because you all think that you’re bigger, therefore better, and have the ‘resources’ to do whatever you want when you want. Well, not here… not now… not ever!!

    Fact: You must STOP drinking the GOP kool-aid my friend. It is that type of mentality and devious works that got our wonderful nation in the shape she’s in today! For the last time… THIS IS NOT ABOUT POLITICS!! It is all about saving the U.S.A. from the “establishment” that has taken over the mindset of what, how, where, why and who are to “run” this country (read… REPUBLIC). It is NOT the GOP, NOT the DEMS, NOT any PAC, and NOT any organization! It is, as the Founders taught, God and those that will govern according to His supremacy. What about that do you and the other hacks not understand?

    #1257
  33. USPatriot

    Joe,

    One last comment to you….

    You said,
    “Sorry you won’t be joining us for our upcoming Tea Party Express rallies. The first tour was a smashing success and very invigorating to the movement and those who participated.”

    Let me tell you something… just because something is “good” or a “success” does NOT mean that it’s the “RIGHT” thing to do! Remember that nugget of truth… it will take you a long way in this life.

    :-)

    #1258
  34. TRUTH

    Okay let’s cut to the chase shall we.

    Levi Russell a.k.a Max Frontline Strategies was paid in the 2nd quarter $4,000.00 according to FEC report by Our Country Deserves Better PAC

    You state that we need to take our country back. My question is why when we seem to have the same type people in the GOP.

    Joseph Wierzbicki a.k.a. Joe W principal in Russo Marsh & Rogers political consulting firm. Was paid $10,618.46 in 2nd quarter according to FEC report by Our Country Deserves Better PAC.

    Russo Marsh & Rogers was paid $116,330.89 in 2nd quarter according to FEC report by Our Country Deserves Better PAC.

    Now I beg to differ about you being grassroots. You guys do this for a living. In my opinion, the only thing grassroots about this PAC is using the Tea Party Movement to advance what ever agenda or candidate you choose. I believe when someone donates money all of it goes into the PAC where it appears to be co-mingled with other contributions. Just how do you know which money is for the “all expense paid vacation” and which is for your other projects? Once you have received enough money to cover your “all expense paid vacation” expenses then do you tell people to stop giving to the Tea Party Express “all expense paid vacation”?

    Did anyone mention that GOPUSA sent out an email last week for Tea Party Express pleading for $32,400.00? I believe that they have an email list of over one million. So when they reach their goal will they send out another email telling people to stop giving? Oh man I forgot. I hate it when I forget something. GOPUSA I believe is part of, or owned by Endeavor Media. Which was paid $10,000.00 for services by Our Country Deserves Better PAC according to 2nd quarter FEC report.

    Bottom line people is this. None of this is illegal. Everything is perfectly fine according to laws on the books, I think. However, for some reason I really do not think the hard working people in this country who support the Tea Party Movement want this. They are fighting this.

    So Josh let them come to your town. However, tell your people what you have learned today. Then when they come exercise your first amendment right to protest.

    Oh and people you might want to check who owns Tea Party Express. Because it is no one that has been mentioned on this site. Also, do not test me on the vacation thing. I have a screen saved of your invitation.

    #1259
  35. Martha

    Maybe the statement could have been made in a less aggressive manner. I certainly appreciate TPE for their efforts. However, I side with Josh in not wanting my money going to any PAC unless I do so directly.

    #1260
  36. sethnavajo

    Joe,

    I agree that we have to all work together. But just one question: why is Mark Williams still with your organization? There are lots of crazies in every movement, right and left, but why have one as a spokesperson in yours? Why put him on stage as a leader? It detracts from the entire movement to have someone listed as a “leader” who is pretty much an embarrassment. I would be more than open to working with you guys if you remove people who jeopardize the legitimacy and “silent majority” nature of our fight. Otherwise, you can’t be taken seriously, and I fear to associate with you.

    #1261
  37. Josh

    Actually Martha… my version was much more passive… Felicia was the one that edited it to be “more aggressive” ;)

    #1262
  38. Michelle

    I agree with Jeanette and Milton. You don’t have to endorse or work with the group if you don’t want to. But I think it’s a bit arrogant to tell them not to come to the city. There are a lot of people in this city not affiliated with HTPS and I’m sure will be glad to come out to the rally. You really have no right to speak for them. I think that people who are not affiliated with any group in Houston but are looking for a way to be involved may be turned off by what seems to be petty bickering. “Divide and conquer” – that’s what the liberals want. All the infighting among conservative groups is NOT going to help our cause. It’s distracting to the issue at hand – getting our country back!

    #1263
  39. TRUTH

    So Michelle how can you divide and conquer with a group you want no part of to begin with? I think that Josh’s words were just a little off. He was speaking for his Tea Party group. I am sure there are plenty of politicians who will fit right in with TPE.

    Which is why I suggested the protest.

    #1264
  40. Michelle

    I’m talking about how it looks on the outside. It looks petty and small. And how would it look to actually protest another conservative group’s rally? The media would just love that. Again, in the end, we all want the same thing – getting the big government liberals out of office and taking our country back. I’m not saying that you have to endorse them or work directly with them, but I don’t think it’s right to waste time trying to work actively against them when there are much bigger fish to fry out there.

    #1265
  41. I wrote earlier I was going to make a last word and leave it be (and allow you all to say what you pleased either affirmatively or negatively without rebuttal) but I saw earlier a post that made a good point in questioning the Our Country Deserves Better Committee.

    It was an expression of the desire to see more ‘positive’ or solutions-based approaches to politics, and not just the negative of what we’re against. How to get past that “Party of NO” theme that the media and Left regularly apply to conservatives as a whole.

    This also might help explain better why I keep pointing out we’re a *CONSERVATIVE* PAC and not a Republican one. The GOP establishment certainly doesn’t give us our marching orders!

    So, back last year our group was formed I believe in July. The express purpose of forming the PAC was to oppose Barack Obama’s campaign for President.

    We were conflicted because we despised what Obama stood for (ideology) but we were underwhelmed to say the least about McCain. He was/is an American Hero who served his country. But some of his stands on the issues, and his Washington-insider mentality in approaching issues, left us disheartened.

    So we didn’t produce a single TV ad that was pro-McCain. All of our ads were anti-Obama.

    Then suddenly, McCain picked Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. We loved Palin! So we produced a TV ad and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars airing it nationally on cable networks and locally on network affiliates in targeted states.

    The purpose was simple: to have at least some positive balance to all the negativity the press and Obama’s campaign were directing towards Palin. And we didn’t feel the GOP was backing her up enough. So we aired this ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVl_GioeNNU

    Then, as Election Day came upon us, there was a lot of backstabbing of Palin by GOP insiders and McCain campaign insiders. We were very upset by this. Stuff about her not knowing Africa was a continent and what not. It was pure slander of a fine, upstanding woman who did much to inspire people to go to the polls with a positive choice on Election Day.

    So as Thanksgiving approached we decided to do something I don’t think has ever been done in modern political campaigns. We aired a TV ad campaign thanking Gov. Palin – at Thanksgiving. We thought it was the perfect time for those who were inspired to say “THANK YOU” – to counter all the Washington inside-the-beltway smearing of Palin.

    Here are 2 of the 6 ads we produced and aired. On national cable on Thanksgiving day, and all throughout Alaska on all the TV channels for that week during Thanksgiving.

    It’s a simple message: THANK YOU.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5bju8ybvSs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBoJDXW-ly0&

    I’m not asking any of you to approve or disapprove of our work in that campaign. I’m not asking any of you to endorse or denounce the Tea Party Express.

    You all get to make your own decisions for yourselves.

    But Gov. Palin provided us a means to send a positive message about an inspiring conservative leader. So this was to respond to that point that was raised.

    And if anyone wants a link to address the issue of the Our Country Deserves Better PAC being some kind of Republican-only affair, or beholden to the Republican Party, I give you this one:
    http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=401868074&blogId=474230248

    If we were operating on the orders of the GOP, trust me, we wouldn’t be advocating on behalf of Rush Limbaugh in the dust-up that took place with Michael Steele.

    A final footnote: among the Independents and Democrats who spoke at the Tea Party Express rallies (that took place 8/28-9/12) we had 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate Wayne Allen Root speak.

    He spoke at my personal invitation that was made in the weeks leading up to the tour launch as we were doing our planning. Wayne is a passionate, animated speaker who excites audiences and happens to agree with us at the Our Country Deserves Better Committee and the broader tea party movement on the key issues of the day (spending, cap & trade, stimulus, taxes, government run healthcare, etc…) And he delivered and was a great speaker!

    #1266
  42. David

    To All,
    It is great that we still have the Constitution and the first amendment. Let’s put the bickering and attacks away and focus on our banding together. For we must all hang together we will assuredly hang seperately (Ben Franklin).Don’t throw mud at your brothers whom you agree with 80% of the time.

    #1267
  43. Josh

    Michelle,

    As stated before, there’s no way legally we can work with TPE without risking our status lest we are considered complicit in their fundraising, and are not satisfied with inquiries about where the money raised goes.

    As the city level group, and having another separate come in bearing the same brand, there had to some sort of action from us. We either had to make a strong statement confirming we were separate from them and saying what they do to avoid liability or just going along doing something that’s not legal and while the money raised went to something those contributing were not aware of. We asked them not to come to avoid it altogether, they chose not to, and we chose not to be complicit.

    #1268
  44. TRUTH

    You know, I do not understand why some thinks everyone should work together just because they have a Tea Party in their name.

    So let’s say I start this Go Cart Tour across America. Tea Party Carting for lack of a better term. I have some of the slickest big wigs in the GOP on my tour. Behind the scenes I have have Mr. Big! (not sure who that would be). We are getting money from all the right people, big corporations, and we have a web site that asks for donations. I mean we are in thick. We even have a board member who use to be an elected official. So what if he was caught with some phony photographs by the left. So what if in his last campaign he had some questionable endorsements. He is big time, big.

    But we say all the right words and we look damn good doing it. So does a grassroots organization work with that bunch? If you say yes them I guess we need to watch out when the guy comes with the 13 pieces of silver, or gold, or whatever.

    #1270
  45. Michelle

    No one said you had to work with them! I never said that! This attack, calling them names, someone saying we need to protest them, etc is what is upsetting. All that needed to be said was hey, this TPE coming to Houston in November is not affiliated with us. They are a PAC, we are a nonprofit, we can’t work them on this thing. We also don’t necessarily agree with their tactics. If as members anyone wants to go to it, that’s fine, but us as leaders won’t be involved. Thanks and have a nice day. No one OWNS the tea party brand, except maybe the original tea partiers of the American Revolution days. A simple clarification would have sufficed, but now it’s turned into a big name calling attack, which again, is what I think makes us look bad.

    #1271
  46. Martha

    Josh, lol. Well Felicia is passionate. When you’re helping to lead the movement, I can understand the passion that drives doing a good job.

    We just need to be careful in handling these issues. I think Michelle had very good points.

    #1272
  47. Josh

    Yeah… need to be careful about who we jump in bed with… that’s where this problem came from. The National group got in with someone they didn’t check out and when they did, pulled out and apologized, but the damage was already done…

    #1273
  48. Silent Archer

    #1249 “And you’ve been deleting comments off that blog post too”

    Hmm, I distinctly remember posting a reply on http://houstontps.org/?p=929 which isn’t there now…

    #1274
  49. Josh

    wasn’t me!

    #1275
  50. Kim

    I completely understand “this is not political” I say the exact same thing when I tell people about the 912ers. Everyone of course is welcome and we have a very patriotic movement happening in our country that is awesome to be part of. But we can’t disalign ourselves from ANY party because as long as we are fighting for the same causes we have to stick together as Americans. And I am fearful of a 3rd party movement because it would defeat our movement. We have to be somewhat political and move in the same direction together as a group. I just don’t think that this was a good move on the Houston Tea Party Society. Republicans as well as Democrats are more than welcome EVEN if they support their own party. There are good and bad in both parties and we need to clean it up as a whole.

    #1276
  51. Kim

    Truth,

    I understand, but we need to work together as American citizens not “tea party”. If we all believe basically in the same movement we do need to stick together, we are more powerful with numbers.

    #1277
  52. Josh

    Kim, this isn’t to throw the Republican Party under the bus, but rather the practice of shoveling funds people think are going to Tea Party events into a PAC and then that money then going out to campaigns. The lack of Transparency here is very troubling. We’ve asked and have had no answers. This is not just Houston, it’s organizers all over the country.

    #1278
  53. Michelle

    I noticed that you linked the article regarding tea party patriots vs tea party express. In going to the teapartypatriots.com site, I found that there is a Houston group of that organization. If I recall correctly, and I may not, I think someone said at a Houston TPS meeting that we do not want to associate with them either for some reason or another. If this is true, then it again looks like we are eating our own and this movement will be destined to fail if we can’t find some way to work together. The founding fathers obviously didn’t agree on everything, but they found a way to sit down and draft the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They didn’t have one group writing something while another group belittled them and starting writing their own draft. They all worked together. If we keep branching off like this, alienating groups of people, we will never get anything meaningful done in the end.

    #1279
  54. Well, I was just hoping my post showcasing some of our past efforts would be approved.

    Didn’t say anything unkind towards Houston TPS, or any other group.

    Just defended our organization from some very negative comments that have been made that I think are unfair and based on erroneous information.

    #1280
  55. Sarah H

    Shame on the HTPP! I was at the Memphis TPE stop and we were in total control of the event. The TPE was just an element that united the national movement. How dare you claim “nonpartisanship”!?! Were John Adams and the other patriots in the first Tea Party “nonpartisan”? Of course not, if they were they would not have been holding a Tea Party and you would not have what you have today. My husband is a tax lawyer and he tells me that you have some serious misunderstandings of the 501c4 tax code. And since when do YOU tell US from the TOP DOWN with whom to associate and over which causes?!?!?

    SOUNDS LIKE THE HOUSTON TEA PARTY PATRIOTS ARE ANYTHING BUT! Who pays you, Nancy Pelosi?

    #1281
  56. Josh

    Michelle, the original advisory about working with TPE came from Tea Party Patriots. There are good reasons we and our neighbours do not work with the “other” group regarding contract. I’m surprised they are still listed, they are under investigation by the national group. It was not us that “branched off”.

    Joe, sorry, but wordpress automatically marks comments as spam if they have more than a few links. I did not know and unmoderated it, as well as Mark’s comment. I will take issue with this “among the Independents and Democrats who spoke at the Tea Party Express rallies (that took place 8/28-9/12) we had 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate Wayne Allen Root speak.” From our research, Tea Party Express did not invite those but local organizers did. I invite anyone to investigate TPE and OCDB themselves and make their own choice.

    Sarah, we are not Houston Tea Party Patriots thank goodness. Are you guys incorporated? Did you ask where the money was going? The problem is the lack of transparency here. We have our own legal advisors who are vehement about our status and working with PACS. We’re not telling you who to associate, but to do the research yourself.

    #1282
  57. Anyone is able to go to a TPE event, but Josh is right; when people go thinking we will be there supporting it and we aren’t, we need to have addressed it. If the aggressive tone offends, that’s on my head, and only mine. I did insist on a strong statement, and have also encouraged everyone to do the research.

    This bus might be a fine thing – or not. Our beef is primarily with the name they choose to use and how other groups’ experiences were reported to us.

    #1283
  58. [...] Express put their cities on the map anyway. In response, Houston Tea Party organizer Josh Parker released a blistering statement declaring that his group did “not promote, support, or endorse the activities of the [...]

    #1284
  59. [...] Read more:  A Statement on the Tea Party Express | Houston Tea Party [...]

    #1285
  60. Patricia

    Well I just signed up on here because I thought I was interested. Now I don’t know after reading about this division that is taking place. Disappointing! Not good for our common cause!

    #1286
  61. Phil ("Bulldog") Johnson

    Wow! Dissention within our ranks could curtail our effort to regain control of our country. The USA will more likely be brought down from within, rather than from without! Get a grip, “Guys & Gals.” Let’s spend our time fighting for the country, not fighting and bickering among ourselves.

    Houston area patriots and I joined the Express in San Antonio, Waco, and Dallas during their tour, and then swung down to the Austin Tea Party that Saturday.

    I know not, the level of influence the Republican Party may have with the Express. I can only say that any effort to do harm to the Tea Party Express, will, in my humble opinion, do harm to the country and our (conservative patriots’) effort to take it back. As my friends and I discussed the issue, we agreed that we saw not one iota of partisanship toward the Republican Party (or any other political party) at any of the three events that we attended. So, if there was any displayed Republican influence, either we were deaf, dumb, or both. To the credit of the Tea Party Express, we witnessed the highest level of (conservative) patriotic excitement and enthusiasm of any of the dozen or so tea parties that we have attended, and that includes the Washington, DC march that I attended via The Woodlands Tea Party bus!!!

    God Bless the Tea Party Express, all other Tea Parties across America, and all patriots with the guts to attend, be they Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Independents, or other!!! We are all Americans! Hope to see all of you at the November 2, 2009 (7:00 – 9:00 p.m.) Tea Party at the Sam Houston Race Track on the beltway in Houston!

    God’s Speed,

    Phil (Bulldog) Johnson,
    Member of Project 912, GOOOH (www.goooh.com) , Resist Net (www.resistnet.com), Oath Keepers (www.oathkeepers.org), Texans For Immigration Reform (www.tfir.org), Americans In Domestic Defense (www.avidd.org), and North Houston Tea Party Patriots (www.thewoodlandsteaparty.com)

    #1288
  62. stallmap

    Things are going to fall apart fast at this rate!

    #1289
  63. Josh

    Sure there’s a happy crappy face on it in the media, but the reality is, on the organizer side, it was a nightmare. Some eager people on national made a deal with a group before checking them out. When people did finally did so, they fell outside the core values and mission of the movement and it was not even legal to work with them. National dropped them and sent out an advisory against working with them, and while they did their first tour, stories trickled in of negative experiences encountering them.

    This is no split, it’s between grassroots and a PAC who should have never been let in in the first place, has done a lot of damage, and misrepresents themselves. National has made statements and profuse apologies for making the mistake of making the deal in the first place. Don’t make this about Houston, National and plenty of other Tea Parties across the country are making the same stand.

    #1290
  64. TRUTH

    Patricia,
    No division if they were never part of the movement to begin with.

    #1291
  65. USPatriot

    To finalize this… I’d like to point out the obvious.

    WHY are the TPE rep’s spending soooo much time “defending” their position IF, and I repeat, IF they are the innocent party? As all of you know… the one that speaks the LOUDEST and the MOST is almost always the guilty party.

    Enough said!

    MOLON LABE!
    ;-)

    #1293
  66. Hello Josh,

    I am in total agreement here and I think we need to inform each other of ANY organization that pretends to be something it isn’t

    Its not about “attacking” its about the TRUTH

    Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
    John 8:32

    #1297
  67. Kim

    I am in total agreement with Bulldog. Also, if there is someone in the organization (as apparently there was in the 912 group) that is giving us a bad rap, then all of us need to stand together and tell the organization to get rid of that person. AND I understand the tax status situation, however, telling a group of american citizens they can’t come rally with us is wrong. Those of us that belong to any of these organizations that are of a political party and “give donations” to our party do not pose a threat just because we belong or attend.

    I will say that I commend Mark Meckler for saying on Fox news that they are NOT proposing a 3rd party movement. And Joan is right, we have to keep everything truthful because the “spin” etc. from the media (both sides) is truly getting on my nerves. Just tell the story as it is and have the resources to back it up, because usually that is bad enough. We are all to smart for what the media and government is trying to do.

    #1305
  68. Josh

    Sorry Dumas, but deleted your comment… it was beyond silly. No, Kevin won’t be driving the bus

    #1310
  69. DeeInHouston

    Wow. As someone who was quite excited about marching in DC on 9/12 and getting involved with the whole Tea Party movement, USPatriot and HTPS have definitely put a damper on the whole thing.
    USPatriot – Whoever you are – Why so condescending to everyone who disagrees with you? Your vitriol and name-calling are like reading liberal comment sections.
    Josh, or Felicia, et al – When I read your statement about not wanted the TPE to come “to your town” — Really? They can’t come to YOUR TOWN? You asked them not to, but they did, anyway?
    Let’s see how quickly you can drive wedges into this whole movement.
    If I were on the liberals’ side, I’d be eating this up right now.

    #1315
  70. Josh

    In regards to the Express coming in, we feel that promoting it like a normal Tea Party event would be lying to people. They’re doing something quite different than people’s expectations.

    The National Tea Party Patriots have released their statement as well and looking at blogs, pretty much everyone is supportive:

    http://www.ktracy.com/2009/more-turmoil-in-tea-party-movement-patriots-v-mark-williams/

    http://bluecollarrepublican.com/blog/?p=4571

    http://freedomswings.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/tea-party-patriots-are-truly-grassroots-and-non-partisan/

    http://saveourstate.org/vforums/showthread.php?p=363899

    #1316
  71. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by HoustonTeaParty: Regrettably having to call someone out http://houstontps.org/?p=957 http://houstontps.org/?p=957...

    #1325
  72. So far I have not heard or read any specifics, just vague accusations. That makes me very suspicious of the people saying these things. It sounds like the White House saying “ I have heard FOX News say things that are not true”.

    #1326
  73. I can understand a simple disclaimer, in order to preserve the tax exempt status of TPP. But, this kind of VITRIOLIC ATTACK is the kind of petty rivalry that got B. Hussein Obama elected, in the first place. Whether it’s Christians against fiscal conservatives or conservative Republicans against conservative Democrats. It’s this kind of alpha male mentality among some of those who support fiscal reform that undercuts all the work that the real Grass Roots (who probably never post here) do.

    In fact, such a long hit piece just sounds like sour grapes, inspired by the fact that the TPE gets way more pub than the TPP. In fact, I get particularly suspicious of any leaders, who “claim” that their group is the only group that speaks for the “Grass Roots”. I’m sorry, but the Grass Roots will speak for themselves, without anyone else’s words.

    Personally, I will continue to support *BOTH* the Tea Party Patriots *AND* the Tea Party Express, since BOTH are fighting for lower taxes, less spending and NO national health care. They are both great groups. The only differences are that one is backed by a PAC, while the other is not and one gets lots of publicity, while the other struggles one-on-one to get out the base. Both are needed.

    The leadership of the TPP should, while remaining publicly neutral, be quietly thanking the TPE for keeping the attention of the media on the issue. After all, how many times in the last few weeks have TPP members been on even FOX News, let alone, been featured on every major network?… How many?… That’s right. None.

    Without the TPE drawing press coverage, to keep the public aware of the problem, the liberal press would find it easy to dismiss the TPP, which would result in us having trouble getting any more people to join with us. Without that TPE-generated press coverage, showing hundreds of thousands of concerned patriots on the streets, Obama and the liberal media would simply belittle the TPP, as rabble-rousers and most people would end up looking at us the way most everyone except Libertarians, looks at Libertarians – as just a bunch of radical kooks. Like it or not, we need them and they need us.

    Certainly, there can be no active backing of the TPE by the TPP, because of tax liability. But such a vehement attack upon the TPE was totally un-called-for and might even be seen by the IRS as an active promotion of their opposition, which would then create a similar tax liability.

    Very un-cool.

    I’ll continue to seek more local supporters for the TPP (at least as long as the TPP doesn’t make a habit of this kind of disruptive pettiness). But I will also be at the TPE II rally, at the race track, when it comes to Houston. And if a third group (501(c)(3), PAC or something else) suddenly rises up from nowhere, to support the same issues and gets more press, I will support them, too.

    It’s about the issues, NOT who gets to lead.

    #1333
  74. Felicia Cravens

    John, we can’t help it if TPP has been rather lame about their press. We haven’t been that involved with them, and have had long conversations about their shortcomings too. They listened to us, and made changes.

    Ultimately it’s about transparency and openness and working together. TPE has a bad reputation on all three; contact other organizers if you won’t take our word. In fact, I BEG you to do so. Check out statements from the CA Tea Party organizations. Call Dallas. Talk to San Antonio.

    We tried to handle this without making it public. Their reaction was completely disrespectful of the grassroots and dismissive, as well as dishonest. you might be able to overlook those things. We refuse to play “politics as usual” or cooperate with the entrenched political machines in an effort to deceive our membership, especially Democrat and Libertarian membership, that this bus is anything other than a GOP PAC run by a GOP consulting firm.

    #1334
  75. Oops! After reading all of the comments, I noticed that Phil (“Bulldog”) Johnson gave the wrong date and time for the Houston TPE II Rally.

    The correct date and time for the TPE II Houston Rally will be Saturday, November 7 at 11:30 am at Sam Houston Race Park.

    If you don’t like supporting a PAC, then don’t donate to them. But, if you want to stop B. Hussein Obama’s spending and want to see our taxes lowered, regardless of your opinion of that PAC, I suggest that you add your voice to the crowd, so the liberal media won’t be able to show film of a sparse crowd and say, “Look. They only have a few people. It just proves that more people are now moving to support Obamacare and Obama’s other wise spending initiatives.” If there are so many people there that the media trucks have trouble getting close, they won’t be able to cover up the number of Texas taxpayers who are thoroughly disgusted with Obama and the free-spending of both parties. Then, when people see it on the News @ 6, they will become more receptive to our invitations to become more active on the issue.

    #1335
  76. Felicia, I will be the first to decry the RINO business as usual. I am proud to say that I am a Republican who has never voted for any person, who’s last name was Bush, for any office (other than passively for VP). I was ready to vote for Hillary over McCain, just to avoid having a Bush clone in office. But when Obama won the primary, I had to swallow a bitter pill and support McCain. That’s because this has become much more important than any party or individual. It’s about the issues and in this case, the issue threatens to destroy this nation’s great healthcare and strong economy within months.

    Obama and Bush both were guilty of unnecessary and wasteful bailouts. But, it now promises to get much worse, threatening to wreck the very fabric of the US economy, if we don’t forget about our petty differences and work together. Sure. Keep your distance from the TPE, for tax purposes. But, such petty in-fighting and vitriol directed against those who basically support fiscal conservatism, by others who basically support fiscal conservatism, is exactly what got B. Hussein Obama elected, in the first place and I’m sure that the liberals and RINOs in Congress are just salivating at seeing such a rift developing between people who support fiscal conservatism. They have to just love it.

    As someone who is proud to have never voted for a Bush, for any office, I must say that, if our success were dependent upon it and given the extremely dire circumstances that we face today, I would even cede control to Geo. H. W. Bush (not Jr. Bush – there is after all, a limit), if it would help defeat Obamacare and more socialism. You don’t have any idea how tough it is for me to have to admit that. Before the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Spending Machine took over, I would have called that making a deal with the Devil. Now, it’s simply making a deal with Lucifer’s idiot rival, to get Lucifer out of power and give us some breathing room. Maybe with some breathing room, we can find a couple of real patriots to run for president in both parties. But, if we don’t work together, we will all just spend all our time putting out fires and making no progress.

    Extreme times call for extreme alliances. There is an old saying, “My enemy’s enemy is my friend.” That isn’t exactly true, at all times. But, when the country is facing eminent disaster, it is very true for patriots. We can disagree on the war, the Patriot Act, homosexuality or even abortion. But, if the liberals and RINOs have their way, we won’t have a choice on any of those things. It’s time to cooperate. We can fight over which gorilla gets to be the alpha male later – after we defeat Obamacare. If we defeat him on his signature legislation, he becomes a lame duck and the rest of his socialist agenda will go down in flames easily. But we have to work as a team to make that happen.

    You see, the secret to the success of the liberals and RINOs is that while they may not always agree on everything, they stick with the one who is on top and work from within to make changes. I mean, think about it. Who would have ever believed that Hillary (the quintessential alpha male) would take a job in the Obama administration?

    We fight among ourselves, while they mend fences. No wonder they’re on top and our leaders are still playing alpha male games. Sad…

    #1336
  77. WOW – how disappointing to read all these negative comments. I agree with many who say the HTPS is wrong to engage in mudslinging against another group with the same goals as yours. I understand about the issue of your status but that does not mean you need to make nasty comments about the TPE for the liberals to pick up on and use on the Keith Olberman show. What saddens me the most is if we keep engaging in beating up each other we are doomed and Obama and his radical pals will continue on in 2010 and 2012. I lived over in Europe for 4 years in a social democracy – I left early to come home to fight for my country after the election of Obama. Obama has turned out to be far worse than what I saw in Europe. He is taking us in a direction that moves us more to the left than France, Belgium, England and Holland. We should be ashamed of ourselves for not at least attempting to work together. I personally believe there is no excuse for some of the words being used in these comments. Are we more interested in trying to expose Mark Williams as a bad guy or are we more interested in making Washington hear our voices? If we work together as a group, show up to ONE BIG TEA PARTY, opposed to 4 or 5 small ones, the impact is much larger. You will go unnoticed if the size is not there. I also understand about not wanting your money to go to a PAC but like someone else said – do not donate, BUT still show up at the tea party in order to make a statement. I am happy with the work of the Tea Party Express – they have brought a huge amount of attention to the cause. Let’s get it together and stop the silly infighting taking place with groups who have the same goals – UNLOAD OBAMA, PELOSI, REID and more. Honestly, ask yourself, do you think if you keep directing your anger at the tea party express and divide the voices into smaller groups you will have the same impact as one large group?? Also, ask yourself if feeding the liberal media your negative comments helps the cause? If you are name calling and putting down a group with your same goals what purpose does it serve? I hope we can get out act together because I for one have had enough of Obama and what he is doing to America. I have been on government run health care and it is as bad as many say (if not worse). I want him OUT and when I see this I am beyond bummed! Please for the good of the cause STOP THE FIGHTING AND NAME CALLING. Do not discourage others from attending a tea party – we need to make a BIG statement, not a small one. I am looking forward to everyone working together for the good of the country.

    By the way, someone mentioned Freedom Works is involved with the Express and they are a GOP machine. Well, Dick Armey who head Freedom Works endorced the 3rd party candidate in NY 23. So much for the GOP machine!

    #1339
  78. Mark

    It’s each individual’s choice. Mark Williams goes on national TV as the National Spokesperson for Tea Party Express and calls President Obama an “Indonesian Muslim welfare thug” and the “Racist in Chief.” The tea party express hides the fact that they are a partisan PAC, and gives the great majority of their money (roughly 80%) to a Republican political consulting firm (Russo, Marsh & Associates)in California. Is this really what tea parties are about? Really…?

    Every person can choose whether they want to be associated with this sort of bigotry and inflammatory rhetoric, and a dishonest funneling of money from grass roots folks to a Republican consulting firm.

    Most across the country are maintaining the moral high ground, doing their homework, and staying away from these folks. TPE is like a parasite feeding off the movement. Give free reign, TPE will ultimately eat and destroy their host (the REAL tea party movement). If people look at the facts in the light of day, they will see this for what it is, more big politics as usual, and will refuse to support the TPE.

    #1340
  79. All I can say is a united front is what got us in the mess to begin with. All (well 98%) of the conservatives were united on Capitol Hill along with Bush for TARP. Need I say more?!?!?! So, you guys who think that we should all hold hands and sing Come By Here My Lord, have at it, but don’t complain and act dumbfounded when you yield the same results. Keep playing their stupid little chess game where you continue to lose and they (you know the united front) continues to win and we won’t have a country all because we all stood “united”.

    Edit: spelling, not content

    #1341
  80. Didn’t see this coming. Everyone looked great on 9/12/09. I saw YOU even though the “bias” news media failed to show up. So NOW you give it up by infighting, no really. I came on board not because of any of these comments, these name calling remarks amongst the American Citizen’s, I came on board because of 9/11/01 because of victim’s, hero’s, flight 93 who fought the first terrorist attack on American soil. WHY did this ever come so close to home? ALL OF YOU ASK YOURSELVES that very question.
    It has been policy and politic’s that brought the bomb’s home.
    WHO WAS AT THE WHEEL at the TIME? YOU? ALL OF YOU? WHO ARE INFIGHTING NOW??? RIGHT !!

    #1344
  81. Carmen

    Just stop it!!! Don’t waste time attacking each other. We are doing this to correct all the wrong that has been done in Washington all these years. We have to push Congress and the WH to fix what is so wrong with the “usual way” they run business. The pay czar should first concentrate on rolling back politicians’ pay and benefits. They make wayyyyyy too much money and wayyyyyyy too extravagant taste paid for by taxpayer money. AT THE SAME TIME…devote their energy to stop attacking US and start fixing Social Security and IMMIGRATION. No one is saying that immigrants can’t get citizenship or legal status. BUT EVERYONE AGREES THAT IF THEY HAVE NOT PAID INTO THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM – THEY DON’T DESERVE TO GET ANY BENEFITS. PERIOD. FIX THE SYSTEM INSTEAD OF CREATING A NEW FOOLISH PROGRAM THAT TAXPAYERS HAVE TO PAY – AGAIN.

    #1346
  82. Dan

    I have seen the TPE up close at many events. I have seen them take cash donations from individuals in excess of $100. This is in violation of federal laws. Any donation over $100 from any one individual must be in the form of a written instrument. Also, whenever they sell merchandise at an event, under Federal Election Commission regulations, each sale is considered a donation. IF the sale is more than $50, they are required to record your name and address for their records. I purchased several t-shirts, amounting to more than $50, and asked them if I needed to give them my information. They told me “no.” So, where is this money going? Their back pockets? Oh, by the way, they said there was not sales tax! TPE is a money making scam. They will soon be brought down by the FEC. They will be exposed.

    #1347
  83. Dumas Jones

    Josh, I was asking why the TPE would have Kenneth Gladney up on stage calling him a hero when he has been arrested 5 times for DWI. His cases are all public record. I have a relative who was killed by a drunk driver. I don’t think that these people should be glorified.

    #1348
  84. I am sorry but did the civil rights person suggest to keep up the fighting?? Is he/she serious? Yes, Civils Rights you are correct, we did get along but we lost because many republicans lost their way and we were not good at defending ourselves, not to mention the GOP did not put the best candidate out front. The one thing I do know, name calling is childish first off and secondly, it puts us at the same level as a liberal. Liberals resort to name calling when they have no substance. I was excited about the the Tea Party Patriots and I was excited about the Tea Party Express coming to town. I was BEYOND disappointed when I found out the Houston Tea Party had no plans to attend but rather another tea party will be held before the TPE. I find this utterly stupid. So the first tea party has 1000 people and then the TPE may get another 1000 people – well, that is not enough people to bring in the media and have our voices heard. If you combined both tea parties, put differences behind for the good of the country you would have a bigger impact. Many months ago Pat Grey discussed the fact the tea parties were dividing up and the result is minimal on the media (if at all). Bottom line, I am disappointed in the fact HTP will not be attending the TPE rally and I am disappointed HTP went as far as to tell a group with the same goals as HTP to stay out of the city. This behavior is not good and it will not serve the goals of either tea party which I thought was to stop the socialist government heading our way. Pay attention to the liberal critics. What are they saying right now? They are saying we are not bringing in big crowds and the movement is a bust. How about we make them into liars and have everyone show up at the TPE rally on the 7th? I for one will attend the TPE rally because I am thankful to them for bringing the attention of the media to the cause. I want CNN to follow them so others out there can hear what they are saying in hopes they too will join the cause and not vote for Obama again. Please keep in mind = he may be a horrible president but he does well with a campaign. PLEASE STOP THE FIGHTING AND WORK TOGETHER!!!

    #1352
  85. John Galt

    Here in CA we’re finding that most people want to distance themselves from anyone who is looking to co-opt our movement. We can’t be conveniently close to them for “togetherness” or publicity and then distance ourselves when we are labeled GOP shills. It’s time for some honor among patriots. Pick a side of the line, stand your ground and lead. We’re not going the same direction so why haggle over it. The long term battle in this country is to give the people a place to have a conservative voice. The tea party is that place and it will outlast all of us if we can get through this beginning phase with our integrity intact. I’ve told our group about the TPE and it’s up to them whether or not they choose to attend the blasted rally. Either way we’ll be building the movement and doing projects and mobilizing the silent majority as a grassroots (lots of people – no money) cause without party affiliation. We’re not for sale and won’t be tangled up with anyone who is all sham … no wow. No one jumps off a moving train so if you want to make this movement bigger than TPE, Sal Russo or the idiot Williams then get your momentum up – way up! Be FOR limited government/fiscal responsibility/free markets/our constitution and forget being AGAINST these dummies or any others. You can’t convince people but you can lead them by running out in front. Let’s be tea party patriots and not anti-TPE because they will blow up on their own and then you’ll have to restart the engine. Get your momentum back and encourage your people to focus on what they are FOR so we can do the job we started out to do.

    #1353
  86. John Galt

    P.S. Lynnie, You should know that TPE does not have the same goals. They are a corporation out to do the business of their corporation. We are basically an un-funded lobby out to let the elected representatives know what we want them to do. By aligning with this very shady group we become the GOP shills that they have said we are all along. It sucks twice at that point because they have hurt both the TPE and the GOP by inferring they are part of both. Being non-partisan has HUGE value and with TPE there is no way to do that. As grassroots organizers we are swimming with sharks way out of our league. My assemblyman gasped when I told him Sal Russo was part of the TPE. He assured me that any fears we had about the damage to our good name were justified.

    You want us to just sleep with them this one time so everyone can get what they want and be happy. Lots of babies are the result of prom night romances. It takes time to build the huge numbers and attract the media but in reality the media doesn’t matter as much as our integrity and what we stand for. Here we have stood firm and after we exposed the TPE our website grew by 50 people who wanted to stand for something rather than take the easy way out and hop on the bus. We have grown to 800+ in just 90 days by standing FOR and promoting WE the people as the gas in our engine. It’s not about politicians and singers and flash. It’s about the people in your community knowing that they can count on you to do the right thing and be a place where conservative Americans of all parties can work together and share ideas. That is what people want.

    Don’t buy the lie of publicity. We are large enough now in just those 90 days to have every candidate and media outlet in our community knocking on our door. They now work for us and come to address us on subjects we want to learn more about – finally! You will have that too if you resist the impulse to shortcut the process. Honor still means something and Josh is on the right track. Play to win the long game. The TPE will be exposed and when their dance card is full for the campaign season they will be gone from the center stage except to rally for their clients in a few select communities. Meanwhile, make it OK for people to come back into the grassroots as long as they get what that means. The astroturf express is a flash in the pan. We live in these towns!

    #1354
  87. Just give me my “300″. Take this however you want–I am truly rethinking the time and resources (and I mean tens of thousands of my own hard earned dollars) I have put into the liberty fight. Fact: I am not going to hang myself out and have a target put on my head for folks who want to run behind the status quo loving “united” folks (AKA the corrupt Republicrat parties) who stood united and passed the TARP, Patriot Act, and all types of other unConstitutional crap! Again, you folks who have written in favor of putting on a united front for the sake of appearances, have at it. My call to action is below:

    The doors of the church are open. Recruiting the 300 principled, uncompromising, freedom loving, live or die by it Patriots!!

    #1359
  88. Hi John Galt, I understand what you are saying and I really do like the fact all the Texas tea party groups have united under one group. My biggest concern was getting our message out and I liked the fact the TPE was being heard. My sister is an Obama FREAK and what I noticed about Obama’s march to the WH was how united everyone was behind him. There was no infighting. I felt they worked so hard together they were able to get the message out.

    Bottom line, I am sick about what I see taking place in our country. Never in my life have I been scared and today I really am scared. I just want everyone to work together to stop Pelosi, Reid and Obama.

    I trust in what you say and will leave it alone. Thank you to everyone here who wants to take this country back.

    #1364
  89. Phil

    I am with John Galt here. This is about a PAC co-opting the name tea party and playing on the emotional attachment people have to the tea party name to raise funds. If this were really about furthering our common goals why don’t they call it the Our Country Deserves Better Express? The answer, obviously, is because no one would go. If you have to lie about who you are to get people to your events you are doing something wrong. Much like Levi hiding his name and who he is here! What a pathetic hack! If the Tea Party movement has the same goals as OCDB than I want nothing to do with the Tea Party movement anymore. If OCDB doesn’t think they are doing something wrong why do they get so mad when someone points out the facts? Why is it “slander” and “bashing” to state the fact that the bus tour is run by a PAC? Obviously they fear that people will not show up because it’s a PAC. That should tell you that something is wrong.

    #1384
  90. [...]  http://houstontps.org/?p=957 (Houston Tea Party’s Statement Re: Tea Party Express) [...]

    #1401
  91. Alabama, The Ticked Off Texan

    I AGREE ,…. THE TEA PARTYS , SHOULD BE IN THE HANDS OF
    WE THE PEOPLE …. GRASSROOTS CITIZENS, … NOT POLY-TICKS .

    THE PAC’S AND POLYTICKERS, MUST DECLARE THEIR AGENDAS , OP’S AND GOALS ………KEEP THEM HONESTLY DECLARED,
    DEFINED AND TRANSPARENT …. AND NOT GLIDING INTO TOWNS, USING THE NAME, POWER AND WIND OF OUR .. TEA PARTY ORG’S

    TO LET ANY POLYTICK KREWE USURP AND STEAL OUR CITIZENS VOICES ,
    MONEY AND POWER OF ” WE THE PEOPLE ” PRESSURE PUNCH …
    WILL DILUTE AND ULTIMATELY DISSOLVE OUR PATRIOT POWER.

    IF TEA PARTY EXPRESS, WHICH ROLLED INTO SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK PARKING LOT … ON 11-7-09 … WOULD HAVE HANDED OUT :
    MISSION STATEMENT (Who, What, Why do they Support)
    FINANCIAL STATEMENT (Who, What, Why do they give Funds to)
    CONTRIBUTION STATEMENT (Who, What, Why do Entities Give them $$)
    POLITICAL PARTY DISCLAIMER, Etc.. (Which They Did Not)
    FOLKS COULD HAVE DECIDED TO ENGAGE, PARTICIPATE, CONTRIBUTE $$,
    not Contribute $$, OR ROLL UP AND GO HOME asap.

    TEA EXPRESS,Does .. SEEM TO BE DRAFTING ON OUR TEA PARTY POWER.

    #1503
  92. Bob Root

    I have proudly traveled with the TPE for 28 events including Houston. The separation issue is understandable, however your comment should be limited to “We are not affiliated with the TPE”. You apparently have grudge against a group that is promoting the same basic cause. When TPE III comes along I will be there and will also go to my local tea party events. People involved in this infighting need some adult supervision.

    #1545
  93. I am so glad that we decided to make the hard decision to disclose this months ago. It was not very popular, but we knew that people might feel deceived by us if they donated money and we had said nothing.

    #2144
  94. [...] Express put their cities on the map anyway. In response, Houston Tea Party organizer Josh Parker released a blistering statement declaring that his group did “not promote, support, or endorse the activities of the ‘Our [...]

    #2320
  95. [...] Express has apparently been making enemies and influencing people among the Tea Party activists themselves, based on a perception that the group is a front for the Republican Party and that the extreme [...]

    #2879
  96. As part of my best view A Statement on the Tea Party Express | Houston Tea Party is undoubtedly a surprisingly well composed account. Most definately deserving of bringing up as well as deserving talking about http://houstontps.org/?p=957 also. All the best, Saul Theroux

    #2984
  97. I’m gonna get lit up by the softies but I’ll say it anyway: If you want to live in America, learn English. We should not have to cater to immigrants who can’t be bothered to try and assimilate. Also, pay taxes. I have an honest job and each paycheck a nice hefty chuck disappears to the government (the same government that wants to give these people drivers licenses..wtf). Diversity is great, but if you want to live here and expect people to welcome you with open arms, contribute to our culture.. don’t try and resist it

    #7878