From last night’s show (warning: Maddow spends most of the segment on her introduction):
Gordon was on Maddow to talk about tea parties at least one other time…
Discussed on IPR here.
Meanwhile, Bud Kennedy writes in the Fort Worth Star Telegram:
The political “Newcomer of the Year” must be the Tea Party protester.
But when you peek behind the new “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, some of the local Tea Party and 912 Project groups are looking more like the same old political factions.
When you sign up for e-mail from the supposedly nonpartisan Common Sense Texans network of Tea Party members, you’re giving your address to a Dallas Republican lawyer and social-networking-campaign expert who has been an activist for private-school vouchers.
Turns out I’m not the only person who’s leery of these fake grassroots activist groups sprouting on every block.
Robert Butler is the new state Libertarian Party executive director. He sounded frustrated Tuesday.
“The Libertarians started this thing, and now Republicans want to get ahead of the parade and take it over,” Butler said by phone from Austin.
“Their brand name is held in such disregard that they’ve started marketing under the Tea Party banner. Then, behind the scenes, their organizers are getting in there and co-opting the Tea Parties.”
Butler, a former Republican who switched parties in 2003, is particularly burned about the Dallas Tea Party. That group also operates the Grapevine-based NE Tarrant Tea Party, one of at least four Tea Party groups serving the Keller-Grapevine-Southlake area.
“We have evidence that Republicans are using the Dallas Tea Party to collect names and information,” Butler said.
For example, the Web site commonsensetexans.net, a sign-up and information site for 34 Tea Party and 912 Project groups in Texas, is registered to Dallas lawyer and Tea Party coordinator Ken Emanuelson, a Fred Thompson campaigner and veteran Republican organizer.
The Dallas Tea Party has not included Libertarians in events since July 4, Butler said.
About one-third of Tea Party attendees generally claim libertarian views, Butler said. The split usually comes on religious issues such as gay marriage, where the Libertarian Party opposes government involvement.
Some Tea Party groups completely avoid religious issues. Yet others, particularly 912 Project groups, openly promote religious books and call for rule under “God’s law.”
“There’s just a very disorganized hodgepodge of groups out there,” Butler said.
“If they ever had their own political party, they wouldn’t all be in the same room.”
Libertarians will choose their nominee for governor June 11-13 at their state convention in Austin.
They’ll bring their own brand of tea.
Additional coverage at Raw Story.
For further background see Libertarian Party: we had the Tea Party idea first