The Washington Beltway and their MSM lapdogs would have everyone believe that the tea party was an aberration, and the 2010 elections a fluke. Well it’s time for the establishment to stop whistling past the graveyard. The defeat of RINO Dick Lugar should send chills down their authoritarian spines. The tea party specter is alive and well. And to the horror of our wannabe lords and masters, the patriots have become well organized.
The Woodstock, Ga.-based Tea Party Patriots reported raising $12.2 million for the year ended May 31, 2011. That vaults them into the ranks of some of the most successful conservative activist groups, including FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth and Americans for Tax Reform.
Nonprofit organizations’ annual tax returns are lagging indicators, of course, and the political-fundraising landscape has been evolving rapidly. But the Tea Party Patriots’ success underscores the continuing – perhaps even growing – power of the tea party.
Much attention has been focused this election season on super PACs and nonprofits – some with ties to the tea-party movement – that are raising large sums, often from wealthy donors, and pouring it into campaign-themed advertising.
By contrast, the Tea Party Patriots and their affiliated groups are generally staying focused on the grassroots ground game – training, issue education, webinars and tele-town halls, and mobilizing of volunteers. The Patriots say they have 3,500 local affiliates, as well as a mailing list of 310,000 small-dollar donors. They also say they’ve raised even more money for the 2012 fiscal year, although they declined to provide numbers.
It’s brick-by-brick organization building, and the results aren’t easily measured. But the Patriots leaders say they’re creating a structure that will last.
At the same time, the Patriots and other tea party groups are maturing, holding fewer raucous rallies and doing more phone-banking.
That report should make the Potomac Potlickers quake in their boots. There will be no more politics as usual.