Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Despite Intimidation Tactics, Area Conservatives Still Asking Questions About Tea Party

The last time the conservatives at the Hillbilly Logic radio show asked questions about the St. Louis tea party, they were met with a wave of insults, insinuations, and stonewalling from the local tea party leadership. So, it's heartening to see that they're still willing to continue asking questions about how the St. Louis Tea Party works. The latest post on the HillBilly Logic blog raises a number of interesting questions. Here are a few highlights:

  • First, the post starts from the fact that Dana Loesch had some bad things to say about the Tea Party Express (which Kenenth Gladney participated in). Loesch apparently said the following about the express:
    I just do not like the way it is set up and I do not like the guy that runs it, he says some very caustic things...I am not just gonna not shine the light on it. I just think it is inconsistent and disingenuous.
    Interesting, then, that the St. Louis Tea Party's Gateway Pundit was happy to promote the bus when it came to St. Charles, and that the tea party also promoted the bus tour when Kenneth Gladney joined it.

  • Another interesting observation from the post is that the Ensuring Liberty PAC (the subject of the original controversy) describes Gina Loudon as the founder of the St. Louis Tea Party (in John Loudon's profile). This is at odds with the official tea party story that the group was formed by Hennessy and Loesch. And, combined with the fact that Bill Hennessy explained that former Matt Blunt Chief of Staff Ed Martin was one of the organizations "officers" from the first week of it's existence, it pretty much solidifies the astroturf status of the St. Louis Tea Party since both Martin and Loudon are Republican political operatives.

  • From these observations it's pretty clear that the Tea Party still has not been very upfront about how the organization started and how the leadership decisions are actually made. The blog highlights this fact by pointed out that almost no one had ever heard of Katie O'Malley, the head of the Ensuring Liberty PAC. Hennessy further claims, "If I want to do a project, I do it. Hoft wants to do one, he does it. Burns, Loesch, Louden, Moore, Sharp, Adams. We didn't know each other on 02/09/09. We just come together to support each other." But given that the local tea party has "officers" and a leadership committee, this can't be right. They have a group that signs off on what they want to promote and be involved in.

  • The author mentions that Hennessy suggested that he was a "plant" for asking questions. Given that Hennessy is prone to believe wild conspiracy theories, this is not too surprising.

  • They also suggest that Dana Loesch shamelessly promotes herself using the tea party to give her added "cred" in Fox News world. Gee, that thought never occurred to me, so I'll have to keep an eye out to see if that sounds right.

  • Anyway, glad to hear that there are some conservatives who are asking for a little more transparency from the tea party. For my part, I'd just like to see Hennessy explain why he claimed there was no money being raised for Ensuring Liberty a full month after he had been asking for donations.

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