Sunday, June 20, 2010

Did Gina Loudon Found the St. Louis Tea Party?

She sure seems to think so.

The official story, told many times online and on air by tea party members, has always been that Bill Hennessy contacted Dana Loesch and they collaborated on organizing the original rally at the St. Louis Arch. Since that time, both Loesch and Hennessy have been referred to as "co-founders of the St. Louis Tea Party."

However, recently, Gina Loudon seems to be referring to herself as the "Founder of the St. Louis Tea Party." First, here's a clip in the Lincoln County Journal that lists her as such:

Not "cofounder." Not "officer." But "founder:" indicating that she was the sole creator of the group. Even more prominently, John Loudon listed Gina as founder on the main web page of their new money-making apparatus, the Ensuring Liberty PAC:

If Gina Loudon is the founder, that proves that the St. Louis tea party has always been an astroturf group. Gina Loudon operates a Republican PR firm and is a Missouri Republican Party insider. Her husband was a former Republican state senator.

On the other hand, if Gina Loudon isn't "the founder," she appears to be taking advantage of the group's name for shameless self-promotion. Should she really be representing herself as "the founder" if Hennessy and Loesch were the people who originally organized the first rally (likely with help from outside sources)?

Either way, it looks bad for the St. Louis tea party.

h/t Russ Weiss

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