Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reminder: Astroturf St. Louis Tea Party Attacked Sarah Steelman *Immediately* After Meeting Her

In case there is any doubt about whether the ultra-astroturf St. Louis tea party will be in the bag for Republican insider and former-chief-of-staff-who-had-to-resign-because-of-an-ethics-scandal Ed Martin, I thought I'd remind people of what happened in early January. According to a Reboot Congress post on January 7, Sarah Steelman met with the tea party in St. Louis to discuss her campaign. The tea party initially complimented her for taking the time to meet with them and listen to their concerns:
She took questions and listened to our concerns. I'm optimistic that our meeting tonight will inform her decisions as she crafts the policy platform for her 2012 race against Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
However, the very next day the tea party was already attacking her. From a post called "Follow the Money on Sarah Steelman;"
If you'd like to find out more about Sarah Steelman, just follow the money. She poured a lot of her own money ($770,000) into her failed gubernatorial bid in 2008. She also raised $460,000 from individual donors in that cycle. Those numbers look problematic. Will she be able to raise $10+ million dollar US Senate campaign? Can she self-finance such a campaign?
Recall that the St. Louis Tea Party, which claimed to have an official policy of not endorsing in primaries, virtually blacklisted conservative candidate John Wayne Tucker who was running against Ed Martin in the GOP primary for Missouri's 3rd District. In fact, Dana Loesch, whose husband's business Shock City Studios recieved $5,000 from Martin, had Martin on repeatedly while ignoring Tucker until finally publicly attacking Tucker via Twitter. This likely was a crucial reason why nearly 9,000 people voted for conservative third party candidates in the general election.

In the upcoming months, look for the St. Louis Tea Party to declare that Ed Martin is the "real tea party candidate," and come up with reasons why Steelman is somehow less "grassroots" than Matt Blunt's former chief of staff. Of course, the reality is that the St. Louis tea party leadership has never been grassroots and never been particularly interested in actually letting their membership make decisions.

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