Loesch's new group, which calls itself the Gateway Grassroots Initiative, has a "mission statement" entirely composed of nationally-coordinated snippets from Tea Party Patriots language used by outlets around the country.
You can see a copy of their mission statement here:
It reads, in part:
...and so on. A quick google search reveals that this exact same language (except for the "gateway" part) is used by numerous tea party groups across the country. If you pick pretty much any phrase in the group's mission statement, you'll see that it was used by many groups across the country. Interestingly, they don't all use the exact same language: they pick and choose what they want to cut and paste.
Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize fellow Gateway area citizens to secure a culture consistent with our three core values of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets.
• Fiscal ResponsibilityFiscal Responsibility: A fiscally responsible government honors and respects the freedom of the individual to spend the money that is the fruit of his or her own labor. A constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty, must be fiscally responsible or it must subject its citizenry to high levels of taxation that unjustly restrict the liberty our Constitution was designed to protect. The runaway deficit spending as we now see in Washington...
• Constitutionally Limited Government
• Free Markets
It's pretty clear that there's national coordination on the messaging of these mission statements. Because so many groups use it, it's not easy to see who's in charge, but several of the groups specifically refer to the Tea Party Patriots, a national astoturf group that has a mission statement basically identical to that of Loesch's new group:
Tea Party Patriots has been explicitly linked to former GOP congressman Dick Army's astroturf group FreedomWorks and was caught distributing a memo telling tea partiers how to disrupt town halls. So this mission statement appears to be straight from national astroturf organizations.
Maybe it wouldn't be a big deal if the group just admitted that they didn't write their own mission statement. However, ridiculously, they are claiming that they wrote it themselves. My interaction with Jen Ennenbach, one of the founders of the new group:
It's pretty embarrassing for them to claim that they just spontaneously came up with the exact same language as hundreds of other tea party groups around the country including a national astroturf organization. But I expect there will be many more embarrassing moments to come for this group.
Update: The group is even more astroturf than I realized.
The GGI group argued on Twitter that the statement wasn't astroturf because the guy who wrote the mission statements for the national group is actually the same guy who copied and pasted GGI's statement. In fact, Scott Boston on Twitter claims he wrote the original Tea Party Patriots statement, and I believe him. But this makes it even more astroturf, not less, because it turns out that Boston used to be an employee of the astroturf organization Tea Party Patriots! From his Linked In profile:
National Education CoordinatorSo yeah, so one of the "grassroots" group's founders was an employee of a Dick Army affiliated national astroturf group. Another, of course, is a CNN pundit and radio host. I look forward to their future lectures about the true meaning of grassroots.
Tea Party Patriots
• Identified and evaluated training materials for local organizers and coordinated distribution of materials from such organizations as Leadership Institute, American Majority, Heritage Foundation, National Center for Constitutional Studies and Encounter Books.
• Lead Coordinator 9/12 St. Louis, one of three large regional rallies that drew 15,000 - 20,000 people to the Gateway Arch, July-September 2010. Identified and secured speakers and entertainers. Wrote press releases, did radio and TV interviews, created content for the event website.
• Volunteer Liaison to Glenn Beck’s Staff, Restoring Honor Rally, July-August 2010.
• Traveled to Tennessee and Arizona to meet with regional coordinators, May 2010.