I've been to several Tea Parties, and after finding out there were "several" Tea Parties, i started digging. One day Michael Savage stated there were the same, "several tea parties" - So I started digging:
Leadership and groups
An October 2010 Washington Post canvass of 647 local Tea Party organizers asked "which national figure best represents your groups?" and got the following responses: no one 34%, Sarah Palin 14%, Glenn Beck 7%, Jim DeMint 6%, Ron Paul 6%, Michele Bachmann 4%.
The success of candidates popular within the Tea Party movement has boosted Sarah Palin's visibility. Rasmussen and Schoen (2010) conclude that "She is the symbolic leader of the movement, and more than anyone else has helped to shape it."
The movement has been supported nationally by prominent individuals and organizations, including:
501(c)(4) Non-Profit Organizations:
Tea Party Patriots, an organization with more than 1,000 affiliated groups across the nation that proclaims itself to be the "Official Home of the Tea Party Movement.
Americans for Prosperity, an organization founded by David H. Koch in 2003, and led by Tim Phillips. The group has over 1 million members in 500 local affiliates, and led protests against health care reform in 2009.
FreedomWorks, an organization led Dick Armey. Like Americans for Prosperity, the group has over 1 million members in 500 local affiliates. It makes local and national candidate endorsements.
Tea Party Express, a national bus tour run by Our Country Deserves Better PAC, itself a conservative political action committee created by Sacramento-based Republican consulting firm Russo, Marsh, and Associates.
Tea Party Nation, which sponsored the National Tea Party Convention that was criticized for its $549 ticket price. and because Sarah Palin was apparently paid $100,000 USD for her appearance (which she put towards SarahPAC).
Informal Organizations and Coalitions:
The National Tea Party Federation, formed on April 8, 2010, by several leaders in the Tea Party movement to help spread its message and to respond to critics with a quick, unified response.
The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, a loose national coalition of several dozen local tea party groups.
In July 2010, Representative Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican, formed the House congressional Tea Party Caucus. This congressional caucus, which Bachmann chairs, is devoted to the Tea Party's stated principles of "fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution, and limited government". As of March 31,2011, the caucus consisted of 62 Republican representatives. Jason Chaffetz and Melissa Clouthier have accused them of trying to hijack or co-opt the grassroots Tea Party Movement.
Koch Industry influence
Main article: Political activities of the Koch family
1. In an August 30, 2010, article in The New Yorker, Jane Mayer said that the billionaire brothers David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch and Koch Industries are providing financial and organizational support to the Tea Party movement through Americans for Prosperity, which David founded
. The AFP's "Hot Air Tour" was organized to fight against taxes on carbon use and the activation of a cap and trade program. In 1984, David Koch also founded Citizens for a Sound Economy, part of which became FreedomWorks in a 2004 split,[undue weight?] another group that organized and supports the movement. Koch Industries issued a press release stating that the Kochs have "no ties to and have never given money to FreedomWorks". 2. Former ambassador Christopher Meyer writes in the Daily Mail that the Tea Party movement is a mix of "grassroots populism, professional conservative politics, and big money", the last supplied in part by Charles and David Koch
. 3. Jane Mayer says that the Koch brothers' political involvement with the Tea Party has been so secretive that she labels it "covert"
4. I'm not here to pick on the Koch's - but it does illustrate the co-opted nature of the party. Look at how Clear-Channel's been involved in organizing them as well