Buck Goes Moderate, A Pyramid Scheme, a Montana Step Down and A Georgia Split – A Tea Party Roundup

There’ so much action in the Tea Party these days, it’s almost impossible to know where to begin.

First, Colorado Republican senate candidate Ken Buck is trying his hardest to do what all politicians do after a heated primary — head to the center.  And with a trail of very conservative stances to try and backtrack over, Buck has hit his website for a moment of “reinvention” according to his opponent.

From the Denver Post:

Edits to GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck’s campaign website show him changing stances on stem-cell research and Afghanistan — something his campaign attributes to a cleaner message but his opponent says shows he is “moderating” earlier positions.

Buck campaign spokesman Owen Loftus said the website — which was updated before Buck won the GOP primary against Jane Norton — doesn’t reflect a change in positions but is a simple improvement on message and clarity.

“It’s ridiculous to say we’re changing our positions,” Loftus said. “If you’re using that argument, we would have made our positions stronger because at that time we were in the heat of the primary.”

Loftus said Buck stands by all his positions.

“There is nothing that has changed,” he said. “They do not contradict where he is now.”

Someone who may find it difficult to take a more moderate stance if she wins is Delaware’s Tea Party candidate, Christine O’Donnell.  This senate candidate is so extreme that she appears to be causing an actual schism within the Tea Party itself, with the Tea Party Express, the fundraising activist arm, declaring it will put all of its force behind her, just as Freedom Works, a Tea Party sponsor, has said it is inclined to back off in its support.

Via USA Today:

More evidence that the “Tea Party” movement is not monolithic:

FreedomWorks, a D.C.-based think tank that has been providing organizational support for local Tea Party groups, has decided not to jump into Delaware’s suddenly interesting GOP Senate primary.

Rob Jordan, who tracks federal and state campaigns for FreedomWorks, just told us that the group won’t be putting resources into the campaign of GOP insurgent Christine O’Donnell. That’s intriguing news because:

    • FreedomWorks activists, in Jordan’s words, “are not fans” of the candidate O’Donnell is challenging for the Republican Senate nomination, veteran GOP officeholder Mike Castle, and
    • As USA TODAY’s John Fritze has already reported, the Tea Party Express is going all in for O’Donnell. Leaders of the California-based group are hoping to repeat the upset they helped pull off last month in Alaska, where attorney Joe Miller came out of nowhere to knock off Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the GOP primary.

The great Tea Party breakup may make some start to question what exactly the movement is about.  Well, for one Georgia man, the Tea Party could be an excellent way to try and make a little money – via pyramid scheme.

Talking Points Memo reports:

Is there anything more patriotic than a get-rich-quick scheme? The folks over at TeaPartyBizOpp, a pyramid scheme targeted at the tea party set, don’t seem to think so.

Billed as the “first ever patriotic home based business opportunity” and the place “where you get paid to help defend our freedom and stop Liberal Tyranny!!”, TeaPartyBizOpp offers like minded liberty-lovers the chance to “make up to $50,000 or more a year helping raise funds to defend our freedom.”

The pitch begins like this: You pay a minimum of $12 a year and get a “Platinum” membership (for $24 a year you can get the “Platinum Silver” plan, and “Platinum Gold” would cost you $50). And then, according to the site, “50% of your annual membership fee goes to finance conservative causes, and a large portion of the rest of that membership fee goes into our dynamic compensation plan, that pays each Independent Rep for their efforts to enrol [sic] other members….”

Once you’re all signed up, you’re supposed to start recruiting new members, and most importantly, get them to pay the membership fee. For your trouble, TeaPartyBizOpp will “pay you for your efforts of telling others about this opportunity – and we believe in paying you well, to give you alot [sic] of incentive to go out and sign up other members!”

So: buy in, get paid for recruiting more people to follow in your footsteps, and repeat ad infinitum so everyone keeps getting paid. Sounds almost too good to be true, right? Right.

There’s no mention if they give you tips to keep the fed’s dirty hands off your hard earned money.

Finally, as our own Steve Williams reports, the head of the Montana Tea Party was ousted for making jokes about killing gays.  And it only took a little over a month.

After posting anti-gay remarks on his Facebook page, a former Montana Tea Party president was ousted by the group’s board and expelled from the party on Sunday, but this move has angered some and has caused the group’s secretary to resign in protest.

The Helena Independent Record reports that Kristi Allen-Gailushas, the now former secretary of the Big Sky Tea Party Association who is also a Republican nominee for Montana House District 82 but has not received assistance from the party, has resigned her position over Ravndal’s expulsion.

She is quoted as saying: “They didn’t even listen to Tim and what he had to say. They were just worried about the [Montana] Human Rights Network and the ACLU and what they were going to say.”

Indeed, the Montana Human Rights Network had called for Ravndal’s dismissal. On Tuesday the group praised the board’s swift action and added that they hope the party will continue an unequivocal opposition to such rhetoric.

Undeniably though, this is an issue that seems to dog the Tea Party as it seeks to define itself outside of the fringe reputation it has become associated with.

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W. C
W. C2 months ago


William C
William C2 months ago

Thank you for the information.

Ron Avila
Ron Avila7 years ago

the know-nothing party resurrected

jane richmond
jane richmond7 years ago

All the crazies are coming out of the woodwork. The scary part is that there are people who are actually listening to them and supporting them. Talk about dumbing down a nation!

Mary L.
Mary A Leon7 years ago

It still amazes me, that after all this time there are actual people who believe in this warped 'Tea Party', like it really IS a 'grassroots' party! If they are willing to believe that the Koch brothers had Nothing to do with this, then they would believe that I can sell igloos in Death Valley! Come on, Tea Partiers, WAKE UP and smell the KOCH!

Phil R.
Phil R7 years ago

"where you get paid to help defend our freedom and stop Liberal Tyranny!!",

The term "Liberal Tyranny" is an oxymoron. Only an incredible imbecile could buy into the concept that you can have liberalism and at the same time be infringing on rights. For those Conservatives who are unaware of what constitutes Liberalism, i submit the following:


For the rest of us who happened to have been endowed with a functioning central nervous system, the next time you see a Tea Bagger, don't forget to point and laugh out loud.

Norm C.
Norm C7 years ago

Being a ghost of a candidate helps. But if you have ever sent in letters to the editor or set up a website or spoken publicly at a political event, or ..., your views are recorded somewhere. Even though the corporate media may want to hide some of the very whacked out details, your opponents will dig through your smokescreen and plaster them all over the tube.

An idiot that has gone into "hiding" to separate himself from his beliefs cannot hide if his competitor will do the seeking.

Kay L.
KayL NOFORWARDS7 years ago

Buck, like many internet illiterates, doesn't seem to be aware that once something goes out over the net, it's recorded forever. You can't redo your website, call back your words and pretend you didn't say them, because there's always a record of them somewhere. Try the Wayback Machine, for example, for recovering old websites.

thomas clark
Past Member 7 years ago

Buckis a idiot

doris k.
Past Member 7 years ago

Of course he will be able to remake himself, to the other Tea Party members. They won't be able to remember what he said in the past. They can't tell you in the afternoon what they had for breakfast. Just a bunch of lemmings.