The Tea Party Loses the Committee Fight, Part II

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 8 2010 4:54 PM

The Tea Party Loses the Committee Fight, Part II

To recap, the general Tea Party/establishment preferences for new committee chairmanships in the GOP-run Congress were:

Appropriations
: Jack Kingston vs. Hal Rogers. Kingston had the backing of members of Tea Party Patriots, in a phone-based vote; Rogers had been called out as a "porker" by Citizens Against Government Waste. Winner: Rogers.

Energy and Commerce : Cliff Stearns or Joe Barton vs. Fred Upton. Stearns had the backing of the Washington Examiner, Barton got the backing of members of Tea Party Patriots. Upton was opposed by FreedomWorks, which created the website DownWithUpton. Winner: Upton.

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The Republican Study Committee : Louie Gohmert vs. Jim Jordan. Gohmert had the backing of the Tea Party Patriots (sounding familiar yet?), but Jordan had the backing of RedState's Erick Erickson. Winner: Jordan .

Conference Committee : Michele Bachmann vs. Jeb Hensarling. Just like the RSC fight, this was between two conservatives with nothing in their records that was objectionable to Tea Partiers, but the more TV-famous member -- Bachmann -- actively campaigned for it. Winner: Hensarling .

So the record is 0-4, with 2 fights being real disappointments, and the Tea Party getting a small victory as Jeff Flake grabs an Appropriations seat.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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