"Don't Let Them Steal OUR New Members of Congress"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 12 2010 4:27 PM

"Don't Let Them Steal OUR New Members of Congress"

The fight between a few different Tea Party groups to grab the attention of incoming members of Congress has been fitfully amusing, if overrated. But the Tea Party Patriots e-mail asking activists to make sure that they hound incoming members about attending the TPP orientation, and NOT another orientation, is really something. I've cut out the phone numbers and emails included in the e-mail as ways to directly contact the electeds, and left the lengthy rant at the expense of the Claremont Institute, which has not been seen as an evil establishment group until about five minutes ago.

Don't Let Them Steal OUR New Members of Congress

Dear Fellow Patriots,

?A situation has arisen with the Freshmen Orientation being sponsored by Tea Party Patriots this weekend, and we need your help.??DC insiders, the RNC, and lobbyists are already trying to push the Tea Party aside and co-opt the incoming Congressmen.

??Several days after we announced our Freshman Orientation another organization, Claremont Institute, announced that they were having one too, on the same day, at the same time.

They are promoting theirs in a way that makes it appear as an "Official" Freshman Orientation, and it is causing some confusion with the Freshmen. When we realized the conflict, we reached out to Claremont (Brian Kennedy, President), let them know that we had a facility reserved and that we had spent in excess of a hundred thousand dollars flying in local tea party coordinators, and arranging the facility for this meeting.

In a gesture of goodwill, we offered to combine events. We were summarily and, we thought rudely, dismissed by Claremont.  We thought this was strange, in light of the fact that Claremont is normally a great organization, so we began to dig in and do some research.  Here's what we found:
1.  TPP Event
a.  Organized by and for local tea party coordinators around the country.
b.  Partnered with Constitutional Congress, a new 501(c)(3) organization chaired by retiring Rep. John Shadegg, which intends to teach newly elected members to govern according to the Constitution.
c.  Keynote speaker - Attorney General Edwin Meese, who served under President Reagan and will speak to the freshmen about governing according to the Constitution.
d.  Supported by true reformers in the Congress, including Sen. Jim DeMint, Sen. Tom Coburn, and Congressman John Shadegg.
2.  Claremont Institute Event  
a.  Coordinated by lobbyists and campaign consultants.  They are apparently trying to make sure that instead of sitting with grassroots tea party leaders from around the country, the lobbyists and consultants can sink their claws into the freshmen, and begin to "teach them" the ways of DC.  The invitation lists prominent lobbyists and campaign consultants in DC as the "coordinators", including:
i.  Chip Saltsman:  Saltsman is a longtime DC insider and political consultant.  He is most infamous for withdrawing his candidacy for RNC Chairman one day before the election following a controversy regarding his Christmas gift to almost 200 members of the RNC copies of a CD containing the song "BaracktheMagicNegro"
ii.  Tim Powers:  Powers is another long time DC insider and the former Deputy  Director of the Republican National Committee's (RNC) Congressional Affairs and Strategic Planning.  He is listed as Co-Chairman and Co-Founder of a lobbying firm in DC, Artemis Strategies.  Their website says that "Artemis Strategies is a well respected Washington, D.C. asset.  Prior to co-founding Artemis Strategies in the fall of 2002, Mr. Powers operated PowerStrategies, a public affairs and government relations firm he founded."  Powers appears to be the quintessential DC insider and lobbyist.
b.  Keynote Speaker - Talk Show Host - Bill Bennett
c.  Supported by none of the reformers in Congress.  Instead it's a lobbyist / political consultant event for the Freshmen.
Here is where you come in.

?Do you want the first event your incoming Freshman Congressmen attend to be an event hosted by the grassroots Local Coordinators of Tea Party Patriots and the Congressmen and Senators who are willing to support them in their drive to restore the US Constitution?  Or would you rather they attend an indoctrination organized by DC insiders and lobbyists, members of The Ruling Class?  Do you want your incoming Freshmen Congressmen to attend an event where they will get the support, encouragement, and knowledge they need to begin to restore our Constitution or do you want them to attend an event where DC insiders can begin to corrupt them?
The water in the Potomac is infected with the politics of the past and needs to be boiled to be cleansed and then steeped in fresh tea. You are the fresh tea.  Today we need your help.
We need you to call & email these incoming Congressmen & tell them you want them to attend YOUR Tea Party Patriots event.
?Explain the differences between the two events. We need to make sure they understand that the Claremont event is not an "official" event but one put on by lobbyists, for which they are being asked to skip the TPP and Constitutional Congress event.  They need to know what you, their new constituents, think about their choice, and how you'll react if they choose to ignore the grassroots and immediately get in bed with DC lobbyists and RNC insiders.
Below is a list of all incoming Freshmen who have been invited to attend.  Please call and email them, especially if they are your Representative, and let them know your opinion.?

Please do this right away!
It looks like this is our first chance to stand against the DC status quo.  Let's show them that you won't tolerate politics as usual and show them the power of the Tea Party.


Marin Cogan has more on the FreedomWorks orientation , going off with fewer hitches.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



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