Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tea Party Gone Awry-- Dateline Florida


One of the crazier candidates in the Republican bottom of the barrel race to find a nominee to run against Alan Grayson is Dan Fanelli, who seems to believe-- quite openly, as you can see in the video above-- that only brown people should have to pass through security at the airports since in his narrow, scary world all terrorists are brown people. Grayson tried educating Republicans among his constituents that terrorists come in all sizes, shapes and color:
Apparently, Dan Fanelli is running against me because I'm not racist.

Fanelli's "racist madness" was reported on MSNBC, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, CBS, and Talking Points Memo. You can watch the ad on Keith Olbermann's show, which dedicated a
whole segment to Fanelli.

But let's go through some pictures together, so Dan Fanelli can see some different faces of terrorism.

Does THIS look like a terrorist?

That's Timothy McVeigh.

Does THIS look like a terrorist?

That's Holocaust Museum shooter James Von Brunn.

Does THIS look like a terrorist?

That's white supremacist Daniel Cowart, who conspired to kill President Obama.

Does THIS look like a terrorist?

That's Jeff Berry of the KKK.

Terrorists come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and even genders. But Fanelli isn't really talking about terrorism. What Fanelli and his Republican bigot friends are saying is that American citizenship comes in two versions: white and nonwhite. That's why they want to put through laws that would require every single person to carry proof of citizenship, or risk arrest. Because they want to degrade and put down everyone who isn't just like them.

I have news for them. America is a nation, not a tribe.

In their very precise and well researched new book, Over The Cliff-- How Obama's Election Drove The American Right Insane John Amato and Dave Neiwert lay out the case very convincingly about how the Tea Party movement is a classic AstroTurf operation whose own participants actually believe they're an organic, grassroots movement. From the initial ranting and raving of ex-financial executive and stock broker Rick Santelli on CNBC to the millions of dollars in free promotion on Fox News and the millions of dollars in seed money from the billionaire Koch and Coors families, eager to pretend "their interests are the same as those of average working-class people who rent apartments, pay mortgages, hold two jobs, and pack school lunches for their kids," to the machinations of a desperate Republican Party, the Tea Party movement was always ... being guided along.

Glenn Beck, in fact, adopted the Orlando, Florida Tea Party as a kind of pet project talking about in constantly in late March of 2009 and urging whatever ambulatory viewers he has to attend. As with anything Beck touches, though, the Orlando Tea Party has turned into a complete disaster and is now embroiled in law suits and squabbles between factions and at least a good part of it has been taken over by the corrupt political hacks inside the Tallahassee Republican Party. Last night I got a media alert from John Hallman, the Executive Director of the (official) Florida Tea Party denouncing the Republican Party version as a fraud and a scam and pointing out their congressional candidate forum Thursday as a way of fleecing clueless Glenn Beck viewers. Unlike other recent teabagger vs teabagger brawls, this one didn't result in any fistfights or violence, but it is leaving conservatives dazed and confused about which tea party is legitimate and which one is just a GOP front.
The 'West Orlando Tea Party,' a group organized by two 'tea party' leaders, Jason Hoyt and Tom Tillison had originally scheduled the forum as 'open to the public and free. Now the group has published ticket prices that include $1,000 per person if the individual is not a Republican.

Official TEA Party 8th Congressional candidate Peg Dunmire denounced this outrageous fee as "un-American and a clear violation of the First Amendment. For these fake tea party groups to try to make tons of money from their self-proclaimed association with the tea party movement is not only wrong but could be criminal," concluded Dunmire.

Jason Hoyt and Tom Tillison have both been identified in Federal Election Commission reports as being paid GOP operatives for Todd Long, a competitor in the Republican primary for 8th Congressional District. Both individuals have also established the "Orlando Tea Party, LLC" as a for-profit entity unlike other tea parties that are non-profit.

Hoyt and Tillison have refused to disclose the amounts of money they have received from GOP sources.

Hoyt and Tillison are under investigation by the Florida Elections Commission for violating Florida Election laws by illegally charging candidates a fee to speak at forums (106.15) at events...The TEA Party is considering filing additional criminal complaints based on the clear violations of Florida Law and the First Amendment.

Meanwhile the Tallahassee GOP is financing a law suit by the Republican-backed fake Tea Party against the real Florida TEA Party, claiming that it's a Democratic front operation to confuse easily confused conservatives.
A Tampa Tea Party activist, with financial support from the Republican Party of Florida, is suing to remove four Florida TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party candidates from the ballot.

Don Hensarling alleged that “the TEA political party appears to be an organized effort to confuse and mislead conservative voters and is not a part of the real Tea Party movement."

RPOF Chairman John Thrasher applauded the legal action, saying the party was "happy to provide financial assistance to this legal challenge with the hope that these lawsuits will answer the plethora of questions surrounding these candidates, increasing transparency and most importantly protecting Florida voters from inadvertently supporting candidates who don’t reflect their values.”

Here's the official Tea Party of Florida candidate, Peg Dunmire, running against both Alan Grayson, who she swamped 72-28% in the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce straw poll, and whichever crook the Tallahassee Republicans embrace, likely Daniel Webster:

Maybe this would be a good time to get Grayson's back. We're getting very close to our goal for 2010.

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At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your report is so inaccurate it's hilarious. What a joke, the real tradegy will be if someone reads this garbage and actually thinks it's true!

At 8:17 PM, Anonymous OrangeCountyNative said...

You have a LOT of facts wrong here.

The West Orlando Tea Party is organized and led by several other people, not Jason Hoyt and Tom Tillison. The President is Ron McCoy.

The "Florida Tea Party" party is NOT the "official tea party" for Florida. They are a political party registered by a lawyer who is a registered Democrat and a political consultant, Doug Guetzloe, who got kicked out of the Republican Party. NONE of the tea party movement groups in FL support the "Florida Tea Party."

the whole thing started because Doug Guetzloe sent a email to the West Orlando Tea Party demanding that they let Peg Dumire participate in the debate. The WOTP people responded that it didn't make sense, it was a Republican primary debate, Dunmire was already on the ballot for November. Guetzloe and Dunmire have both threatened lawsuits against all sorts of people. They frequently lie about the status of things, litigation, etc. They are also lying about some of the things you printed here. You appear to have printed the Florida Tea Party press release without verifying any of the facts.

Please do some research and check out the situation here in Central Florida for yourself. A Google search for "Doug Guetzloe" will bring up a LOT of interesting reading for you.

At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comments are right on. One thing a lot of "tea party" people don't seem to understand is that it's better to be wrong in the right way than right in the wrong way. They think that what they are doing is so "right" that it justifies any wrong they commit. That's how fascism begins. Lying, slandering, bullying, breaking the law, making anonymous death threats over the phone - they're all justified in the minds of these true believers. They are about as anti-democratic (small "d") as one can be. I fear for the democracy if they ever get into a position of real power.

At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Raul said...

The Florida Tea Party is the only Tea Party in the state of Florida that is recognized by the state, and has the authority to run candidates. All these other candidates lost and now they have fallen right in line with a pro-tax, pro-spending, 28 year entrenched career politician. Who represents real tea party values? Not these guys that's for sure. The Florida Tea Party will be victorious in November, and then all the haters will fade way never to be heard from again.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Sonny said...

I'm so sick of people circulating lies about the Tea Party. We are a group of conservative activists who want to bring power back to the people, and away from the party bosses, and the special interests. Vote Tea!

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Sue Q Public said...

Let's see, Hoyt and Tillison are paid be the GOP, and keep smearing the Florida Tea Party as a front group. I think we can all tell who the fake tea party is. The GOP knows the jig is up. Real conservatism is on the rise and America again.

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Sam Slick said...

We have plenty to celebrate, the Tea Party is gaining on all fronts! Pretty soon we'll have a national Tea Party. Won't that be interesting for the republicans.


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