Tea Party Express
Tea Party Express is 501(c)(4) organization operating out of Sacramento, CA. The "Tea Party Express" began as a public relations blitz in 2009 via a cross-country caravan of buses and cars making 35 stops for rallies featured on conservative media.
This 2009 tour was only one of several other national tours involving the Tea Party Express and other organizations. See also Americans For Prosperity's Hot Air Balloon Tour; Americans For Prosperity's Patients First Bus Tour; and the American Energy Alliance's American Energy Express.
Since 2009, the Tea Party Express has organized, "eight national bus tours and several regional tours that hosted over 400 rallies," according to the group's webpage.
The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.
The Tea Party Express Unfolds
- In what appears to be the earliest news listing for the Tea Party Express, a Talking Points Memo post of August 3rd, 2009 mentioned that sponsors of the tour were Our Country Deserves Better PAC, and Americans for Prosperity;
- Subsequently, the Washington Times Moonie paper revealed more details, including that the tour would finish at Bridgeport, Connecticut where Moon's Unification Church USA is headquartered. Additional sponsors were revealed: FreedomWorks, the conservative advocacy group headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, the National Tax Limitation Committee, and Tea Party Patriots. Americans for Prosperity, which has launched a Patients First bus trip,American Conservative Union Club for Growth. All of these groups are involved in The 912 Project's 912dc.org March on Washington.
- By August 19th, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News had shown it's hand that it was part of the bus tour promotion.
- August 28th, 2009, bus tour begins with fanfare in Sacramento, California.
The State Tea Party Express
The State Tea Party Express is an extension of the Tea Party Express that is focused on state issues. According to the State Tea Party Express' website, state level activity has primarily been focused in Wisconsin. In 2011, the State Tea Party Express supported Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in the recall election. The website's "History" section describes their efforts in the recall election campaign:
- "[The] State Tea Party Express, after calls from Tea Party activists across the nation, entered the battle by hosting a statewide bus tour with nine rallies. Our efforts were successful, but it did not come easy. At many rallies we faced intimidation and heckles from hundreds of union protestors."
Additionally, "In March of 2011, State Tea Party Express launched a television campaign that focused on the Wisconsin Supreme Court Race between Justice David Prosser and JoAnne Kloppenburg." The State Tea Party Express boasted, "Judge David Prosser held onto his seat after a escaping a narrow victory, proving that the State Tea Party Express’ involvement during this race was pivotal.
Tour Partners Logos on website homepage
On its website, the Tea Party Express lists its "tour partners" as comprising:
- http://www.ourcountrydeservesbetter.com/ -- Our Country Deserves Better
- http://www.marktalk.com/ -- MarkTalk.com, the website of radio talk show presenter Mark Williams;
- http://www.lloydmarcus.com/ -- Lloyd Marcus who describes himself on his website as a "proud Black Conservative Entertainer/Speaker "American Tea Party Anthem"'
- http://www.limittaxes.com/ -- National Tax Limitation Committee Bronze Sponsor 912dc.org, The 912 Project
- http://www.freerepublic.com/ -- Free Republic
- http://www.freedomworks.org/ -- FreedomWorks, was Citizens for a Sound Economy, Sponsor 912dc.org, The 912 Project
- http://www.parcbench.com/ -- ParcBench, which is also a Bronze Sponsor of 912dc.org's, The 912 Project
- http://www.multiccc.org/ -- MultiCultural Conservative Coalition
- Tea Party Express
- 8795 Folsom Boulevard, Suite 103:
- Sacramento, CA 95826-3720
- State Tea Party Express
- 8795 Folsom Boulevard, Suite 103
- Sacramento, CA 95826-3720
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- "AFP Takes Its Hot Air Balloon Tour Out West to Expose the Hidden Energy Tax Hike in Cap-and-Trade Legislation", Media Release, August 2009.
- "Events", Americans for Prosperity website, accessed September 2009.
- Mark Svenvold, "The dirtiest bus tour in America attacks cap and trade bill", Daily Finance, August 28, 2009.
- The Tea Party Express, Home Page, Official Website of the Tea Party Express, accessed October 18, 2013.
- Brian Beutler, "August Recess: A Breakdown Of The Health Care Fight Ahead", Talking Points Memo, August 3, 2009
- "Obama health plans revive tea parties", Washington Times, August 11, 2009.
- "Fox News hosts birther Mark Williams to promote "how you can join" anti-Dem Tea Party Express", Media Matters of America, August 19, 2009.
- Thomas Segel, "From Tea Parties to The 912 Project, Americans Are Challenging The Government", Wilson County News, Auust 21, 2009
- "Fox News "hops" aboard Tea Party Express with rampant promotions, live coverage", Media Matters of America, August 28, 2009.
- Michael B. Farrell,"‘Tea party’ in California, including a dump truck brigade", Christian Science Monitor, August 28, 2009.
- State Tea Party Express, ["http://www.stateteapartyexpress.org/history History], Official website, accessed October 18,2013.
- Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei, The Koch Brothers Secret Bank, Politico, September 11, 2013.
- "Tea Party Express", Tea Party Express website, accessed September 2009.