It would take a book or three to provide a comprehensive documentation of every aspect of the origins of the Tea Party movement. There are so many different entities involved, so many individuals and organizations with widely varying agendas that it can be hard to fully comprehend. However, there are a core group of organizers who provided much of the inspiration for and support to the movement in its earliest days. This is a comprehensive chronicle of how the modern-day Tea Parties came about, from whence they came and what came of them.
- Blogger Eric Odom organizes what he calls the Conservative Leadership Conference (CLC). Speakers include several future players in the Tea Party movement, including former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey of FreedomWorks, Former Congressman J.D. Hayworth of Citizens United, Erick Erickson of RedState.org, "Blue Collar Muse" blogger Ken Marrero, Chris Simcox of the Minuteman Project, Paul Jacob of Sam Adams Alliance and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Immediately after the conference, Odom is hired as New Media Director by Sam Adams Alliance.
- The CLC holds a straw poll. The winner is Congressman Ron Paul.
- On the 234th anniversary of the real Boston Tea Party, Paul's presidential campaign supporters hold the first modern Tea Party, re-enact ing the Boston Tea Party by dumping tea into Boston Harbor. The event, one of Paul's so-called "money bombs," raises 6 million dollars in one day.
- ChicagoTeaParty.com is registered by Zack Christenson, a producer for right-wing talk show host Milt Rosenberg on WGN Radio, Chicago.
- Odom is a panelist at the Defending the American Dream Summit, organized by Americans for Prosperity.
- The Libertarian Party of Illinois creates a Meetup group and Facebook group to discuss the Tea Party concept and how to best promote it. The original organizers include Dave Brady, Mike Folgelsanger, Chris Jenner, Josh Hanson and John Kramer. According to LP-IL Public Relations Director Kent McMillen, Eric Odom is also involved in these initial discussions.
- Eric Odom leaves Sam Adams Alliance, according to Wikipedia. The Sunshine Review, a sort of conservative Wikipedia created by Sam Adams Alliance, claims Odom worked with SAA throughout 2008.
- LP-IP's Yahoo group first discusses a Chicago Tea Party.
- LP-IP's Chris Jenner ponders soliciting aid and support for the Tea Party concept from organisations like Sam Adams Alliance and Illinois Policy Institute.
- Keli Carender (Liberty Belle) starts her blog, Redistributing Knowledge.
- Carender posts on her blog the suggestion to "choose a day" to protest, so that "like-minded people" will be able to find each other.
- Sam Adams Alliance announces that Eric Odom will be taking over the organization's network of conservative bloggers, Blogivists.com. The blog post mentions that Odom "continues to work closely with SAA as a consultant on many of our endeavors."
- FedUpUSA.org suggests sending tea bags to members of Congress
- Brendan Steinhauser calls Mary Rakovich and asks if she would organize a protest to take place the following day for Obama's town hall in Ft Myers. Steinhauser posted the protest on the FreedomWorks and FreeRepublic websites with both his name and Rakovich's names as the contacts; he also sends a notice to Michelle Malkin who posted it onto her blog
- The first wall post appears on Libertarian Party of Illinois's Chicago Tea Party Facebook page.
- Melanie Morgan, Chair of Move America Forward, storms the office of Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) to complain about stimulus bills; Jim Robinson, founder of FreeRepublic.com, goes along with a video camera.
- The first comment is posted to Carender's blog seeking other like-minded folks in Seattle
- Carender appears on local Fox News show, hosted by Kirby Wilbur (Hamsher points out: Wilbur is on the board of Young America's Foundation, which "produces CPAC"); Carender makes no mention in her blog of the appearance.
- Steven Beren (who works for Internet marketing firm; former GOP '08 candidate against Jim McDermott and will later be named as a speaker at Carender's Seattle protest) starts promoting the protest on The Conservative Underground.
- Michelle Malkin posts on her blog promoting the Seattle "Porkulus" tea party protest and suggests Coloradans should organize similar event (Malkin moved to Colorado in November 2008).
- Carender hosts her anti-spending protest in Seattle - Malkin called it a "Porkulus" protest.
- Michelle Malkin uses the term "tea party" promoting protests everywhere "from the Boston Tea Party to your neighborhood pork protest." In same post, Malkin announces a Colorado protest on the next day; Instapundit links to Malkin and says people are also organizing these protests in Nashville and New York City.
- Denver Metro Young Republicans blog that Americans for Prosperity "will be holding a protest on the Colorado Capitol steps tomorrow (Tuesday) from 12:15-2:00." David Koch is Chair of Board at Americans for Prosperity, Tim Phillips is president.
- According to a now-deleted Playboy investigative article, written by two Russian-American investigative reporters (Mark Ames and Yasha Levine), SAA erased text on a webpage seeking interns. The text said that applicants "could also apply through the "Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program" through the Institute for Humane Studies." Institute for Humane Studies is supported by money from Koch Family Foundation. These organizations are all symbiotic; Eric O'Keefe serves on SAA Board and previously served Board of Institute for Humane Studies and Club for Growth; Joseph Lehman serves on SAA Board and previously was VP of Communications at Cato Institute; John Tillman was President of Americans for Limited Government then President of SAA and is currently CEO of Illinois Policy Institute, etc.
- Odom announced on the RootsHQ2009.com blog that he landed Saul Anuzis as a speaker; Anuzis is the current Chair of the Michigan Republican Party and is a former candidate for Chair of the RNC; Odom refers to him as "someone with deep RNC ties who not only understands technology and the online realm" and who immerses himself in these realms "on a daily basis"
- Coloradans host a "Porkulus Protest" in Denver during an Obama visit; According to email from Jon Caldera at Independent Institute, it is organized by Independence Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and "other groups promoting sanity."
- Malkin announces a protest for the next day when Obama will be in town.
- Malkin announces another "anti-porkulus" protest (still no mention of "tea party") will happen on Sat-21st in Overland Park, Kansas
- Grosserode is a member of Fair Tax Kansas City
- Malkin and Glenn Reynolds promote the Kansas protest on Pajamas Media
- Rick Santelli's "spontaneous" rant during live trading broadcast on CNBC launches the Tea Party movement. The Drudge Report posts the clip immediately.
- Odom registers TaxDayTeaParty.com and Americans for Prosperity registers TaxPayerTeaParty.com.
- Nationwide Tea Party Coalition (NTPC) is formed by three organizations: Smart Girl Politics (SGP), DontGo Movement (an Odom project), and Top Conservatives on Twitter (tcot). Currently tcot's website says, "A note on Tea Parties: TCOT strongly supports the Tea Party movement, but does not endorse or have any connection as an organization with any particular Tea Party group."
- A new Facebook group spun from Santelli's rant calls for tea parties across the country. Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity created the group; its admins are Odom and Steinhauser. It links to TaxPayerTeaParty.com, a site registered to Americans for Prosperity.
- FreedomWorks posts "How to Organize Your Own Tea Party" - a one-page, point-by-point, how-to guide.
- Top Conservatives on Twitter, founded by Michael Patrick Leahy and powered by Rob Neppell, announces 'simultaneous local tea parties around the country, beginning in Chicago, and including Washington DC, Fayetteville NC, San Diego CA, Omaha Nebraska, and dozens of other locations.'"
- 11:15 PM - Zack Christenson tweets, "We're getting huge traffic to www.chicagoteaparty.com, the full site should be up soon."
- Zack Christenson tweets, "@seanhackbarth we're getting a massive amount of e-mail addresses. It's great to see."
- Tea Party organizers from across country hold another conference call, during which Leahy tweets, "Central information website is http://www.nationwidechicagoteaparty.com #teaparty"
- The Atlantic reports, "Pajamas Media has started running online ads (spotted on conservative blog Hot Air today), simultaneously encouraging readers to organize their own tea parties and promoting Pajamas Media's coverage of them."
- The Wall Street Journal reports, "The day after Mr. Obama formally laid out his policy goals in his first address to Congress, the former chief executive of HCA Inc. unveiled a 20 million campaign to pressure Democrats to enact health-care legislation based on free-market principles."
- The first "Tea Parties" are held, organized by a coalition comprised of Sam Adams Alliance, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity. Chicago protest features speakers from Sam Adams Alliance and Illinois Policy Institute.
- John Hendrix, a Tampa-based consultant, organizes a protest which he tells Talking Points Memo was "completely spontaneous"; during the same conversation he says he got the idea for the event from Tom Gaitens, a Florida Field Coordinator with FreedomWorks; "He sent an email out to his network of contacts to see who could help." According to Steinhauser, FreedomWorks raised 99% of the money to pay for the stage, sound and equipment, and we also did most of the planning and organizing." Gaitens manages the Tea Party Patriots listserv
- Rick Santelli writes, "First of all let me be clear that I have NO affiliation or association with any of the websites or related tea party movements that have popped up as a result of my comments on February 19th, or to the best of my knowledge any of the people who organized the websites or movements."
- A post on the Playboy website accusing Santelli of pre-planning his rant and coordinating with tea party organizers is posted, then quickly pulled down from the site. The post was written by two self-described "veteran Russian reporters" who say they "spent years watching the Kremlin use fake grassroots movements to influence and control the political landscape." "To us," they said, "the uncanny speed and direction the movement took and the players involved in promoting it had a strangely forced quality to it. If it seemed scripted, that's because it was."
- Christenson tells NYT reporter that the name "ChicagoTeaParty.com" is a coincidence and that it was planned to be used for "a roving cocktail party" for conservatives and libertarians in Chicago.
- Megan McArdle, a writer for The Atlantic who lives with FreedomWorks employee Peter Suderman, writes about the vanished Playboy investigation and posts the entire text of of the story online.
- Glenn Beck announces his 9/12 Project, based around what he calls the "9 principles and 12 values" which he believes all of America embodied on September 12, 2001, the day after the World Trade Center attacks.
- SGP tweets, "There is and will be information available to the party organizers for the event. Talking points, etc will be as well. #sgpchat"
- SGP tweets, "Smart Girl Politics is proud to have Newt Gingrich join the Tea Party Coalition http://poprl.com/dXd along with Dontgo and TCOT. #teaparty"
- While discussing his 9/12 Project with radio listeners, Glenn Beck says, "But really hope this is a meeting place where you can find solutions and you can present solutions and you can meet together and you can say, look, we're going to do this project, we're going to do a march on Washington and it's going to be on this day, and you can try to put it all together as long as it's all framed with those principles and values, then I'd be with you. I'd be for you. The minute it gets out of -- the minute it becomes a movement for power and a movement for political clout or a movement for anything else other than those principles and those values, I'm in. The minute it -- or I'm out the minute it becomes about that. I'm in as long as it becomes about those."
- Gingrich's organization, American Solutions, endorses Tea Parties and officially joins NTPC (source)
- by this time at least these people had joined NTPC: Michelle Malkin, Dana Loesch, GOPUSA, Americans for Tax Reform
- Stacy Mott tweeted asking ppl to sign up for mobile updates, "Get Mobile and IM #teaparty updates. Sign up here http://poprl.com/fZM or Text keyword "teaparty" to 69302."
- Odom registers AmericanLibertyAlliance.com
- Allen Fuller, Odom's partner at Flat Creek Management LLC, registers AfterTheTeaParty.com, which advertises training from American Majority, a project of Sam Adams Alliance.
- Glenn Beck plays a video on his show touting the tea parties. Julia Hayden of the San Antonio Tea Party calls it "the tipping point"
- Hannity announces he will broadcast live from a Tea Party in Atlanta. The event is organized by Jenny Beth Martin, now National Co-Chair of Tea Party Patriots
- Joe Wierzbicki of Our Country Deserves Better PAC sends out a memo to PAC leadership suggesting a Tea Party Express bus tour, despite acknowledging that "we are not only NOT part of the political establishment or conservative establishment, but we are also sadly not currently a part of the "Tea party" establishment (i.e. Michelle Malkin, Eric Odom...Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives on Twitter, FreedomWorks, Newt Gingrich...). We can probably pull off a phenomenally successful tour without these big-ego estabishment types, provided that we do a good job in getting the word out..." Previously, Our Country Deserves Better had run ads praising Sarah Palin for "serving the American people with a servant's heart," and attacked Obama with ads such as one which called to mind the "hateful sermons" of Obama's former Pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
- Dick Armey tweets, "Glad we're working with http://TaxDayTeaParty.com , great site! I'll be at the Atlanta tea party on the 15th. #teaparty #tcot #taxes"
- Odom refuses an alleged request from RNC Chairman Michael Steele to speak at the April 15 Tea Party in Chicago. Steele's office says the request was never made. Rather than simply responding to Steele's staff, Odom posted the response on the blog of the DontGo movement, the website for which has since come down.
- Dave Brady of LP-IL writes a piece on IndependentPoliticalReport.com entitled, "Libertarian Party of Illinois: We Gave Rick Santelli The Idea For The Tax Day Tea Parties." He writes, "This all is kind of frustrating because LP Illinois gets no credit for this project. Eric Odom, a member of LP Illinois, and our original group, created his own website and facebook group and aligned directly with Santelli." Odom responds in the comment section. Rather than refute or even acknowledge the allegation, Odom simply says, "We need to knock it off with the 'who gets credit' nonsense and go take our government back."
- Fox News Channel begins advertising their upcoming coverage of the Tax Day Tea Parties. All told, they run more than 107 commercials during first-run shows
- Judson Phillips, a Nashville DUI attorney, registers TeaPartyNation.com.
- Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich sends an email blast to his supporters reminding them to attend the tea parties the following week and providing them with a "Toolkit" of talking points
- Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks gives Fox News the following statement, "We'd like to say we are one of the main driving forces, but we are not THE driving force behind the protests. We're mainly helping activists get in touch with each other." and said the FreedomWorks model is akin to the MoveOn model.
- American Majority launches AfterTheTeaParty.com
- Fox News Channel runs 58 commercials during first-run shows advertising their upcoming coverage of the Tax Day Tea Parties between 14th and 15th.
- Dick Armey appears on Hannity on behalf of Tea Parties
- FreedomWorks registers 912dc.org to promote a march on Washington DC on September 12. Sponsors include Grassfire.org, Tea Party Patriots, American Liberty Alliance, Our Country Deserves Better PAC, Club for Growth, Smart Girl Politics, Tea Party Nation, Americans for Tax Reform and the Heartland Institute.
- Tax Day Tea Parties are held across the country.
- FreedomWorks announces that it would host its "March on Washington" on Sept 12 2009
- Dick Armey tweeted, "I just learned that over 1,000 people have already signed up on http://www.912dc.org for the Tea Party in September."
- SGP announces (on Twitter) partnership with TPP
- On MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olberman says of Odom, "The tea party movement, the TP-ers, now criticized by the administrator of TaxDayTeaParty.com? He says the protest has been taken away from the grassroots. Too centralized, too many chiefs, and not enough guys dressed up as natives in Boston Harbor?" "I find the tea party effort," writes Eric Odom, "in a very disconcerting position at the moment." ...The genius is Eric Odom, describing himself as, quote, "the guy who both developed the site and concept for the protest."
- According to Odom, there are now 800 local organizers.
- In an email to tea party supporters, Odom lists "socialized healthcare" at the top of a list of the areas where he thinks the tea party campaign "can actually influence the outcome"
- The Washington Post reports, "In a 28-page memo circulated among lawmakers this week, prominent GOP pollster Frank Luntz urged Republicans to be "on the side of reform" and warned against direct attacks on the popular president. Instead, Luntz wrote, Republicans should warn about a "takeover" by "Washington bureaucrats" who would force patients to "stand in line" for care."
- The article continues that in regards to oppostion to health care reform, "Conservatives for Patients' Rights spent about 600,000 a month on ads in March and April but is ratcheting up its buy for May to more than 1 million." CPR is run by Rick Scott, the ex-CEO of Columbia/HCA, the largest private operator of health care facilities in America. Under Scott's stewardship, Columbia/HCA committed extensive Medicare fraud by overbilling state and federal health plans. When caught, the company pleaded guilty and settled the case for1.7 billion in fines, the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history.
- Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) hosts a town hall in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Bob MacGuffie attends the event, which turns into a Tea Party protest. MacGuffie later authors a memo to be distributed across the country detailing the successful tactics used at the protest. According to the memo, about 150 people were in attendance, about 30 of whom were tea partiers.
- Mark Williams, co-chair of Tea Party Express, posts a blog entry referring to Obama as a half-black racist. He has also referred to the President as an "Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug."
- Sen. Mike Enzi on health care reform: "We need to slow down."
- Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) publicly urged Democrats to slow down health care reform timeline, not to pass a bill before recess.
- FreedomWorks sends out an anti-reform Health Care Recess Rally training kit.
- Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC): "I think we can stop it in the Senate...We cannot afford to lose the health care battle."
- Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY) holds a town hall meeting which "devolved into a shouting match" -- tea partiers disrupt the meeting with screams and shouting every time the public option is mentioned, shutting down any conversation about public option. There were roughly 400 attendees. Maffei told Syracuse.com, "[t]his has been a problem going on a little bit with our public meetings. It just makes me think we can do a better job with the format."
- "Many of them are not even from the congressional district, but we're not going to check driver's licenses and ask people if they live in the district. It's very, very unfortunate."
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): "I take pride with being an obstructionist."
- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issues a press release saying of health care reform, "It needs to slow down."
- Sal Russo of Tea Party Express emails the groups's leadership to discuss holding a fundraiser to collect 200,000. 50,000 would go towards a luxury pleasure cruise, and TPE would "pocket the 150,000 in profit."
- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): "I think the first thing [on health reform] is, slow down guys."
- Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS): "Maybe we could put something underneath that and say: 'Slow Down' or maybe in the language of my State 'Whoa.'"
- GOP picks Dede Scozzafava to be the Republican candidate for New York's 23rd Congressional district.
- Sen. Claire McCaskill: "We welcome protesters. Our policy is to meet with representatives of any protesting group, at whatever office they are protesting. On Friday, our office was short staffed(four were attending community events and meeting with people in the St Louis area), and the protestors were frustrated with our inability to meet with them when they arrived. They began banging on windows and doors and ringing the buzzer, so that the two staffers in the office could not focus on the phones, that were ringing constantly. They asked the police to help calm the situation, and when one of our staff got back to the office at around noon she met with representatives of the group, and we have scheduled another meeting with the group. My apologies if anyone was offended. We have protesters often (both from the left and right!) and we try to be welcoming. I'm very sorry that we were not able to handle this better on Friday."
- Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) suspends his town hall meetings after protesters disrupted one of his town halls in Long Island, and police were called to escort Bishop to his car for his own safety.
- Conservatives for Patients' Rights and the PR firm behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth send an email to a Tea Party Patriots listserv (Tea Party Patriots Health Care Reform Committee) with a spreadsheet of more than 100 upcoming Congressional town halls from late July into September. Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo later writes, "The email from CPR to tea baggers suggests that, though conservatives portray the tea bagger disruptions as symptoms of a populist rebellion roiling unprompted through key districts around the country, they have to a great extent been orchestrated by anti-health care reform groups financed by industry."
- Odom registers RecessRally.com, a site to help organize protests during Congress's August recess. Sponsors include American Liberty Alliance; American Liberty Tour; American Majority; Americans for Limited Government; Americans for Prosperity; Let Freedom Ring; Nationwide Tea Party Coalition; NetRightNation; Patients First, Sam Adams Alliance, and Tea Party Patriots. Each group is an offshoot, partner or affiliate of another under the RecessRally.com umbrella. American Majority and American Liberty Alliance (Odom's organization) are both derivatives of Sam Adams Alliance, which itself shares an address with Americans for Limited Government. The American Liberty Tour is a project of the American Liberty Alliance, Americans for Limited Government, and Sam Adams Alliance. NetRightNation is also a project of Americans for Limited Government. The National Tea Party Coalition site is registered to Michael Patrick Leahy of #TCOT, part of the "original organizing crew" of TaxDayTeaParty.com along with Tea Party Patriots co-founder Amy Kremer. Patients First is a project of Americans for Prosperity.
- Americans for Prosperity's "Patients First" launches its "Hands Off My Healthcare" bus tour in Richmond Virginia. Kickoff organized by Ben Marchi, AFP State Director.
- Sen. Claire McCaskill's Chief of Staff holds a town hall moderated by Americans for Prosperity Missouri. (video). Tea partiers are given the first hour to speak, then the floor is opened to everyone.
- Signs are not allowed at the event. Attendees who brought signs are told they would have to throw them away or take them back to their cars for storage. One woman brought a Rosa Parks sign, which McCaskill told her to dispose of. The woman put the sign down, but a man walked up to the woman and destroyed the sign. The man is ultimately arrested.
- American Liberty Alliance launches RecessRally.com
- The Hill quotes an anonymous influential lobbyist who claimed a key strategy of defeating Obama's reforms is to "create delays" and when negotiations break down, to seize the "opportunity to outright kill a proposal."
Congress breaks for the August Recess.
- Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) had scheduled time at a restaurant to hold one-on-one meetings with constituents, but when he arrives 150 people are in attendance. Murphy changed the style of the meeting to a Q&A after many protesters angrily demanded that the format be changed. He did the same at a meeting later in the day.
- Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI). Tea partiers shouted the Pledge of Allegiance at Levin as he left the event.
- At a rally in Pueblo, Colorado, organized by Patients First, a project of Americans for Prosperity, a speaker tells the crowd that the President's health care reform would mandate physician-assisted suicide. In reference to the end-of-life counseling offered by the bill, he says, "Adolf Hitler issued six million end of life orders--he called his program the final solution. I kind of wonder what we're going to call ours."
- American Liberty Alliance is incorporated, roughly five months after Odom registered AmericanLibertyAlliance.com and began accepting donations.
- Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins acts as a cheerleader for a Tea Party protest in Las Cruces, New Mexico during On The Record with Greta Van Susteren.
- Congress returns from recess
- The 9/12 March on Washington brings tens of thousands of people to the nation's capitol. Steinhauser of FreedomWorks has asserted that he pulled permits for the event back in March and that Glenn Beck had little to do with the event aside from promoting it in the preceding weeks, telling HuffPost, "Beck's involvement was very little, other than some promotion." According to sources in the Tea Party movement, Glenn Beck did not appear to address the crowd because he would not receive a100,000 speaking fee. Estimates of crowd size run from 60,000 to 2,000,000 participants.
- In a blog posting on the American Future Fund's website, former Communications Director Tim Albrecht writes, "AFF Political Action will continue to educate the American public. The tea parties and town halls were no fluke -- those also took work and did not magically appear.
- Amy Kremer is removed from the board of Tea Party Patriots, of which she is a founding member, due to her willingness to associate with Tea Party Express.
- American Liberty Alliance sends out a fundraising email drescribing itself as a "newbie, grassroots organisation."
- David Weigel reports in the Washington Independent that "Tea Party Patriots and the American Liberty Alliance see the Tea Party Express as a sham organization."
- Kremer is referred to as a member of Tea Party Express
- Nationwide Tea Party Coalition issues a release condemning the GOP's support of Dede Scozzafava in a race for New York's 23rd Congressional District. They prefer Doug Hoffman, the first so-called Tea Party candidate and an avid supporter of Glenn Beck
- Tea Party Express launches its second bus tour.
- The GOP stops supporting Scozzafava and instead supports Hoffman
- Scozzafava abruptly quits the NY-23 race and endorses the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens
- In the NY-23 special election, Hoffman and Scozzafava, who is still on the ballot despite having pulled out of the race, effectively split the conservative vote, handing victory to Owens. Some areas of the district have not been represented by a Democrat since Reconstruction.
- Odom emails the TaxDayTeaParty.com listserv that the government "has openly declared war against the people of this great country."
- Odom rejoins the Republican party, telling his followers, ""I know many of my fellow Tea Party activists are going to hate me for this, but it's time to face reality. The Republican Party must be our vessel in 2010," adding later, "As a libertarian who voted for Bob Barr in 2008, I find it very difficult to state this in a public manner, but I will now be joining the Republican Party."
- To clarify his earlier bellicose language at the behest of wary supporters, Odom posts on TaxDayTeaParty.com, " I have suggested on several occasions that we as a movement need to view this as a war, and I truly believe that to be the case. As I've mentioned before, our government has looked the camera in the eye and openly declared war on our way of life... As an American, I recognize this as an act against my life and liberty. I recognize this as a declaration of war against me."
- Glenn Beck announces an ambitious plan to turn his media megaphone into a community organizing pulpit. He already has a list of "9/12 candidates" and an "In or Out in 2010" challenge, which calls for candidates who do not subscribe to Beck's ideology to be voted out of office.
- Odom posts a blog on 73Wire.com inviting people to the Patriot Caucus, an event to be held in April at Valley Forge in Virginia. The conference is to include "intensive training, debate panels, deliberations and much more." The Caucus never happens. There are still several event pages for the non-conference online. >
- Odom announces the Patriot Caucus to his different email lists (Tax Day Tea Party, American Liberty Alliance, Liberty First PAC
- Dick Armey and Michael Steele hold a joint conference call. The two say Congress "flipped the bird" at the American people. Michael Steele tells listeners "the fix is in" as far as health care is concerned. The event is criticized as an example of the GOP's continued efforts to co-opt the Tea Party movement and vice-versa, as the Tea Party's plan is to infiltrate and eventually take over the Republican party.
- A press release appears on RhodesNews.com announcing a National Strike on January 20, "in commemoration of President Obama's 366th day in office." The event's co-organizer and blogmaster, Ken Cook, is also National Vice Chair of the Patriot Caucus. The strike receives superlatively minimal coverage outside HuffPost.
- Odom emails his various lists, alerting members to the upcoming election in New York's 23rd Congressional district and pledging the support of bloggers and other activists.
- Tea Party Express announces its support of Scott Brown, the Republican candidate in the Massachusetts special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat.
- Scott Brown defeats Democrat Martha Coakley, winning Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat for Republicans. He is widely hailed as the first "Tea Party" candidate. After Brown voted to block a GOP filibuster on a 15 billion jobs bill, tea partiers cried foul, calling him a Benedict Arnold, a R.I.N.O. (Republican in Name Only) and a sellout. This year, Brown did not attend an April 14th Tea Party in Boston. Sarah Palin spoke at the event. Brown's spokesman said the Senator was too busy with Senate business.
- The National Strike does not happen. In fact it hasn't been mentioned for weeks.
- Tea Party Nation hosts what it calls the National Tea Party Convention. Tickets cost 350 for either the convention or the keynote speech, delivered by Sarah Palin, who was paid 100,000 speaking fee. To attend both the convention and the speech costs 550. Tea Party Express makes an appearance.
- The GOP takes down the webpage TeaParty.GOP.com, which offered a service to send bags of tea with the Republican elephant logo on them to Washington D.C., after outraged Tea Partiers accuse the GOP of trying to take advantage of and co-opt the Tea Party. Again.
- The Conservative Political Action Conference holds a straw poll. The winner is Congressman Ron Paul.
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