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Dawn Teo

Dawn Teo

Posted: September 27, 2009 04:28 PM

Tea Party Founder Announces: "A Huffington Post Of Our Own"

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Eric Odom, founder of American Liberty Alliance (ALA), the group that launched and organized the tea party movement across the country, announced Friday what he calls a movement-minded news portal and his answer to the the Huffington Post. While the domain and branding are secret for now, Odom has given his news portal a temporary name, Project 73.

Odom aims to create an online news portal that he hopes will become the "gathering spot for all the news" for their "side" -- a "movement minded news portal."

"I mean, I despise a lot of what is written at Huffington Post. But the reality is... they're good at it. They cover very wide ranges of topics and they cover them well. On our side you need to visit a good ten sites in the morning to get the full web digest. On their side you just go to Huffington Post and you know about everything that's happening."

At the bottom of the Project 73 announcement, Odom says, "Not a single person involved with our organization, or any tea party movement related organization for that matter, is profiting off of the movement." However, it looks like Odom's site will be a for-profit model.

Most political organizing outfits are registered as a 501(c)(4), meaning they are not a profit-making enterprise but contributions are not tax deductible (only contributions to charitable organizations are tax deductible). However, according to ALA's website, the organization is registered as a for-profit enterprise.

The American Liberty Alliance is not a 501c3, 501c4 or a PAC. We are not registered as a non-profit and we do not raise funds as such. Our primary focus is on content. We publish information and sell advertising on our network of sites. We also occasionally seek contributions from our readers. These contributions are seen as 'gifts' to our network and are not tax deductible.

A few lines above ALA's not-a-single-person-makes-money statement, they lay out their plans for a revenue-sharing model for bloggers who participate in Project 73,

All bloggers/writers are required to submit two posts per week (minimum). There is a revenue sharing system in place that will help you earn revenue on the posts you get published.


Unlike the Huffington Post, where bloggers and writers are given almost complete freedom over their own content (the HuffPost editorial team ensures accuracy but does not dictate point of view), Odom is setting up a "news" site that he admits will tell only his "side" of the issues. And bloggers get paid only if the editorial team approves their posts. In other words, bloggers will get paid only when their articles are in agreement with the site's founder.

Eric Odom and Ken Marerro, the founders of the tea bagger movement and heads of ALA, have made their living by creating and managing professional, well-funded websites that appear at first glance to be grassroots. The first third of the Project 73 announcement lays out Odom's professional credentials developing and managing websites, and the post ends with, "His profession is web strategy and online community development."

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