iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Posted: April 15, 2009 02:32 PM

A Teabagger Timeline: Koch, Coors, Newt, Dick Armey There From The Start

What's Your Reaction:

Michelle Malkin has a teabagger timeline. She seems to have left a few things out:

December 16, 2007 -- Ron Paul supporters have the first anti-tax Tea Party, reenact dumping of tea into Boston Harbor by tossing banners into a box.

August 2008 -- ChicagoTeaParty.com registered by Zack Christenson, "a producer for a conservative radio talk show host" (Milt Rosengerg) according to the New York Times. On August 28th, he also emails Michelle Malkin after the NRO's Stanley Kurtz goes on his program to talk about his investigation into the Obama/Bill Ayers relationship.

January 25 2009 -- Seattle school teacher, former actress and Young Republican Keli Carender starts her blog, Redistributing Knowledge. Calling herself Liberty Belle, her first post says conservatives need something "BOLD and DIFFERENT and REAL."

January 26 -- In her second post, Liberty Belle says "There are tens of millions of us, if not more. I think if we chose a day to show the world, scary coworkers be damned, that we exist and we are just as passionate about the direction of our country, that we could maybe finally find each other."

February 1 -- FedUpUSA calls for people to send tea bags to members of Congress -- "a Commemorative Tea Party."

February 10 -- At 10:06 am, Liberty Belle says "Anyone in the Seattle area? I would like to stage a Porkulus Protest here." It gets one comment in response. At 12:52 pm, she puts up another post to announce that the protest is on. The first comment comes the next morning.

February 11 or 12 -- Liberty Belle appears on the local Fox News radio show hosted by Kirby Wilbur, who is on the board of the Young America's Foundation (which produces CPAC). Makes no mention on her blog.

February 12 -- At 1:28 pm, Steve Beren, the GOP candidate who ran against Jim McDermott in 08 who works for an internet marketing firm, starts promoting the event. Says that Carender has appeared on the Kirby Wilbur and David Boze (KIRO radio) shows. Does not mention that he'll be speaking at the event.

February 12 -- At 2:27 pm, Liberty Belle says she will appear the next day on KIRO radio and announces that Steve Beren will be speaking at the event.

February 15 -- Michelle Malkin picks up Liberty Belle's announcement. Suggests Coloradans need to do the same.

**First rally organized on a three week-old blog with help from folks from Fox News Radio, the Young Republicans, The Young Americans Foundation (CPAC), and a GOP House candidate who works for an internet marketing firm.**

February 16 -- Malkin apparently first to use the term "tea party," but she uses it for comparison to the protests: "From the Boston Tea Party to your neighborhood pork protest." Announces there will be a protest in Denver the next day. Links to a post that says she will be speaking at it. Instapundit links to Malkin's protest photos, says there will be one in Denver the next day and that "people are trying to organize them in Nashville and NYC."

February 16 -- Denver Metro Young Republicans put up a post (since disappeared, but cached here) saying Americans for Prosperity "will be holding a protest on the Colorado Capitol steps tomorrow (Tuesday) from 12:15-2:00." Americans for Prosperity is the right wing think tank where David Koch, billionaire co-owner of Koch Industries, is Chairman of the Board. Ed Frank of Frank Strategies, who sent a videographer after me last weekend, is a consultant for Americans for Prosperity.

February 17 -- Malkin goes to Colorado for the event, still called a "porkulus protest." She says: "Jim Pfaff of Colorado Americans for Prosperity, Jon Caldara and the Independence Institute, former Rep. Tom Tancredo, and several GOP officials and state legislators spearheaded the event. The Independence Institute is funded by the Coors Foundation's Castle Rock Foundation, and "operates as a mini Heritage Foundation in Colorado." Jeffrey Coors sits on the board.

**According to Michelle Malkin, second rally organized by Koch/Americans For Prosperity, Coors/Independence Institute, Former GOP Congressman and Independence Institute Fellow Tom Tancredo**

February 17 -- Malkin announces that there will be a protest in Mesa, Arizona when Obama is there the next day. "KFYI is taking the lead," she says. KFYI is the Clear Channel station that kicked "Goldwater Republican" Charles Goyette off for speaking out against the war.

February 18 -- Mesa Arizona "porkulus" rally (still no mention of tea). "Look at how illiterate some of these illegals are," KFYI shock jock Bruce Jacobs says, pointing to Hispanic demonstrators. He hosts the event with fellow KFYI host, former GOP Congressman JD Hayworth.

**Third rally in Mesa, Arizona organized by right wing Clear Channel radio station and hosted by six term GOP Congresmman**

February 19 -- Malkin announces "anti-porkulus" Kansas protest on Saturday the 21st (8:56 am). Glenn Reynolds and Malkin promote it on Pajamas TV. Not one mention of "tea party" yet.

February 19 -- Rick Santelli rant: "We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I'm gonna start organizing." First mention of the term "tea party." Clip goes straight onto Drudge.

Within hours, a site called officialchicagoteaparty.com went up, with the domain name registered to Eric Odom. At the time he was working for a group called the Sam Adams Alliance, a 501 c(3) non-profit that legally can't engage in political activity. Its chairman, Eric O'Keeffe, is on the board of the Club for Growth. He's since been taken off the website, but it's cached here.

Odom is one of the organizers of the Tax Day Tea Party group, and Matt Stoller accused him of astroturfing during the Drill Drill Drill campaign. Last year the Alliance started "an ambitious project ... to encourage right-leaning activists and bloggers to get online and focus on local and state issues."

February 20: A Facebook page goes up calling for Tea Party demonstrations across the country:

Rick Santelli is right, we need a Taxpayer (Chicago) Tea Party

Rick Santelli is dead right! Enough bailouts of everyone who acted recklessly! It's time to stand up for all the regular people who played by the rules! Taxpayer Tea Party!

Listed admins include Odom and Brendan Steinhauser of Dick Armey's Freedomworks. The creator is Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity, and the Facebook Group leads back to a site called taxpayerteaparty.com, run by Americans for Prosperity.

February 27 -- the first official "Tea Parties" are held in eight cities across the country. According to John Hendrix, who organized the Tampa Bay event, the original idea came from Tom Gaithens of Newt Gingrich's Freedomworks.

The idea that the Tea Baggers are a "grassroots" movement that Right Wing infrastructure subsequently tried to exploit is not supported by the facts.

Jane Hamsher blogs at firedoglake.com

 

Follow Jane Hamsher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/janehamsher