Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tea Party Express -- Supporters Do Well While Doing "Good"

"Mr. Russo’s group, based in California, is now the single biggest independent supporter of Tea Party candidates, raising more than $5.2 million in donations since January 2009, according to federal records. But at least $3 million of that total has since been paid to Mr. Russo’s political consulting firm or to one controlled by his wife, according to federal records."
"But the campaign finance records for the Tea Party Express also showed payments totaling more than $10,000 for stays at casino hotels, as well as bills for meals at expensive restaurants near Mr. Russo’s offices, including nearly $5,000 at Chops Steak House, which former staff members said the Tea Party Express frequented after work."
Mr. Russo disputes that there was any lavish spending. 'There have been a lot of cheap shots taken,' he said. 'This has not been a profitable activity for us. We have plowed every penny back into this thing.'"
"G.O.P. Insider Fuels Tea Party and Suspicion," NY Times, September 19, 2010
The Tea Party Patriots movement sure has some fine folks bankrolling it, like proud mobster parents buying new uniforms for the little league team their kid plays for. Like Mr. Russo, who gathers up contributions from guileless followers, and pockets 57%. That's Republican grassroots if I ever saw it, even if it goes by the Tea Party nickname. And then there's the grassroots Koch brothers, of oil refinery and formaldehyde fame, and all the other upstanding, patriotic millionaires who stood up to defend the working man with wads of cash:
"Reports indicate that the Tea Party Movement benefits from millions of dollars from conservative foundations that are derived from wealthy U.S. families and their business interests. Is appears that money to organize and implement the Movement flows primarily through two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks."
"Tea Party movement funding,"
It seems all those rabid, enraged, citizens who take to the streets in the name of liberty and justice for all under the banner of the Tea Party Patriots are dupes for a bunch of overfed, cigar-smoking, back-room deal-cutters. Sleazy back-room dirty-dealers who scheme for an easy buck gutting our manufacturing sector with their private equity funds, and sending our jobs to overseas sweat shops; or extracting and selling resources from public land, and leaving behind oceans of pollution for taxpayers to clean up; and then dodging  corporate taxes on their record profits in Cayman Island phantom headquarters. All this while dropping the bill for national defense, education, highways, and Medicare on working stiffs. The same working stiffs who take to the streets in the name of liberty and justice for all... and rich, tax-dodging, crooks.

God love 'em, as VP Biden likes to say.

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