Tea Party Movement Growing More Formal as Activists Create Federal Political Action Committees

Dave Levinthal

The Tea Party movement, conceived last year from turbulent political ether, prides itself on decentralization.

To that end, it remains a largely leaderless, yet national collective composed primarily of conservatives and libertarians. They march and rally to promote limited government spending and decry politicians’ perceived socialistic tendencies. They tout enhanced individual freedoms. They trumpet their grassroots nature.

But since December, Tea Party backers have taken to decidedly more traditional channels of electioneering influence ahead of federal midterm elections, a Center for Responsive Politics examination of Federal Election Commission records show.

In all, seven federal political action committees employing the phrase “tea party” now exist, up from just one such political action committee in July.

Joining them are outfits such as the Liberty First PAC, which while not using the “tea party” name, is run by Tea Party activist Eric Odom. Other state-level Tea Party PACs have also cropped up in recent months, including the California Tea Party Political Action Committee.

Political action committees are widely used by corporations and special interest groups to raise, and then funnel money to political candidates.

The article continues OpenSecrets.org

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