DGA sounds Tea Party alarm
By DAVID CATANESE | 2/3/10 3:57 PM EST Text Size- + reset
On the eve of the first National Tea Party Convention, the Democratic Governors Association blasted a dire fundraising e-mail to supporters, warning that the loosely organized movement has become a “truly dangerous” political force.
“These guys aren’t going away. They’ve proven they can raise millions in a matter of hours and they’re skewing elections across the nation,” wrote Colleen Turrentine, the DGA's finance director.
“Can you imagine the havoc they would wreak if they took office en masse?” Turrentine continued. “If they had their way, how many states would even stay in the U.S.?”
The National Tea Party Convention kicks off Thursday afternoon in Nashville, Tenn., and concludes Saturday with a keynote speech by former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
The electoral impact of Tea Party groups, however, remains an open question. While sections of the Tea Party movement have claimed credit for Sen.-elect Scott Brown’s surprise win in Massachusetts two weeks ago, it appeared to have only a limited impact on the Tuesday primaries in Illinois.
Conservative U.S senate candidate Patrick Hughes and gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski both touted Tea Party backing, but fizzled at the polls. Hughes managed only 17 percent against Rep. Mark Kirk in the Senate race and Andrzejewski finished fifth in a five-way primary for governor.
Turrentine also cited GOP wins in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections in her pitch to DGA backers.
“These angry, extremist Teabaggers will go to any length to crush every inch of President Obama’s agenda,” she wrote in her email.
“Stop them before it’s too late – sign the DGA’s petition to stand with President Obama and support his agenda. Americans, every one of us, deserve governors who will fight for the middle class — not self-serving politicians who kowtow to special interests whose political hero is Sarah Palin. But that's exactly what the GOP's Tea Party-obsessed candidates are doing,” Turrentine wrote.
FreedomWorks, one of the groups that works closely with Tea Party organizers, said the e-mail shows “the corporate shills in the Democratic Party are running scared.”
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