By Roger F. Gay
I found it strange when a pro-Gingrich article at Foxnews.com claimed Tea Partiers had turned against Glenn Beck because of his anti-Gingrich stance. (link to my article) The evidence given was not a survey of Tea Party participants, but a comment by the Tea Party Nation website founder, Judson Phillips.
In that article (linked above) I said that “I registered at the website, checked and searched, and was unable to find the entry.” I still haven't found it. But after spending a few days with the site, it became clear that Judson Phillips isn't a man filled with the Tea Party spirit at all. He spends his days shilling for big government, Washington insider Newt Gingrich.
It creates an eerie sensation of deja vu all over again. As Mother Jones recently reported, Newt was fined $300,000 and driven out of Congress for extremely reminiscent ethical violations. He had “used a network of consulting firms, educational institutions, and even a charity for inner-city teens to promote a set of clearly partisan political goals.” Why not an organization using the “Tea Party” name?
Phillips' primary tool is the website's open discussion forum, which he dominates like a high priest. Top slots are reserved for some of his blog ramblings, and they quite often are just that. In stark contrast to the Tea Party identity, he tends to play leader to the leaderless movement in his forum posts; primarily by instructing his underlings what to believe and what to ignore, and most importantly who they should vote for and who they must not vote for. No analysis, but it comes up in favor of Newt Gingrich time after time after incessant time. Ron Paul supporters needn't bother. Phillips is purely an establishment Republican – pretty much the anti-Tea Party prototype.
To this, he has gathered a small group that quickly respond positively to his posts. To the casual observer, it can appear as though he has a following. But further down in the comments, you begin to see evidence of the free thinking grass roots core of the movement. They don't agree with Judson Phillips and sometimes object to his commentary and his attitude; although they apparently have not yet considered the possibility that “Tea Party Nation” might not be a genuine Tea Party site. (Why then would they be there?) Their comments do at times reveal their sense that something is amiss. Although apparently in the minority, some in his small group can get out of hand, acting as thugs to discourage dissent. Philips' commentary is typically quite nasty in dealing with opposing views and supporters of other candidates, particularly Ron Paul.
'Gingrich's web of interconnected organizations formed the early prototype for the multimillion-dollar public and private network he established after leaving public office, known now as "Newt Inc."' A reasonable person wouldn't expect him to abandon the most successful scam of his life while running for president. He'd see it as his most powerful asset. It's been rumored that he has no organization. At least it's not one on the books for legal campaign activities.
The Tea Party Nation website does not provide a non-profit or charity claim on its donations page. But if it is part of the Gingrich campaign, donors should be informed as such. Otherwise, those wanting to help in the fight against Washington corruption may not realize they're actually contributing to the campaign of the ultimate “business as usual” Washington insider. And contributions received by the campaign may need to be reported to the Federal Elections Commission.
See also FLASHBACK (2009) click here for Tea Party March Hijacked at the Podium
Tea Party Nation's Judson Phillips Wants To See Methodist Church Disbanded
Tea Party Shamed By Founder Judson Phillips
Judson Phillips Threw a Tea Party, and Trouble Came
Why Is The Media Treating Judson Phillips Like A Serious Tea Party Spokesman?
Tea Party Nation President Judson Phillips Advocates Taxation Without Representation