Tea Party Patriots

Tea Party Patriots is a conservative American political organization that promotes fiscally responsible activism as part of the Tea Party movement. Its mission is “to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.” The group is a strong opponent of “excess” government spending and debt.

In 2010, the group reportedly included over 2,200 local chapters, as well as an online community of 115,311 members (estimated at 63% male, 31% female, 6% unspecified).

History

The organization was founded by Jenny Beth Martin, Mark Meckler, and Amy Kremer in March 2009.

Tea Party Patriots was a co-sponsor of the 9/12 March on Washington, but refused to participate in the National Tea Party Convention. Tea Party Patriots is most notable for organizing citizen opposition at the healthcare town hall meetings of 2009, as well as various other anti-government run health care protests.

In February 2010, Tea Party Patriots was among the twelve most influential groups in the Tea Party movement, according to the National Journal. In September 2010, the group announced it had received a $1,000,000 donation from an anonymous donor. The money was distributed to its affiliated groups and must be spent by Election Day, though it could not be used to directly support any candidate. Tea Party Patriots was one of the top five most influential organizations in the Tea Party movement, according to the Washington Post.

In 2012, the group along with the Southern Republican Leadership Conference organized a presidential debate that aired on CNN.

Along with various other conservative and libertarian organizations the Tea Party Patriots have developed a Contract from America that echoes the Republican Contract with America of 1994 stating some of the core principles and several specific goals shared by organizations and individuals involved with the tea parties.

In July 2012 the group’s Atlanta chapter partnered with the Sierra Club and the NAACP to defeat a proposed transit tax in Atlanta. The referendum was defeated by a margin of 63 percent.

Controversies

Rolling Stone and Talking Points Memo have alleged that the organization is run with the help of FreedomWorks, a conservative nonprofit. Tea Party Patriots denies this claim.

A 2011 investigation by the magazine Mother Jones alleged that the Tea Party Patriots organization was using its 501(c)(4) status to avoid disclosing its expenditures both to the IRS and to local contributors. The magazine reported that when local Tea Party groups pressed for more details on the group’s expenses, they were removed from the umbrella organization and threatened with legal action. The magazine reported that Tea Party Patriots “has started to resemble the Beltway lobbying operations its members have denounced.”

In 2014, The Washington Post reported that Tea Party Patriots president Jenny Beth Martin was receiving two salaries from the organization: a $15,000 per month fee for strategic consulting and a $272,000 salary as president, with total annual compensation over $450,000.