The head of a Houston-area Tea Party group appears to have been dabbling in extremist right-wing politics for some time and has shared the political stage with various far-right activist and elected leaders in Texas.
According to a report in the Texas Tribune, James Ives, president of the Greater Fort Bend County Tea Party, served as recently as 2003 as director of propaganda for the American Fascist Party. From the Tribune:
Ives and his wife have been active Tea Partiers since the political movement began in 2009. Ives spoke about “American exceptionalism” at a 2010 “Back to Basics” rally at the state Capitol, shared billing on a live 2011 radio broadcast with prominent conservative activists Michael Quinn Sullivan and Jonathan Saenz, and in 2012 hosted a U.S. Senate forum for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and the man who would later defeat him, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. As recently as July, he was listed on the website of Houston radio station KSEV — [Houston state Sen. Dan] Patrick’s station — as a regular contributor.
Sullivan, head of Empower Texans/Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, is so far to the political right that he thinks current Republican leaders in the Texas House are too liberal.… Read More
The Washington Post has a fascinating piece out on the bizarre civil war within FreedomWorks, the right-wing “tea party” organization based in the nation’s capital. More and more, we see a “tea party” movement guided by Ayn Rand groupies and wealthy corporate interests, not a supposed “grassroots” rising of small-government freedom lovers.
Of course, it’s even worse than that. As we have reported numerous times, the “tea party” movement has become home to a wide array of extremist voices on matters ranging from race and religion to disenfranchising the poor and politicizing our children’s classrooms in Texas. The Washington Post article, however, provides a revealing view of how wealthy special interests are really pulling the strings at the top of the “tea party” movement.
Among the article’s revelations is how former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a Texas Republican and (now former) chairman of FreedomWorks, actually launched an armed (!) coup in an attempt to take over administrative control of the organization last September. Within days, a wealthy donor and $8 million helped ease Armey out the door, restoring the administrative leaders Armey had tried to oust.… Read More
It looks like Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) members aren’t the only ones confused about the history of the old Confederacy during the American Civil War. Tea Party activists in New Mexico are defending the placement of a Confederate flag on a float in a Las Cruces parade marking the 100th anniversary of statehood there.
Jo Wall, secretary of the Las Cruces Tea Party, says the flag simply represented part of New Mexico’s history. The Confederate flag briefly flew over Santa Fe when rebel troops occupied that city as well as Albuquerque. From the Las Cruces Sun-News:
“The parade float was not intended for anything other than to show a spot in our history. We would never call attention to something that is distasteful to anyone,” said Wall, who argues against the notion that the Confederate flag is inherently offensive.
“I don’t see why anyone should have an objection to it. The Confederate flag was never meant to be racial. I know it’s been presented that way, but we don’t see it as racial,” Wall said.
Wall’s defense is as misleading as claims by Texas SBOE members in 2010 that the American Civil War was… Read More
Seems that it’s not just the Texas State Board of Education that wants to revise American history to fit a particular ideological agenda. Now Tennessee Tea Party activists are trying to do the same thing in their state. From the Wall Street Journal:
The late comedian George Carlin used to say America was built on a double standard: “This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free.”
We wonder how his joke would have sat with members of Tennessee’s tea party, which just presented state legislators with five priorities for action, including amending state laws governing school curriculums to change textbook selection so that “no portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers,” the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.
Hal Rounds, an attorney and a spokesman for the group, said the goal is to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another,” according to the Commercial Appeal.
“Made up”? Does he think some of the founders didn’t have slaves? That Indians… Read More
A Houston Tea Party group that made wild charges about “voter fraud” in Harris County last year apparently thinks folks should learn more about the ideas of a far-right extremist who believes that registering poor people to vote is un-American. We wonder whether Plano-based Liberty Institute, the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family that defended the King Street Patrtiots’ controversial “anti-fraud” campaign, will leap to the group’s defense again.
Talking Points Memo reports that King Street Patriots invited Matthew Vadum, author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, to speak at a lunch in Houston today. Vadum, TPM writes, thinks that registering poor people to vote is un-American and “like handing out burglary tools to criminals.” Moreover, he says, helping poor people vote “could lead to the destruction of the republic.”
Liberty Institute, which supported the State Board of Education’s politicization of new social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools last year, associates with really fine people, yes?… Read More