Local Tea Party Members Won't Participate In National Convention

February 5, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The so-called "National" convention is drawing Tea Party members from around the country. But not from the Fresno area. Jared Gordon, Media Director for the Central Valley Tea Party says it's not like a political party convention. "Well the tea party convention that's happening in Tennessee this upcoming weekend is not connected with the Central Valley Tea Party it's also not connected statewide or national organization the Central Valley Tea party is affiliated with It's a privately owned for profit venture. Gordon said.

Tea Party groups across the country have voiced concerns over the high admission costs of the event, and reports Sarah Palin is being paid one hundred thousand dollars to speak at the convention.

"Sarah Palin is probably a well loved figure among many tea party members, but no one is a spokesperson for the movement." Gordon said.

Because of the criticism Palin has said she will return the speaking fee to a Tea Party organization. Is this a sign the tea party movement is faltering? Valley Democrat and political analyst Tony Capozzi doesn't think so.

"It's something that happens in almost any group. There are differences of opinion, some are backing off but I think it is a minor scrape within the organization." Capozzi said.

The Central Valley Tea Party and other groups came to life after Republicans lost the White House. Noisy rallies in Fresno skewered President Obama, big government bailouts and those who supported them. While made up primarily of conservative Republicans, organizers say anyone who favors small government, fiscal responsibility and free markets is welcome. While organizers of the Tennessee convention claim to share the same goals, to others the glitzy event just doesn't feel like a real tea party.

'We would certainly prefer that they not use the tea party name and brand, but that said we don't have any particular ill will towards them." Gordon said.


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