Who will get Tea Party Patriots’ grants and will it change Tea-Partying for better or worse?

After the news came out a few weeks ago that the Tea Party Patriots (TPP) were going to distribute one million dollars from an anonymous donor to their groups, many people were shocked. ABC explained the grants stated purpose after attending the press conference.

“Tea Party Patriots is an umbrella group for local Tea Party groups that, unlike its counterparts, doesn’t directly endorse candidates. At a press conference today, organizers insisted that none of this new money will be used for direct endorsements or go to PACs.”

It didn’t take long for rumors and sneers to start being circulated to muddy the waters. According to some of them it was practically necessary to sacrifice a goat or give DNA samples in order to get the grants. The charge of “sell-out” was bandied about in various circles and on email lists furiously flying about.

In truth all that was needed from members of groups wishing to receive a grant was that those online needed to join their group on the TPP website. After long and hard thought, the board of TPP decided this was the best way to track effectiveness of the money distributed. Complaints that all groups going for a grant had to give their entire membership list to TPP were quickly quelled.

That didn’t stop the cries however, as this piece in Daily Caller clearly exemplifies in it’s sneering.

“We are told that the money will not be used to support candidates; it will only go to Tea Parties that apply for grants from the Tea Party Patriot’s board and to get-out-the-vote operations.  Excuse me, which Tea Parties and which get-out-the-vote operations?  How can this money be used, and will there be a “transparent” accounting following the election, revealing where it went and who received it?  How much will be applied as “administrative costs?”  But most importantly, is it possible that the TPP has sold out to a major political party as it competes for contributions and visibility among other umbrella groups?”

The misinformation, in most cases deliberate, has made the already busy task of state coordinator even more fraught. For many of them it has made an already complicated and process, as are all grant applications, even harder. As always the dedicated bunch of people called, Tea Party Patriots state coordinators have handled the extra load with aplomb.

As the witching hour approaches this evening and final grant applications are posted on the various state sections of the TPP site many will have learned a lot.

When I asked Mark Meckler of Tea Party Patriots said the following in response to the negative reaction in some quarters.

“The folks who are complaining are a perfect example of the old adage that, No good deed goes unpunished. Our intent is to bring money and support to activists on the ground across the country.  Regardless of the naysayers, we'll continue to support those on the ground, doing the work.”

As the tea party movement matures post-election its experiences like these, which will teach everyone the logistics of working together in such a manner.

 

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