Tea Party Patriots launching PAC in new year

by Alexandra Jaffe, The Hill  |  published on January 1, 2013

Tea Party

Tea Party Patriots (TPP), one of the nation’s most prominent Tea Party groups, voted overwhelmingly to launch a political action committee in the new year, a move that will likely increase its involvement in upcoming midterm races.

Jameson Cunningham, a spokesman for the Tea Party Patriots, told The Hill that the group will begin developing the PAC in 2013.

“The local coordinators voted 88% to start and fund a PAC and TPP will begin working on that in new year,” he said in an email.

It’s yet unclear what level of involvement TPP plans to have with upcoming Senate and House races, but the group’s co-founder, Jenny Beth Martin, previously told The Hill that she could see the role of a TPP PAC engaging in the “grassroots organizing aspect” of some races.

“Having a PAC gives us more tools that we can use to fight — especially when it comes to express advocacy for or against a candidate. If our competition and the opposition, the people who are not for fiscal responsibility, if they’re using all the tools at their disposal and we’re leaving some of the tools on the sideline, we may not be fighting as effectively as we could be,” she said.

A number of other Tea Party groups, including Tea Party Express and regional-based groups like the Independence Hall Tea Party, which operates in the Northeastern region of the U.S., have launched PACs that were active in the last cycle. Martin indicated the TPP’s initial reluctance to develop a political action committee was due to the group’s emphasis on grassroots organizing and a more diffuse power structure.

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