Reviving the Congressional Tea Party Caucus





The Congressional Tea Party Caucus (TPC) was formed in July 2010, with Minnesota’s Michelle Bachmann as the Chair.

Most congressional caucuses are phony, created to issue an occasional press release and do little else. Unfortunately, the TPC followed the pattern. It issued fewer than a dozen press releases between its founding and July 2012, after which it went dark. Its website contains no content, and does not even list the members. To find out who is involved you must go to Wikipedia, which has a comprehensive list, apparently put together from Internet sources that are now unavailable.

By late 2012-early 2013 the MSM was gloating over the demise of the Caucus. Tea Party Holds Most Seats While Alienating Voters, said Bloomberg. Boehner Mocks Tea Party Caucus, said Breitbart. What Happened to the Tea Party Caucus? asked Roll Call. The Tea Party Caucus is Dead and That’s OK, according to Slate, parroted by Who killed the Tea Party Caucus? in The Week.

Some of the slurs are just Leftist talking points. The Bloomberg story noted that 51 of 55 TPC members won re-election, which made its headline about alienating voters a bit odd. The Roll Call and Slate stories said that Bachmann herself refused to talk, but a spokesman promised activity in April and a new up-to-date roster, so the headlines about demise were a stretch — an organization that the reporters liked would have been billed as resurrecting itself. But, given the lack of TPC activity, the slurs contained an uncomfortable level of truth.

However, the spin put on the information was poison. Slate is owned by the Washington Post, and its slant on events is pro-state. The Tea Party ideals of free markets, individual responsibility, and minimal taxes and regulation are feared as the Devil fears holy water. So it is not surprising that its article said, "Nationally, the Tea Party flag is so tattered that it’s not in a Republican’s interest to maintain it," citing a Rasmussen poll that 30% of likely voters have a favorable view of the Tea Party, with 49% and 21% undecided.

The statists would very much like it if the Tea Party brand were dropped and principled conservatives started over with a new name, which could also be attacked and vilified and then condemned as "a tattered flag", and so on and on.  But if you dissect the poll numbers, the story is more positive. Of course half the population hates the Tea Party, the half that elected Obama! The real meaning of the poll is that more than 60% of the non-Obamaniacs support the Tea Party despite three years of unending and largely unanswered vicious propaganda, coupled with many backstabs by supposed allies.

Rasmuessen found that Just 8% Now Say They Are Tea Party Members, down from 24% in April 2010, but 8% is still one heckuva base, and with reasonable outreach to counter the attacks, the strayed sheep will return, which will make the Tea Party the largest electoral bloc ever.

The Tea Party is the flag we have, and it should be defended, which brings the discussion back to the Congressional Caucus. As noted, Congressional caucuses tend to be PR ploys; most do not actually do anything. (The Medical Technology Caucus is active and effective in fighting the ridiculous Obamacare tax, but it is unusual. I solicit correction on this point if anyone has other examples.)

This is not acceptable for the Tea Party Caucus, because somnolence discredits the movement and at the same time sucks up the oxygen and makes it difficult for others to take the initiative. Congress needs to get the message that this will not do. An active and aggressive Congressional Caucus is essential.

TheTeaParty.net is a D.C.-based organization called  which is working with some success to make itself into a powerful voice of the movement in Washington. TPN is now working with the Congressional people to breathe new life into the Caucus, and has sent out an email saying that is has secured a promise of quarterly meetings of the TPC, starting April 25, and soliciting interaction (and money) from the members of its mailing list:

At the request of the Tea Party Caucus House Leader Michele Bachmann, we have joined efforts with her team to organize quarterly Tea Party meetings on Capitol Hill with all of the Senators and House members that are part of the Tea Party Caucus. After the Tea Party stormed into Washington D.C. in 2010 with overwhelming victories, the liberals and liberal media has pounded on the millions of decent Americans in the Tea Party movement to try to diminish our success. Part of that included trying to shut down the Tea Party Caucus meetings with Congressmen/women and Senators on Capitol Hill. We will not let that stand! . . . .

We will be discussing things like the Benghazi investigation, 2nd Amendment rights, cutting out of control spending, reforming entitlement spending, replacing the current tax system with a better solution and much, much more. We have a five person Tea Party Advocacy Team that works on Capitol Hill for “We The People” and what is important to you. That advocacy team includes former six-term Congressman J.D. Hayworth who is TheTeaParty.net National Advisor. In addition, the D.C. team has TheTeaParty.net Chief Strategist and frequent Fox News analyst Niger Innis, Bob Adams a longtime D.C. activist and co-founder of League of American Voters and myself, Todd Cefaratti the founder of TheTeaParty.net.

Then, after a soliciting support for TPN, the email gets to what salesmen call The Ask:

Please call your own Congressman and Senators in your state and also in as many other states as possible from the list below today at 202-224-3121. Also please email them as well with the emails provided below. When you reach them or their staff tell them you are VERY excited about the new quarterly Tea Party Caucus meetings in the Capitol and that you are looking forward to them attending each month! This will assure that they know that 3 million of you are watching and that it is important that they attend this Thursday and every meeting after. We will be taking attendance each meeting and any Representatives and Senators that are in the Tea Party Caucus that do not show without a reason, we will encourage you to call them each time to find out why they are not attending.

This seems like an excellent idea. So for those inclined to petition the Congress for redress of grievances, here are the email addresses of the staffers supplied by TheTeaParty.net:

Representatives to email

Rep. Chief of Staff Email State
Trent Franks Tom Stallings Tom.Stallings@mail.house.gov AZ
Tom McClintock Igor Biman Igor.Biman@mail.house.gov CA
Gary Miller Daniel Weiss Daniel.Weiss@mail.house.gov CA
Ed Royce Amy Porter Amy.Porter@mail.house.gov CA
Joe Wilson Eric Dell Eric.Dell@mail.house.gov CA
Mike Coffman Jacque Ponder Jacque.Ponder@mail.house.gov CO
Doug Lamborn Chris Phelen Chris.Phelen@mail.house.gov CO
Gus Bilirakis Terry Carmack Terry.Carmack@mail.house.gov FL
Ander Crenshaw John Ariale John.Ariale@mail.house.gov FL
Rich Nugent Justin Gabelle Justin.Grabelle@mail.house.gov FL
Dennis Ross Fredrick Piccolo Fredrick.Piccolo@mail.house.gov FL
Paul Broun David Bowser David.Bowser@mail.house.gov GA
Phil Gingery David Sours Sours.David@mail.house.gov GA
Tom Price Matt Mcginley Matt.Mcginley@mail.house.gov GA
Lynn Westmoreland Chip Lake Chip.Lake@mail.house.gov GA
Steve King Bentley Graves Bentley.Graves@mail.house.gov IA
Tim Huelskamp Jim Pfaff Jim.Pfaff@mail.house.gov KS
Lynn Jenkins Pat Leopold Pat.Leopold@mail.house.gov KS
Rodney Alexander Adam Terry Adam.Terry@mail.house.gov LA
Bill Cassidy James Quinn James.Quinn@mail.house.gov LA
John Flemiing Dana Gartzke Dana.Gartzke@mail.house.gov LA
Steve Scalise Lynnel Ruckerc Lynnel.Ruckerc@mail.house.gov LA
Tim Walberg Joe Wicks Joe.Wicks@mail.house.gov MI
Michele Bachmann Ron Carey Ron.Carey@mail.house.gov MN
Vicky Hartzler Jim Hayes Jim.Hayes@mail.house.gov MO
Blaine Luetkemeyer Seth Appleton Seth.Appleton@mail.house.gov MO
Steven Palazzo Michael Janus Michael.Janus@mail.house.gov MS
Howard Coble Ed McDonald Ed.McDonald@mail.house.gov NC
Adrian Smith Jeffery Shapiro Jeffery.Shapiro@mail.house.gov NE
Steve Pearce Todd Willens Todd.Willens@mail.house.gov NM
Jeff Duncan William Williams Lance.Williams@mail.house.gov SC
Mick Mulvaney Al Simpson Al.Simpson@mail.house.gov SC
Diane Black Annie Palisi Annie.Palisi@mail.house.gov TN
Stephen Fincher Jessica Carter Jess.Carter@mail.house.gov TN
Phil Roe Andrew Duke Andrew.Duke@mail.house.gov TN
Joe Barton Ron Wright Ron.Wright@mail.house.gov TX
Michael Burgess Barry Brown Barry.Brown@mail.house.gov TX
John Carter John Walker John.Walker@mail.house.gov TX
John Culberson Tony Essalih Tony.Essalih@mail.house.gov TX
Blake Farenthold Joe Lillis Joe.Lillis@mail.house.gov TX
Louie Gohmert Houston David Houston.David@mail.house.gov TX
Kenny Marchant Brian Thomas Brian.Thomas@mail.house.gov TX
Randy Neugebauer Jeanette Whitener Jeanette.Whitener@mail.house.gov TX
Ted Poe Janet Diaz-Brown Janet.Diaz-Brown@mail.house.gov TX
Pete Sessions Josh Saltzman Josh.Saltzman@mail.house.gov TX
Lamar Smith Shana Chandler Shana.Chandler@mail.house.gov TX
Rob Bishop Scott Parker Scott.Parker@mail.house.gov UT
David McKinley Andrew Sere Andrew.Sere@mail.house.gov WV

Image from TheTeaParty.net email.



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  • http://AwaketillDawn.wordpress.com/ Jose R. Gonzalez

    "Most congressional caucuses are phony"
    "Phony" is a good way of describing the caucus’s original chair. In C4P’s archives you’ll find an article submission I wrote back in Sept. 2011 about how Bachmann had used the formation of the caucus to simply promote herself.
    With that said, the caucus should reform. Thank you for bringing this to everyone’s attention. Maybe Governor Palin will pick this up and put pressure on some of the congressmen to restart it. We need an effective counterpoint to the GOP’s establishment types in D.C..

  • excopconservative

    I would not donate to or follow the leadership of this organization without much more investigation. I’m not sure that Tea Party Patriots or Tea Party Express are onboard with them.

    This thread on Free Republic may be of interest.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2577608/posts

  • misterlogic0013

    Sarah is the movement, silent majority leader TP .. doesn’t need a title .. Fact . not complicated ..

  • suehimel

    It would help if Michelle Bachmann had not started this caucus as a way to promote her presidential candidacy. More members might be active.

    Actually, a TP caucus is a misnomer – the TP is not organized at the national level.

    • lanahi

      I understand the Tea Party Caucus never has met. I may be wrong. They could use lots of pressure from the grassroots to be more active and supportive of conservatives in congress, otherwise they are just laughable.

  • James DeLong

    A clarification: I did not mean to endorse TheTeaParty.net fund-raising — I give them a bit, but I have never checked them out. I do know that they are working hard in DC to connect with various conservative groups, and they are accepted as a legitimate player of the political game.

    On the minus side, I sent the blog post to the Chief of Staff list — of the 48 emails, 20 of them bounced! This is not a good sign. I am trying to figure out whether the list was really that out of date, or whether my email got caught in spam filters.

    I share the skepticism of some of the commenters, but that was one reason why I did the post. There is a group called the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, and if it is inept or slovenly, that fact will be used against the effective grass roots organizations. The Caucus should not be ignored.

  • dave7777

    Why is this post getting up arrows?

    • AmazedOne1

      It’s obviously spam, so I reported it. Next time you see something like that, please report it so we can get rid of it sooner. Use the Abuse email listed at the top of the website.

  • MaMcGriz

    Thank you, James.

    I’m still undecided about supporting this group, but the fact is we need all hands on deck and I’m pleased if these meetings take place and this group gets some real traction in the uphill pull we face.

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