Tea party movement in Georgia and elsewhere smaller than advertised?

Tea party protestors gather at the state Capitol in April. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Tea party protestors gather at the state Capitol in April. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

This morning, the Washington Post unveils the results of its effort to make contact with every tea party group in the nation.

The piece uses a Georgia group to suggest that the movement, while certain to be a potent force next month and possibly in 2012, may be smaller than advertised:

The local groups stand in contrast to – and, in their minds, apart from – a handful of large national groups that claim the tea party label. Most of those outfits, including FreedomWorks and Tea Party Express, are headed by longtime political players who have used their resources and know-how to help elect a number of candidates.

The findings suggest that the breadth of the tea party may be inflated. The Atlanta-based Tea Party Patriots, for example, says it has a listing of more than 2,300 local groups, but The Post was unable to identify anywhere near that many, despite help from the organization and independent research.

In all, The Post identified more than 1,400 possible groups and was able to verify and reach 647 of them. Each answered a lengthy questionnaire about their beliefs, members and goals. The Post tried calling the others as many as six times. It is unclear whether they are just hard to reach or don’t exist.

Mark Meckler, a founding member of the Tea Party Patriots, said: “When a group lists themselves on our Web site, that’s a group. That group could be one person, it could be 10 people, it could come in and out of existence – we don’t know. We have groups that I know are 15,000 people, and I have groups that I know are five people.”

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144 comments Add your comment

georgian

October 24th, 2010
11:34 am

The taco party is much bigger. Su VOTO Es Su VOZ!

QuestionMark&the Mysterians

October 24th, 2010
11:42 am

Washington DC liberal propaganda. The Washington Post is not a reliable source of info.

America the Dumb

October 24th, 2010
11:42 am

Tea Party=GOP, they simply renamed themselves after suffering defeat in 2008. And of course the partisan fueled idiocy of America bought it as if it were something brand spanking new.

Comfortable in Alpharetta

October 24th, 2010
11:47 am

They yell the most, carry guns to townhall meetings and say the most outlandish things to keep themselves on the front page. Unfortunately, not many of us have forgotten that Republicans almost ruined this country or how they tricked us into funding a $1 trillion holy war. I doubt the Tea Party and its racist message will play much of a role after their hype is exposed this election.

ByteMe

October 24th, 2010
11:49 am

rallytorestoresanity.com, October 30, Washington DC.

“I’m mad as &*$(@ and I’m going to engage you in civil discourse!”

Concerned

October 24th, 2010
11:57 am

Thank goodness the Washington Post was able to uncover that the Tea Party is smaller than previously thought, I can relax and I don’t have to worry about going out to vote in the next election. Spread the word….

Robert

October 24th, 2010
12:08 pm

Yeah the Tea Party is virtually non-existent, not to worry Dems, the henhouse is still open.LOL!

Zinc

October 24th, 2010
12:18 pm

Tea Party=fringe republicans. Democrats don’t need to worry about them at all, they weren’t voting “D” anyway. If anything, I think the Tea Party is the best thing to happen to the Democratic party in a long time.

Take you 50+ seats in November. A bunch of newbie Teabags in Washington will cause the Republican party to split on issues. Then the American public will see that Republicans just complained for 2 years, tried to block everything the President did, have no solutions, have no ideas, have no clue. The pendulum will swing back to the Democrat side just in time for the 2012 election.

BrendaSue

October 24th, 2010
12:30 pm

I have no idea how big the official membership of the tea party is. The number of people who are very upset about endless deficits, runaway spending, bailouts, and regulation amock is huge and growing. Obama and the democrats have gone off the raiils and its vital that that they be restrained by changing the political landscape.
It does not matter how may are on the rolls. It matters how many vote.

Cutty

October 24th, 2010
12:36 pm

If the tea party was about anything, they’d be speaking more about a third party. The fact that they immediately hopped in bad with Republicans, are funded by billionaire republicans, only shows that they are republicans by another name. Where were they when Bush and these same republicans were spending like drunken salilors.

jconservative

October 24th, 2010
12:38 pm

Zinc at 12:18 may just be correct.

And FreedomWorks and Tea Party Express are just branches of the Republican party. But what they will probably deliver is a guaranteed turnout of members, whatever that number turns out to be.

I took a poll by phone the other day that was pushing Austin Scott. Interesting but really dumb poll in a lot of ways. They never asked the obvious question of why I might support Scott. They gave me a several fifth grade type reasons but no adult reasons.
So they may come away from my response as a Marshall supporter, which would be incorrect. If you ask bad questions you probably get bad information.

Now I wonder what the strength of Scott really is. Time will tell.

curt

October 24th, 2010
12:38 pm

Tea Party philosophy: if you can’t explain your ideas rationally avoiding using half truths, misinformation, exaggeration and using undistorted facts, just say that anyone who disagrees is a darned liberal. Worked for the Party of No. Why not you.

Il

October 24th, 2010
12:49 pm

Zinc, I sure hope you’re correct.

well said zinc

October 24th, 2010
12:54 pm

the pendelum is always swinging… the tea partiers will simply send it back left sooner than normal

Debbie

October 24th, 2010
12:54 pm

Most of the Tea Party Patriots tea party organizers refused to answer the survey.

DannyX

October 24th, 2010
12:58 pm

Robert, tell us about the Tea Party in Georgia.

We are about to elect career politician Nathan Deal as governor.

He voted YES on socialist UNFUNDED Medicare Part D.
He voted YES on 100 billion dollar UNFUNDED farm subsidies.
He voted YES on 2 UNFUNDED wars.
He voted for trillion dollar UNFUNDED tax breaks.
He switched from being a Democrat to a Republican to save his government job.
His entitlement to no-bid government contracts does not represent free market values.
He can’t even manage his own finances and taxes.

Deal is the anti-Tea Party candidate. On top of that the anti-Tea Party Republicans in control of Georgia will also maintain their power. Republicans in Georgia are unethical. The lobbyists, big business and Baptists control this state. “We the People?” Certainly not in Georgia.

Nothing at the state level comes close to the “Tea Party” fantasy. Nothing.

The Tea Party is non-existent in Georgia.

No Longer Republican

October 24th, 2010
1:00 pm

The tea party crazies are DANGEROUS to our nation! Right wing wackos to the max! But they are smart and extremely well funded by huge billionaires that want POWER. Its nothing more than wanting POWER to control te American people. And if we allow them to take over, God help us!

The Centrist

October 24th, 2010
1:01 pm

We built up a $10 trillion debt and a base $900 billion annual deficit and have nothing to show for it. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were buying paper from banks that knew they were worthless, but we reduced government oversight on both parties. Regulations were ignored or watered down that has seen 46 banks in Georgia fail, costing FDIC more than $1 trillion alone. We used to gloat that we were building hospitals, supplying universal healthcare, roads and schools in Iraq while watching our own infrastructure to fall apart. We whine about the simulus package, but Southern states have benefited the most from the money. Lower taxes for middle income and small businesses have been consistently filibustered so that Roy Barnes and Michael Moore can have tax breaks. Healthcare costs are going through the roof, people getting their insurance cancelled, and all we heard was death panels and now being against enforcing government regulations on con-artist insurance companies. We are no longer losing 700,000 per month, but all we hear is a filibustering against eliminating tax breaks to companies who are oustsourcing jobs. We cry that public education is in a mess but will not own up to the fact that we are underfunding education by an average of $12,000 per year, per child. Yep, the political landscape has changed. As for the tea party, there is no official membership because it is like the Wizard of Oz.

Cam

October 24th, 2010
1:02 pm

How big is the democrat party? How do you know

vj

October 24th, 2010
1:06 pm

I call them the (3%’s) Three Percentages. The are the Grand Children of ” JIM CROW” who fought against Civil Rights and Voting Rights in the 60’s. They are a bit Older, Balder,with a lot more Greyness in their Hair with a bigger GUTS. They have the same twisted Faces, same Hate, along with same LOUD MOUTHS as before. The only difference is the cover of the name to appear to be patriotic. They are best known by their previous name as the White Citizens Council from the 1950’s. We are not FOOLED
at ALL.

Selah

October 24th, 2010
1:07 pm

Calling people racist is going to bite you in the butt. No one cares anymore about that tired,worn out attack. You have destroyed it’s power. Now I laugh when some one is called a racist. It only means you disagree with them but are too dumb to say why.

pizzed off beyond words

October 24th, 2010
1:14 pm

We don’t riot in the streets because were not leftist anarchists and because we are too busy working to pay your welfare, but rest assured, we’re armed and ready to fire on November 2nd.

tired of the liberal spin

October 24th, 2010
1:16 pm

Want a better idea of the liberal vs. conservative numbers, take a look at the ratings of MSNBC vs. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh vs. Air America (oh yeah, they died FROM LOW RATINGS).

No Longer Republican

October 24th, 2010
1:16 pm

Selah—hate to tell you but I’m a white male from southwest Georgia…and believe me racism is alive and well. Maybe not so much in metro Atlanta, but the rest of Georgia still feels its grip.

Bob

October 24th, 2010
1:34 pm

It’s funny how a group like the tea party are labeled as racist nut jobs. It was the tea party group that helped expose the fact that most dem reps had no clue what was in the bill. Without the tea party group, Obamacare would have passed with ease and the plan would not be nearly as divisive as it is. That is allot of political pain inflicted by such a group considered by the left as idiots. Does anyone think that Pelosi would have made the statement that “you have to vote on the bill to see what is in the bill “, unless she was facing such strong opposition.

Corey

October 24th, 2010
1:38 pm

Electing a man of color with a foreign sounding name as president of the USA bringing out the crazies who claim that too, too much has changed in less than two years, who’d of thunk. Say it aint so. The first Tea Party rally occurred at the state capitol in Feb. of 09 before any of Obama’s policies were receiving serious debate in Congress. Think about it.

Bill

October 24th, 2010
1:46 pm

tired – Don’t go by ratings – that’s just entertainment value. Rush? oxycontin adict? Homophobe Elton John fan?

Ray

October 24th, 2010
1:55 pm

Because the left knows how to read, they sometimes choose other forms of media than just TV.

The rightwing base does not have this luxury, thus the large numbers for FOX.

Ray

October 24th, 2010
2:01 pm

Besides, FOX is in reality therapy for sorry white people who, unable to contribute to this great land, desperately seek legitimacy in the form of putting others down.

Sad…very, very sad.

But on a bright note, they do have a value to those who recruit the useful idiot for selfish financial gain :)

tired of the liberal spin

October 24th, 2010
2:12 pm

You libs will be pulling out the usual excuses come Nov. 2nd, “racists did this”, Diebold, klansman intimidated minorities, blah blah blah. I’ll be laughing my azz off watching you whine.

Alabama Communist

October 24th, 2010
2:14 pm

More Breaking News on Republican Tea Party Massive membership………..According to a inside research report from Area 51. It was found that 45 Alien Lizards had joined the Tea Party, but were being held hostage by the Corporate Republican Party on the Moon which confuse the real list of the Tea Party members………….

DannyX

October 24th, 2010
2:17 pm

No one? Surely if there were a Tea Party in Georgia there would be plenty of examples that the Tea Party actually exists.

Ha, remember when Governor Sonny as head of the Republican Governors Assoc. fired off a letter to Obama begging for more bailout dollars? Good times, good times.

How about that Georgia Power give-a-way? The $300 property tax increase? Glenn Richardson and his short skirted lobbyist? Sonny land deals? Sonny tax breaks? Ralph Reed? Ethics?

The closest Georgia Republicans will come to a Tea Party is by asking Georgia taxpayers how many lumps they want.

Tommy Maddox

October 24th, 2010
2:35 pm

“Tea Party=fringe republicans” Yeah, right.

“Not very many” “if any”. Isn’t that the same thing state by George Armstrong Custer’s forward guard?

Tommy Maddox

October 24th, 2010
2:35 pm

Tired of BS

October 24th, 2010
2:36 pm

Tea Party’s come in many different forms. Start with the Fair Tax people for one, then go down every single group that supports limited government, free enterprise, lower taxes….. that’s where your Tea Party people are. They are not busy chasing political parties, that’s what people find so different from other groups.

Uhoh

October 24th, 2010
2:36 pm

I guess my application got lost in the mail. Not to worry, my vote will still work.

td

October 24th, 2010
2:48 pm

DannyX

October 24th, 2010
12:58 pm
Robert, tell us about the Tea Party in Georgia.

We are about to elect career politician Nathan Deal as governor.

He voted YES on socialist UNFUNDED Medicare Part D.
He voted YES on 100 billion dollar UNFUNDED farm subsidies.
He voted YES on 2 UNFUNDED wars.
He voted for trillion dollar UNFUNDED tax breaks

Right off of the progressive website. We know where you are coming from comrade.

The Centrist

October 24th, 2010
2:49 pm

So, who was the Speaker of the House that did such a great job during the Bush administration?

The Centrist

October 24th, 2010
2:51 pm

TV ratings mean very little if you get one channel with basic and another where you have to pay extra.

td

October 24th, 2010
3:08 pm

The Centrist

October 24th, 2010
2:51 pm
TV ratings mean very little if you get one channel with basic and another where you have to pay extra.

It is a shame that the other stations are so far to the left that conservatives have to turn to the one station that give both sides of the argument equally. You leftest hate it so much that NPR had to fire a liberal because he proved how fair and balanced the station really is.

td

October 24th, 2010
3:12 pm

The Centrist

October 24th, 2010
2:49 pm
So, who was the Speaker of the House that did such a great job during the Bush administration?

There was not one that did a good job on the domestic side and that is the reason the Dems took the house back in 2006. When the Repubs turn from their principles and Philosophy and can only be thought of Dem light then the voters stay home. We the conservative people have did some house cleaning and it is now to put a good conservative brand back in office.

td

October 24th, 2010
3:19 pm

Talking about a good slate of conservative candidates, I just returned from helping kick off the statewide bus tour for all the republican state wide candidates. It was nice to be able to shake the hands of all the winners of the election ahead of time. The tour is in Catersville now, Dalton and Rome later today and will start in Dallas tomorrow morning. Look for them coming to a city near you this week.

Roswell Dem

October 24th, 2010
3:20 pm

All you need to know about the Tea Party is the Howard Beal line from the movie Network: “We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it any more;” and the lyrics to Green Day’s song “American Idiot.”

No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public, and no one ever lost an election underestimating the intelligence of the American voters. That’s been the strategy of the GOP for years, and is the driving force behind their success this time.

roybama barnes

October 24th, 2010
3:22 pm

Remember In November – One week away. I’m still wondering why the AJC refuses to ask Roy Barnes why he coddled and empowered the most notorious serial pedophile in U.S. history… http://bibbrepublicanparty.com Enquiring minds want to know.

LMAO

October 24th, 2010
3:34 pm

Glad to see td has made his way home. Time for a whole lot of excuses for failed policies in Georgia from the current governor and his sorry party in the legislature. TD admit you are a political operative for DEAL and the republicans. Sounds like that group of losers trolling sites for Kasim Reed during his campaign.

Bill

October 24th, 2010
3:40 pm

td : Just saw your gang on a Department of Corrections bus on I75.

mark

October 24th, 2010
3:43 pm

It is about time that the Democratic side has growed a set and started defending what they believe to be the Truth. If you noticed the Democrates have been put in one pool (Liberal) this is just to play on titles and to cause fear and confusion

mark

October 24th, 2010
3:53 pm

Yeap td tax breaks for the rich,de–regulate the safety of the work place, teach our kids that you can be dishonest as long as your for the RIGHT party. And then with the republicans in control again the jobs will just pour from the sky.

td

October 24th, 2010
3:53 pm

LMAO

October 24th, 2010
3:34 pm
Glad to see td has made his way home. Time for a whole lot of excuses for failed policies in Georgia from the current governor and his sorry party in the legislature. TD admit you are a political operative for DEAL and the republicans. Sounds like that group of losers trolling sites for Kasim Reed during his campaign.

I am a total concerned citizen that wants to see the progressive/liberal/socialistic/communist agenda of the Obama administration and the national republican party stopped.

BTW: I did talk to Deal and told him that I was working hard for him on these crazy AJC blogs. He told me great, “someone has to stop them loons from having free rein to spread their garbage”. Thank you Governor Deal I will do my best.

Mad As Zell

October 24th, 2010
3:56 pm

Tea Party’s not so small enough to propel Republicans to a sweep in Georgia, which is all that GEORGIA Democrats should be worried about.