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The New House Tea Party Caucus: Where Its Members Get Campaign Cash

5 years ago
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The House now has a Tea Party Caucus claiming 51 members, thanks to the organizing efforts of Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, and according to an analysis of campaign finance data by the Center for Responsive Politics, the top contributors to the congressmen who have joined are health professionals, retirees, the real estate industry and oil and gas interests.

The Center said the contributions to caucus members from these groups, plus those from Republican and conservative groups, are on average higher than those of House members in general and also for fellow Republicans.

For the oil and gas industry, "the average Tea Party caucus member received more than $25,000 from the oil and gas industry, compared to about $13,000 for the average House member and $21,500 for the average House Republican," the Center said.

Michelle BachmannThe three individual companies or organizations who have been the biggest contributors to caucus members are AT&T, Honeywell International and the American Bankers Association.

Sheila Blakely, a spokesperson for the National Tea Party Patriots, told, the Center's blog, that she is not surprised by the list of top contributors, saying, "These are industries that are in the process of or about to be taken over by government and the current one-party control of the federal government."

As for retirees, Blakely said their support reflects fears that health care might be rationed under the new reform plan and ""They support people who they think will stop that from coming to pass."

Members of the national Tea Party movement has said that the House caucus does not formally represent them.

Jim Henson, a University of Texas political science professor, told OpenSecrets the list of biggest donors could be driven by factors including incumbency and committee position, not just member's ideology. Henson noted that while it is natural that Texas members of the caucus would attract support from conservative donors, they also benefit from the fact that the real estate and oil and gas industries are big players in the state.

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Do Americans still believe that their vote for any candidate gets the people elected? Tea Party...Pot Party...Hey maybe we can have a TeaPot Party for those whos vision of what is good for this country, is as clouded and unintelligble as that of the incumbent politicians we have now!! Americans need to wake up and accept the fact that the people with the most money get what they want, while those of us who have to labor to earn a measly keep will not be deciding anything of importance. Simply put, money talks and walks.

January 24 2011 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The T E A Party is continuing to grow. We just opened a chapter in our county. We now have a booth at the county fair starting next week and we are certain to pick up more members. So far we have had three organizational meetings and have added more members at each meeting. We are also planning fund raisers. No we do not receive outside funding. We are a true grass roots group working to correct the wrongs being done to our country by current politicians of both parties.

August 02 2010 at 10:38 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to danceshorses's comment

I also belong to a TP Group. Grass-roots honest, retired, working-class people whose only agenda is to keep this Country free & viable.

August 03 2010 at 2:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Where is the story about where the Democrat Party gets its cash?

August 02 2010 at 9:56 PM Report abuse +24 rate up rate down Reply

The tea party supporters are largely middle class citizens being used by corporate interest. One has to marvel at how successfully corporate cronies have gotten the middle class to vote against thier own interest. They vote against their own interest for Friedman market ideology and the vilification of their own government. The result is banks that are too big to fail, oil dependence, 2 wars, unprecedented pollution, and a failure to meet the threat of global warming. May God have mercy on us.

August 02 2010 at 9:43 PM Report abuse -25 rate up rate down Reply

What ever can be done to drag down the Tea Party, because simply put, they are afraid of the American People that represent it. Don't rock the boat, UNLESS you have a left view and create violence for the left, then it's ok to assemble and have your voice heard. NOT ANY MORE~!

August 02 2010 at 9:37 PM Report abuse +38 rate up rate down Reply

Null and Void!

August 02 2010 at 9:30 PM Report abuse -22 rate up rate down Reply

The Tea Party is a wheel spinner. Until Tea means "T"erm limits for all elected officials; "T"ime limits and spending on campaigns (Europeans limit campaigning to three months along with dollars spent); "T"erminate lobbyists; "T"erminate pork barrel spending--give the President and every state's governor line item veto. If they fail to use it, vote them out. The simplistic Tea Party line of "Vote the Rascals Out" won't accomplish anything without the foregoing. They will just end up voting more rascals in.

August 02 2010 at 9:16 PM Report abuse +44 rate up rate down Reply

You do realize that any party that is organized in the political arena is always paid off by the oil companies and the banking industry. that way they get theri hands in th epie from every direction. if you want to find out about your local, county or state represntative along with those in the U.S Congress ask the Network to check through the FOIA and they will tell you. IT takes time but they can get it done. remember they also have thier own agenda.

August 02 2010 at 9:05 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to flyingfortresb17's comment

Your proof?

August 02 2010 at 9:57 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

The Sad thing is that it all boils down to GREED.

August 02 2010 at 8:37 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

We're the Tea Party! Vote out all the incumbents!!! (Unless, of course, they're Republican incumbents.)

August 02 2010 at 8:09 PM Report abuse +23 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to FightThePower's comment

I don't know if you're being serious or not!?

August 02 2010 at 9:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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