Judson Phillips is the huckster who created a for-profit corporation called "Tea Party Nation." He tried to cash in on the Tea Party movement by hosting a "Tea Party Convention" last January that charged $549 admission. Despite his paying Sarah Palin a reported $100,000 to speak, attendance was poor and most real Tea Party groups didn't participate. More on that here. Phillips has since been sued by an investor who fronted the money for the flopped convention.
More recently, Phillips revealed the bigotry of Tea Party Nation by writing that Keith Ellison should be defeated because (in addition to legitimate grievances), "He is the only Muslim member of congress."
All of which should cast a different light on the recent kerfuffle where Phillips was presented in the media as a legitimate voice of the Tea Party saying that the Tea Party should turn from fiscal responsibility and limited government to social conservative issues. Real Tea Partiers, of course, disagree.
Local Tea Partiers and bloggers Shane Atwell, Liberator Today, and Beers with Demo have written about the controversy, and you'll find well-articulated views that are remarkably consistent with mine. Among the four bloggers and three founders of the SoCal TRC, we are two social conservatives, one agnostic Republican artist, one Christian Republican, one Catholic Democrat, one debauched libertarian, and one Randian objectivist (I'll leave it to you to figure out who is who), but we all agree completely on this: social issues have no place in the Tea Party.
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