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GOP ripped off Teabaggers
 by Joe Conason


Meet the new boss, same as the old (Republican) boss. Or so disgruntled tea party activists worry,
according to an excellent report in Politico today on the true origins and control of the Tea Party Express
operation by major California-based GOP consultants Russo Marsh & Rogers. Manipulation of the
would-be revolutionaries of the right by the Republican establishment's usual suspects isn't exactly
shocking news. But Politico's Kenneth Vogel has unearthed an RM&R memo by Joe Wierzbicki
that shows how boldly they planned the takeover.

Written a year ago, following the first tea party protests, Wierzbicki's memo proposed to use the bus tours
that became the Tea Party Express as a vehicle to promote Our Country Deserves Better, a PAC controlled
by the consulting firm, and to position the firm for the 2010 elections. According to Vogel, the plan has been
a huge success. The Russo firm's PAC receipts rose from $600,000 in the six months preceding the Tea Party
Express launch last July to $2.7 million in the six months that followed. Naturally, a lot of that money has flowed
into the pockets of RM&R for services to the PAC and the Tea Party Express.

For angry activists who prefer their right-wing politics unadulterated by partisan scheming, the RM&R scheme
is an outrage. Vogel quotes the PAC's former director, Kelly Eustis, complaining that the consultants are using
the PAC and the Tea Party Express as a cash cow, 'keeping the firm afloat.'

The race-based Teabaggers deserve to get ripped off.
They hate Obama because he's Black and they want their country "back."

Screw 'em.

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