MT Media Called Out: Wrongly Labelling “Tea Party” Candidates

Aaron Flint posted on March 18, 2014 15:25 :: 1341 Views

The Montana media is wrongly labelling candidates as “Tea Party” candidates.  That’s the charge from the Montana Tea Party Coalition in a press release sent out Tuesday afternoon. 

The MTPC is also disavowing any connection with US House candidate Drew Turiano. 


Montana Tea Party Coalition Denies Any Connection with Drew Turiano

Helena, Mont.—The Montana Tea Party Coalition, in response to Drew Turiano’s claim that he is the “Tea Party candidate” running for US House, denies any affiliation with Turiano. After surveying its 17-member organizations that comprise the MTCP, not a single Tea Party reported having met Turiano or seen him at a Tea Party event or meeting. Furthermore, the MTPC as well as the individual Tea Party groups as a matter of policy do not endorse, support or oppose any candidate for public office or support or oppose any political party.

With regards to Turiano’s claims of being the “Tea Party” candidate, Jay Anderson, member of the MTPC Media Committee said:

“We encourage people who believe in our values of Constitutionally-limited government, free markets and fiscal accountability to get involved in the political process. To some members it may mean running for office, for others it means playing a supportive role, going door-to-door or phone calling, but they do so as individuals and not as representatives of any Tea Party. In the case of Drew Turiano, not one of our 17 member organizations has reported ever seeing him at any of their meetings or events. In fact, many Tea Party leaders and members are upset with his self-proclamation as the ‘Tea Party candidate’ and strongly disagree with his views. We also find it alarming that the media made no effort to substantiate his claims.”

In a similar manner, MTPC is perplexed at the media’s claim that there are Tea Party candidates running in the Democratic primary. After surveying its member organizations, no one in the MTPC knew of any active member of their Tea Party who decided (or was prompted) to run in a Democratic primary. Mike Comstock, who was previously involved with the local Bozeman Tea Party and has run twice before as a Democrat, is an exception. “We welcome people of all political persuasions to take up our issues of fiscal accountability and if inspired, run for office as individuals in the party of their choice. However being a candidate and in agreement with some of our principles is a far cry from being a ‘Tea Party’ candidate,” Anderson said.

Rather than identify individuals as “Tea Party candidates”, the MTCP urges the media to contact us directly for comment. In the case of Drew Turiano, his misleading connection to the Tea Party has been used by progressives and left-leaning media to disparage the Tea Party and to wrongly associate our organizations with his views.

Local Montana-based Tea Parties are easy to find. The Montana Tea Party Coalition website has links to nearly all of its member organizations. . “Our organizations and members are a vocal, active, and diverse group of people. We are a vital part of the fabric of every community and reservation in Montana,” said Jay Anderson. “Our members have been interviewed by almost every newspaper and TV station in the state. Unlike anonymous internet blogs, we are accountable.”

About the Montana Tea Party Coalition

The Montana Tea Party Coalition is a loosely organized coalition of 17 Tea Party organizations from around the state including Big Timber, Billings, Bozeman, Broadus, Butte, Ennis, Glendive, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, Lewistown, Livingston, Madison County, Mineral County, Missoula, Ravalli County, and Sanders County. While maintaining their autonomy and independence, individual Tea Party and patriot organizations formed the Montana Tea Party Coalition to share resources and to singularly pursue the common principles of Constitutionally-limited government, reduced government spending and free markets. Additionally, Tea Party organizations that are a part of the MTPC are not “political parties” and have previously declared their independence from all political parties. Being a member of a Tea Party organization can be somewhat different than being a part of the Tea Party movement. A “member” directly affiliates with a local Tea Party; a supporter of the Tea Party movement agrees with our values but is not affiliated. According to a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, 38% of Americans support the Tea Party movement.

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Al Smith

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 5:51 PM

How typical or our present day media. It’s no wonder folks have so little faith in what they hear and read anymore. Why should we believe what is presented as news when it seems the media is too lazy to check sources and verify the facts.

My disclaimer…I’m not a “dues paying member” of any political organization, consider myself an independent conservative, but I support those who hold good old American values such as those the tea party movement espouses.

To those who consider the Taxed Enough Already movement radical, be reminded it was taxation that triggered the original Tea Party in Boston Harbor. Unfair taxes coupled with other greivances were the basis for the Revolution which gave birth to our nation. Were our founders radial?

You answer.

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