The Tea Party is a “grassroots” organization that sprung up spontaneously out of a collective desire of conservative Americans to stop the rampant over-spending and overreach of the The United States government, right?
That’s the story that right-wing media sources tell. However, it’s long been conjectured and all but proven in many instances that the true origins of The Party movement sprung from the money bins of Charles and David Koch — the billionaires who have funded conservative campaigns all across the country — and now in a breathtakingly detailed piece from Eric Zuesse in The Huffington Post, we may just have definitive proof of those theories.
First, there’s the screenshot of the very first “Tea Party” webpage from 2002. The “Citizens for a Sound Economy” that are mentioned as running the page were fully-funded by the Kochs and later split into two groups — Americans For Prosperity and FreedomWorks. which have been spreading the Tea Party message and funding Tea Party-backed candidates since.
Next, in November of 2006, they launched another website under the heading of “The Sam Addams Alliance” in Chicago, home to then Senator Barack Obama. The man who ran the Sam Addams Alliance is Eric O’Keefe, who also was instrumental in getting American Majority Tea Party off the ground. That group was created specifically to recruit and train political candidates to deliver the Tea Party’s message. O’Keefe has “deep ties to the Koch brothers,” according to sourcewatch.
The Zuesse piece for HuffPo goes on to layout the final stages of The Tea Party’s emergence in 2009, including their connection to CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who was credited as the one who helped spring the Tea Party up out of nowhere with his rant from the floor of the stock exchange. But as the evidence laid out in the piece clearly shows, by the time President Obama took office, The Tea Party was anything but a grassroots movement — instead it was a vast network of connected political action groups, all funded at least initially by the Kochs.
Zuesse’s piece is so detailed we couldn’t cram every morsel into this summation, but we highly recommend you surf on over to the piece now and read it thoroughly. Afterward, it’ll be hard to hear anyone else call the Tea Party “grassroots” anymore.