ABC News’ Huma Khan reports: Tea Party Patriots today announced that it has received $1 million from an anonymous donor to disburse to local organizations before the mid-term elections.
Tea Party Patriots is an umbrella group for local Tea Party groups that, unlike its counterparts, doesn’t directly endorse candidates. At a press conference today, organizers insisted that none of this new money will be used for direct endorsements or go to PACs.
That’s not to say the money won’t be going toward election efforts. In fact, it has to be fully disbursed before the election and will be used for “Get out the Vote” efforts.
An overwhelming number of Tea Party-backed candidates are Republicans, and some like Joe Miller, Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell have risen on the back of Tea Party support. Yet, Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, founders of Tea Party Patriots, today insisted they don’t back specific candidates.
“We want to make sure people are out there voting for fiscal responsibility,” Meckler said.
The leaders of the group also took the opportunity to take a jab at their fellow Tea Party groups, particularly Tea Party Express, which has seen an upsurge in funding thanks to its successful endorsements in Alaska and Delaware.
“They’re a top down organization designed to make political expenditures based on what a small elite leadership team based out of a Republican consulting firm in Sacramento decides is good in any particular race,” Meckler said. “That’s essentially the exact opposite of how we operate. We’re interested in supporting people on the ground. ... People who are swinging this election are people on the ground.”
President Obama on Monday challenged Tea Party groups to propose concrete ideas about how spending should be cut.
“We’re happy to take him up on that,” Martin said.
The group has launched a suggestion area on its web site where its members can submit ideas for the president. The best of those will be sent to Obama.
“We find it ironic that the solutions that are being requested are being requested from the Tea Party as opposed to those who’ve been elected and are paid ultimately to make these decisions,” Meckler said.
Tea Party Patriots is a registered tax-exempt, non-profit organization and hence not required by law to disclose its donors.