The Tea Party Express is a FRAUD – redux

Originally published as It’s August and We’re Into Reruns 21 August 2011
{note: many links are, alas, dead.}

Two [reruns], in fact. Thursday’s last Daily Show before a two-week hiatus featured a familiar graph:

Recognize it?

Yup, you saw it here first, on April 16, 2010

Why I even showed this chart on the overhead projector at Steve Candy’s Political Science Class where I got to debate an actual Tea-Partier last year.

But it’s from “Let Them Eat Cake With Their Tea,” which is short and well worth re-reading. You can watch the clip or the entire Daily Show episode here:

Yeah. That’s not even a respectable TIP.

But the reprint is also reasonably short, and considering that the “Tea Party Nation” and the “Tea Party Express” were just touring Wisconsin in the past couple of weeks, you might want to take a gander at this:

28 MARCH 2010 · 4:24 PM

April Fool’s Day Came Early This Year

The fools in this case being our national media.

“victim” NotSoBreitbart

Listen to Joseph Pulitzer:

“A free press should always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice and corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy for the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare,”

Joseph Pulitzer (That “prize” guy.)

I guess that one’s been tossed overboard. The reporting on this event is DREADFUL. Worse, it’s propaganda and snake oil, and any halfway competent journalist wouldn’t accept ANY of this stuff at face value, but, instead, our corporate shills for the oligarchy swallow it hook, line and sinker.

But first, I need to give you the thesis that I’m going to be carrying around the USA this summer: We are at a crucial crossroads of history. We are about to lose home rule (via anonymous and onymous outside “contributions”); we are about to lose self-governance (ditto) and we are about to lose a free press in favor of a corporate P.R. press (ditto) that serve unseen plutocratic masters who care not a damn about us.


The so-called populist “tea party” movement has been completely and utterly co-opted by the shadowy plutocrats (or, kleptocrats, if you will) and their media manipulators, as was seen yesterday in the “Tea Party” rally in Searchlight, Nevada.

As usual, a smallish event (less than 10,000, estimated at 7,000 by the Nevada State Police) was PRE-advertised as 10,000, REPORTED from the press release as 10,000 and then is being hyped as much MORE than 10,000 with ANOTHER “fish story” from Jim Hoft, the new Confederate Wanker of the ruling elite (they move their point man around, you know, to keep it all “grass rootsy”).

Now, why would I attack the sanctity of the “Tea Party Express III”?

The only thing authentic here is Sen. Harry Reid

I mean, OTHER than it’s fake and a media manipulation from Russo Marsh + Rogers, a Sacramento political shop (“public relations”) with deep ties to the old California GOP of Nixon, Reagan and the Gray Davis recall?* (* As I reported in 2005 and have, ever since, to the sound of crickets, until recently. See: Swift Boat Moms in Winnebagos 30 Aug 05.)

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because I can smell BS when it’s piled this high. We begin with the panties in a bunch kerfuffle of which “Founding Bloggers” and the “Official” press release got the vapors about. FB:

The “official” Press Release from PR firm “paramount communication” (seemingly):

Harry Reid Supporters Egg Tea Party Express Buses in Route [sic]

“Paramount Communication”?

Yeah, registered by Proxy (i.e. anonymously) through Godaddy in 2005. Their “mission” is to:

As the email marketing industry grew, emphasis shifted from a “batch and blast” mentality toward increasing relevance through targeting and segmentation. The proprietary database we access through our relationship with Digital River (NASDAQ:DRIV) gives us a real competitive advantage by allowing virtually unlimited segmentation capabilities. As marketers learned more about the possibilities Paramount’s unique database configuration offered them straight out of the box, we began attracting large retail clients who were eager to tap into our strategic knowledge … [from their “overview” page]

Yeah. Straight email publicity group. Which tells you how straight up corporate this operation is, right up front. The actual URL is the first time I’ve ever seen an emailed Press Release at the top of Memeorandum: [and a lot of coded numbers follow, indicating the hosted email account, in this case, Levi Russell, or Levi AT

So, somebody knows how to “game” the system, in this case TPE (Tea Party Express, The Bus] spokeserpent “Levi Russell” of Frontline Strategies, LLC, whose email address appears on the press release.

Whois Frontline? Well, they registered their domain with GoDaddy, as well, in 2008:


Created on: 26-Jun-08

At this rather exclusive address in the suburbs east of Sacramento, California (count the number of swimming pools in the photo):

The domain was registered by Brent Louder of, who happens to be the COO of the California GOP. San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 18, 2010:

CA GOP COO Brent Lowder addressed the debate controversy publicly Thursday in much the same way that we reported earlier this week:

“We are currently moving forward with a convention that has no planned debates in the GOP primaries for Governor or United States Senate because our discussions with the campaigns did not indicate that all candidates would participate. If we were to hear from all of the major candidates in either of those primaries that they would like the CRP to facilitate a debate at the convention, we would be pleased to do so.”

Cozy. And Louder wants the GOP to swallow up the Tea Partiers (SF Chronicle13 Dec. 2009):

While the California Republican Party initially distanced itself from the Tea Partiers, it is looking for ways to include them at their convention in March, and plans to meet with local groups in January, state GOP Chief Operating Officer Brent Lowder said.

“If we were arrogant and assumed they were with us, that could be deadly,” Lowder said. “We are ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them.”

And here is their publicly available information from the California Secretary of State:

Entity Number: 200817610290
Date Filed: 06/24/2008
Status: ACTIVE
Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
Entity Address: 2261 LAVA RIDGE CT.
Entity City, State, Zip: ROSEVILLE CA 95661
Agent for Service of Process: DAVID C. WADE
Agent Address: 2261 LAVA RIDGE CT.
Agent City, State, Zip: ROSEVILLE CA 95661

6-24-08 is two days prior to registering their domain, 6-26-08.

But then, they changed slightly in 2009 (this is a new iteration of the old company):

Entity Number: 200910710071
Date Filed: 04/16/2009
Status: ACTIVE
Jurisdiction: DELAWARE
Entity Address: 110 NEWPORT CENTER DR STE 200
Entity City, State, Zip: NEWPORT BEACH CA 92660
Agent for Service of Process: ERIC BEACH
Agent Address: 110 NEWPORT CENTER DR STE 200
Agent City, State, Zip: NEWPORT BEACH CA 92660

Notice the change from a California to a Delaware Corporation, which kills most transparency.

Which probably explains why their webpage domain was registered in 2008 but the LLC was registered in 2009. And why “marketing director” Levi Russell is listed as working for Frontline Strategies LLC.

And here’s some news about them (or, rather planted BY them), from the Frontline Strategies & Media webpage, whose domain — — was registered in 2008 to that swimming pools address pictured above [emphasis added]:


Bay Area News Actors join Move America Forward’s ‘Troopathon

By Josh Richman

Celebs continue gravitating to the June 25 “Troopathon” conceived by the Sacramento-based, grassroots conservative Move America Forward to send the largest-ever shipment of care packages to U.S. troops serving overseas. The organization announced Monday that actors Kelsey Grammer and Gary Sinise have joined others including talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin; former Vice President Dick Cheney, actor Jon Voight, and columnist/blogger Michelle Malkin on the lineup for the “Honor Their Service” event. (Read More)

Ventura County Star Packages to troops planned The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library will host a fundraising campaign June 25 to send the largest-ever shipment of care packages to troops serving overseas. The Honor Their Service event will include a telethon-style broadcast, aimed at raising funds for the shipment. Some of the key participants will includes Rush Limbaugh, Jon Voight, Mark Levin, former President George H.W. Bush and Laura Ingraham. (Read More)

Fox News’ Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld Miss California Carrie Prejean promotes Move America Forward’s Troopathon on Fox News. (Watch Video)

[2011 Note: The New York Times talks about this very sort of exploitation in an op-ed piece today.]

And, just in case you were wondering what MAF is doing right now?

Evidently they smear better than they spell

Gee. Do I really have to say more about them? This is the “Tea Party Express” and their “grass roots” movement’s official PR firm (and the MoveForwardAmerica, now Our Country Deserves Better PAC PR firm). Very cosy.

Any resemblance to the Hannity soldiers’ charity scam
(not interesting to the media) scandal may not be entirely coincidental …

You’d think that any reporter might have some idea, except that the media is in bed with these serpents, and it never occurs to them that a well-connected PR astroturf group that changes its name the way a snake sheds its skin, might NOT be exactly a “people’s movement” — connected with Laura Ingraham, Carrie Prejean, Rush Limbaugh, and Dick Cheney, just exactly HOW would it be labelled as “grass roots” and “Tea Party”?

Naw. Even their ‘sponsors’ are basically phony. Just take a look at the organizations “sponsoring” the Tea Party Express III Tour.

More on this tomorrow

The Nevada domain was only registered on March 24! And Mark Williams is “sponsoring” his own JOB, fer chrissakes (he’s the “VP” of Our Country Deserves Better PAC.) This is embarrassing. There is not time to go further here, but suffice it to say that I did some digging and all of them, more or less, are as sneaky and/or bogus as the P.R. machine behind the TPE III.

Oh, and Levi Russell? He’s listed (appropriately) as the “Marketing Director” for Frontline Strategies, LLC. You draw your own conclusions about how he was able to spam a press release to the top of Memeorandum even before the event got fully underway.

And for all you “socialist” hating Teabaggers out there, he was educated at “Luleå tekniska universitet” in Sweden.

Spokesperson Levi Russell –
from the Our Country Deserves Better PAC
staff page, whose “Tea Party Express” it is

So, these serpents, these professional political snake oil salesmen roll into a tight Nevada hardrock mining community of 800, with a close-knit Mormon community and a favorite son, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, and they expect the townspeople to be HAPPY about their smear campaign?

Their “grass roots” smear campaign?

Their “tea party” campaign?

But all this “Grass roots” came to a head when ‘Marketing Director’ Levi Russell exploited, in the best publicity flak manner, a minor incident yesterday: Some protesters threw eggs at the bus. Evidently egg shell fragments injured, maimed and killed many bystanders (to judge from the commentary) and the eggs themselves destroyed the bus mechanically, stranding it in the Nevada desert.

Oh, the humanity! Oh, the publicity!

The exact moment that the eggs struck the bus

And then the classic “I’m shocked, SHOCKED to find gambling going on!!” pants-wetting of the wingnut blogosmear™:
Harry Reid Supporters Egg Tea Party Express Buses in Route

–Discussion: Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit: Andrew Breitbart Describes Unhinged Harry Reid Supporters …

ZIP / Weasel Zippers:Big Government: Andrew Breitbart Describes Unhinged Harry Reid … (literally an echo to push Hoft’s post to the top of Memeorandum)

Kenneth P. Vogel* / The Politico: Tea partiers push back after bad week

Meredith Jessup / Threats & Eggs Hurled at Tea Partiers in Nevada

Left Coast Rebel: Tea Party Activists Show up in Searchlight, Nevada, to Send …

Sister Toldjah: Tea Party rally in Searchlight, NV draws 8-10 thousand

And, just posted:

[* Politico‘s Ken Vogel has been carrying a LOT of water for the “tea party” this past week:

And, a completely pro-“Tea Party” report on how TP leaders “condemn” all violence, which is more a press release than a news story:

And those were just Vogel’s pro-TP tales this week on Politico.]
[NOTE 2011: Mr. Vogel caught on by the end of the tour, but by the time he’d found the ‘smoking gun,’ nobody noticed or cared.]
from the Tea Party Express for
the Wisconsin recall election

And right now, Jim Hoft (the amazing St. Louis “seer” who “knows” how many people show up at a rally ihow many show up in the Nevada desert the next, all the while never leaving his commode/laptop in Missouri) is shrieking that hundreds of millions showed up:

Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit: CNN on Size of Searchlight Tea Party Rally: “Hundreds of People, At Least Dozens”

Except that 7,000 to 10,000 people (allowing them their highest REAL claim, and not any Jim Hoft “fish” stories) that’s not much of a crowd. Drag racing draws that many. Basketball games draw that many. There’s nothing NATIONAL about that dinky a crowd, unless. UNLESS WE ARE BEING MANIPULATED by a complicit and corrupt PRESS. Exactly like Sarah Palin’s speech to the fake “Tea Party Convention” in Nashville, last month, where 200 journalists witnessed a speech to 600 “delegates” — sponsored for (profit) by one of the Tea Party Express III’s’ sponsors, as we’ll see tomorrow.

I left an appropriately snide comment on of the few rightie blogs that ALLOW comments:

Ooooh, jackboot in and insult the residents of a small town in Nevada and get eggs thrown at your bus!!?!?

  • Sure hope the bus wasn’t destroyed and has to spend weeks in the shop.
  • Sure hope the bus occupants weren’t fatally wounded by the flying eggshells.
  • Hope nobody was hospitalized.

And, most sincerely: Hope you don’t wet your beds trying to get to sleep after all that “violence” and trauma.

For such big tough talkers, you sure are a bunch of pathetic little fraidy cats.

Snide: yes. Accurate? Also YES.

If they can’t take that AFTER all the hate they dish out, well, point proven. Quod erat demonstrandum(b). (And I DO mean DUMB.)

Which, naturally drew a snide response. Which is to be expected, but, seriously, the racist and hate stuff (including the signs last week) “why that never happened!”??!? But, insult a small mining town and get eggs tossed at your bus, and you’d think it was goddamned Nine-Eleven.

Meet your teabagger:

From the (Whatever name they call themselves this week) Website:

Sal Russo, Chief Strategist

Sal Russo got his start in politics by working as a Special Assistant to Ronald Reagan. Mr. Russo has spent over 30 years in the field of political consulting and public affairs … He has been a senior advisor to several Republican presidential campaigns.

Not only are these people idiots (albeit genuinely angry) but those with whom they are angry can twist them around their little fingers as easily as Delilah destroyed Samson.

Meet your teabagger:

From the (Whatever name they call themselves this week) Website:

Hon. Howard Kaloogian, Chairman

The Honorable Howard Kaloogian (Republican-California, 1994-2000) serves as Chairman of the Our Country Deserves Better PAC. Aproud conservative, Kaloogian served as Assistant Republican Leader in the California State Assembly during his six-year term in office. Kaloogian has been a leader in numerous conservative causes. In 2003 he launched the historic Recall Gray Davis Committee, which helped recall Democratic Governor Gray Davis – the first recall of a statewide official in California history. Kaloogian made countless national media appearances advocating on behalf of the recall effort, such as thisappearance on MSNBC’s Buchanan & Press.

Considering Ronald Reagan to be his greatest political hero, Kaloogian not only served as member of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, but he also went on to lead the Defend Reagan Committee. You can read an Op/Ed Mr. Kaloogian penned on the pro-Reagan committee’s efforts here.

In a very real way, Tea Partiers, I’m on your side.

I am for the little guy against the giant multinational megacorporation. I’m in favor of self-rule. But you’re being conned by the very people who sold you up the river, who bankrupted you, eroded or destroyed your social security, your pensions, and sold you two wars that they profited from while sinking you and killing your kids.

lonegan palin tea party rallylonegan palin tea party rally

And I’m foursquare against the people who HIRED Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber, and have a whole money-making scam going to keep fired Right Wing radio hosts working even when no radio station will HIRE them.

Good grief.

But don’t worry your little head about it. There’s nothing to worry about. The media isn’t bought, sold, comatose and compliant.

“A free press should always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice and corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy for the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare.”

– Joseph Pulitzer

… April Fool!

Egg on the media. In that Searchlighty way, I mean.



Wayne Allyn Root (of California) in Mississippi last month

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