Reuters reports on the next steps for the nationwide Tea Party movement. It's not going away, despite struggles with the Obama Administration's IRS to get tax exempt status. It's "becoming more professional."
Five years in, the Tea Party movement is at a crossroads. The group famous for its disdain of big government and big spending is torn between becoming more professional to increase its influence on the Republican Party and win elections or remaining a primarily local, amateur grassroots movement.
Tea Party Patriots is going professional, including launching a Super PAC called Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund that raised $6.4 million in 2013, its first year. Nearly 90,000 individuals donated to the PAC in the second half of the year.
Group co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, who wore T-shirts to rallies years ago and turned up at the Hyatt in a turquoise jacket and skirt, said the move to create a Super PAC to engage in political campaigning "reflects the interests of our grassroots members."
It allows the group to dive into elections in a way that its nonprofit organization cannot by law, endorsing some candidates and attacking others.