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Mark Ames, Yasha Levine, Alexander Zaitchik

Tea Party USA

This afternoon, groups of angry conservatives will gather on street corners and in parks across the country to protest.

They will carry signs and deliver speeches expressing outrage over the Democrats’ stimulus bill, over entitlements, over budget pork, over taxes. They will dump boxes of tea on the ground and wear three-cornered hats. The leading lights of the Republican Party will be on hand to cheer them on.

But as with so much on the right, these apparent displays of populist rage are not what they will seem.

Six weeks ago, two of us (Mark Ames and Yasha Levine) published an investigation exposing the nascent “Tea Party” protest movement for what it really is: a carefully planned AstroTurf (or “fake grassroots”) lobby campaign hatched and orchestrated by the conservative advocacy organization FreedomWorks. Within days, pieces of the scam had crumbled, exposing a small group of right-wing think tanks and shady nonprofits at its core. (more…)

Posted: April 15th, 2009