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A new academic study confirms that front groups with longstanding ties to the tobacco industry and the billionaire Koch brothers planned the formation of the Tea Party movement more than a decade before it exploded onto the U.S. political scene.
Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) was a powerful industry-funded think tank, promoting deregulation. It was founded by Koch Industries interests and continues to maintain strong links. In 2003, an internal rift between CSE and its affiliated Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation led to a split in which CSEF was renamed as a separate organization, called Americans For Prosperity.
The study, funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health, traces the roots of the Tea Party's anti-tax movement back to the early 1980s when tobacco companies began to invest in third party groups to fight excise taxes on cigarettes, as well as health studies finding a link between cancer and secondhand cigarette smoke.
Many of the anti-science operatives who defended cigarettes are currently deploying their tobacco-inspired playbook internationally to evade accountability for the fossil fuel industry's role in driving climate disruption.
Rather than being a purely grassroots movement that spontaneously developed in 2009, the Tea Party has developed over time, in part through decades of work by the tobacco industry and other corporate interests. It is important for tobacco control advocates in the USA and internationally, to anticipate and counter Tea Party opposition to tobacco control policies and ensure that policymakers, the media and the public understand the longstanding connection between the tobacco industry, the Tea Party and its associated organisations.
On October 25, work began among Ron Paul's supporters to commemorate the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, starting with the Web-site TeaParty07.com. In support of the rally, Paul supporters purchased a blimp to display campaign messages to observers. On December 16, 2007, Ron Paul supporters re-enacted the dumping of tea into Boston Harbor by tossing banners that read "Tyranny" and "no taxation without representation" into boxes that were in the harbor. Ron Paul supporters also gathered in several other cities as part of the Tea Party re-enactment, including Strasbourg, France, Santa Monica, California, Maui, Hawaii, and Freeport and Austin, Texas. Paul himself tossed a barrel labelled "Iraq War" overboard at the Tea Party Re-enactment in Freeport, Texas. The Austin Police Department estimates 2000 to 3000 attendees at the Austin Tea Party.
The common public understanding of the origins of the Tea Party is that it is a popular grassroots uprising that began with anti-tax protests in 2009. However, the Quarterback study reveals that in 2002, the Kochs and tobacco-backed CSE designed and made public the first Tea Party Movement website under the web address www.usteaparty.com.
Originally posted by TDawgRex
Oops, I guess they already did. It's the only thing they can fall back on. No proof or anything...not that they need it. Just as long as they believe it.
The Tea Party movement is composed of a loose affiliation of national and local groups that determine their own platforms and agendas without central leadership. The Tea Party movement has been cited as an example of grassroots political activity, although it has also been described as an example of astroturfing.
Originally posted by XPLodER
reply to post by BritofTexas
you do realise the right wing guys will not believe you,
even with the financial records and meeting minutes.
these "think tanks" looked at how to "whip up" populism and direct it from behind the scenes,
ever notice the top down structure of the tea party?
there is no bottom up control, or renewable energy, or the environment or labelling GMO s would have become a major issue.
in fact most of their top down directives only serve a few big powerful industries.
it is a best a PR campaign and at worst a cy-op for big tabbacco and oil.
at least this thread asks some tough questions
Dear Senator Murray:
For many months now, your colleagues in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee leadership have engaged in a series of disparagements and ad hominem attacks about us, apparently as part of a concerted political and fundraising strategy. Just recently, Senator Reid wrote in a DSCC fundraising letter that Republicans are trying to “force through their extreme agenda faster than you can say ‘Koch Brothers.’”
So you can imagine my chagrin when I got a letter from you on June 17 asking us to make five-figure contributions to the DSCC. You followed that up with a voicemail* indicating that, if we contributed heavily enough, we would garner an invitation to join you and other Democratic leaders at a retreat in Kiawah Island this September.
I’m hoping you can help me understand the intent of your request because it’s hard not to conclude that DSCC politics have become so cynical that you actually expect people whom you routinely denounce to give DSCC money.
It is troubling that private citizens taking part in the discourse have become the targets of White House and DSCC fundraising missives, and we would certainly encourage you to rethink that approach. Ultimately, I expect voters will see through that and will weigh the issues on the merits alone. But in the meantime, if you could provide me some insight on what exactly you are asking of us and why, I would be most grateful.
President, Government & Public Affairs
Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC
So just to clear this up, when Republicans take Koch money, it's an evil conspiracy to "force through their extreme agenda." When Democrats want their money, they see no problem inviting them to a lavish retreat, presumably to discuss their thoughts on policy.