H/t to @MelissaTweets for alerting us to this.
Update 9/11/11 It appears CBS5 in Phoenix has taken down their video however, I have found the text. It is here.
Every once in a while someone comes along who preys on the beliefs, tenets and successes of other people and entities and takes greed into their own hands to advance their own personal agenda and coffers.
Such could be the case with The Tea Party.net, their website header below:
At first glance their website looks great. We have the video, we have the voter registration drive which even links to a map of the US where one can learn how to register to vote. The website is immaculate and has no errors that I could find.
But when reports started pouring in about people who had signed up for email alerts being spammed with ads to buy gold, silverware and knick knacks and other items did things become suspicious.
CBS 5 in Phoenix broke the story last November and apparently because the rest of the country has been occupied with other matters like Egypt, Libya, budget deficits, and energy woes it escaped our notice. But not any longer.
If one scrolls down to the bottom of their home page, this is the “owner” of the website:
Paid for by Stop This Insanity Inc., a 501 c4. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. www. TheTeaParty.net
Glengary Inc. registered the website and the admin is one Todd Cefaratti in Gilbert, AZ. H/t to @erickbrockway.
Check out “Stop This Insanity” donor list. Notice anything unusual? Not the typical $10, $15, $25 donations. Instead we have $500, $600, $1,000, even several $5,000 donors.
Morgan Loew has this video report on TeaParty.net on Phoenix CBS5, sorry, no imbed code. Loew tells us that no one at a pre-election rally in Phoenix had ever heard of JointheTeaParty.us. And FYI JointheTeaParty.US links to The Tea Party.net.
Loew picks apart the FEC filing of this group, which also lists all these mega-donors, and this is the astounding find:
- They raked in nearly $500K, $469K to be exact, from January 2010 to October of 2010, the most of any Tea Party in Arizona.
- $4,500 for company travel.
- $23K for office expenses.
- $16.5K for pens, books and videos for donors
- $181,759 for marketing: Google, FaceBook and other ad companies, so every time you “google” “tea party US” they are the first to pop up.
- Not one DOLLAR spent on rallies or campaign expenses for Tea Party candidates.
And that’s not all. Thousands have logged into this group and typed in their personal information and credit card information and the group that runs the website is also into the “data collection” business. One of the companies they own sells people’s personal information to ReverseLeadClub.com in an attempt to sell reverse mortgages.
Reporter Loew attempted to interview Cefaratti however he refused and jumped into his Escalade. Note at the 4:20 mark on the video Cefaratti’s license plate reads “TEAPARTY1.”
I also advise people when hunting around for info to “also read the comments on blogs.” They can afford a veritable wealth of information not found elsewhere. And I found this little tidbit. TeaParty.net just happened to be a sponsor of the Media Lounge at CPAC this year. No conclusion drawn here, however. I found this on Free Republic, where someone, I can’t be sure who, from TeaParty.net chimed in multiple times. If one is so inclined one can read their comments.
Another piece of information I ran across is TeaParty.net is using Rock the Vote for their GOTV efforts. If one goes to the link on TeaParty.net’s sidebar under “register to vote” they come up as the entity handling the GOTV. TeaParty.net claims on their header they are “non-partisan” and to be registered as a “non-profit” they must be non-partisan, however, Rock the Vote is no where near being non-partisan. Rock the Vote is a client of Catalist. Catalist is a for-profit company and is a repository for voter records and registrants which is used only for progressive groups and Democrats. Whether or not TeaParty.net is aware of this I can’t say. However, the information is relatively easy to find. This is circumspect for anyone who has put as much effort into a website like TeaParty.net.
Billy Hallowell does an excellent job of explaining why and how Rock the Vote is not non-partisan.
TeaParty.net under its “Tea Party Racing” is also a sponsor of Chris Lafferty’s NASCAR Truck Series #89. Lafferty’s Motor Sport page shows the “Tea Party Racing” team-up. According to the Washington Times:
Chris Lafferty’s No. 89 truck will be known as “We the People’s” through the 2012 election. [snip]. Bill Wallace, the coach and general manager of Lafferty Motorsports LLC, wrote in a letter posted on TeaPartyRacing.com that the sponsorship will be funded with donations. Part of the donations made to TeaPartyRacing will go to Mr. Lafferty’s team, part to TheTeaParty.net.
Notice The Times makes no mention of the controversy surrounding TeaParty.net.
It always behooves anyone when making a donation to a company, website or individual to use care especially when giving out credit card information. While there is actually no absolute proof TeaParty.net is a “fake” I believe the evidence presented makes a fairly damning case against them. Based on the information provided above it’s also troublesome about where the dollars raked in from the NASCAR sponsorship will end up.
It’s possible if this group is proven to be false it could place a “black eye” on the Tea Party movement, however, it is this writer’s belief this is probably just a group out to make money by deceit and the Tea Party will live on and maintain its strength.
Caveat emptor. Buyer Beware.
Crossposted at Unified Patriots