Campaign 2014: Tea Party Candidates

Proving there’s never a dull day in Montana politics, the Montana Tea Party Coalition (MTPC) is somewhat up in arms over reports that certain candidates are being portrayed in the media as “Tea Party Candidates.”

The way it looks to us outsiders is that MTPC is kind of like the “Mothership” for the Tea Party groups in Montana. They contend to be “a loosely organized coalition of Tea Party organizations from around the state.”

So they (MTPC) issued a press release. You can read it HERE. They say, “Tea Party groups as a matter of policy do not endorse, support or oppose any candidate for public office or support or oppose any political party.”

Tom Balek, from the “Rockin’ On The Right Side” blog wrote about the issue HERE saying, “there are ZERO ‘Tea Party Candidates’ in Montana” and ends his column with, “And please guys, next time you have an issue or a question about the Tea Party, would you just call us and ask?”

Basically, the MTPC does not want to be connected to Drew Turiano, the Republican U.S. House candidate who was not allowed to speak at the Yellowstone County Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner because they said appearing there would allow “him a platform to spread hate and intolerance.” Turiano had called himself the Tea Party Candidate and contended that’s the reason he was turned away from the Yellowstone County Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner.

In a recent interview with the Billings Gazette, Turiano said, “I just call myself a Tea Party Republican. I just believe in their philosophy. I guess they’re trying to distance themselves from me. I’m the only guy running as a Tea Party Republican.”

And with that statement, Turiano probably hit the nail on the head.

The MTPC has a mission statement on their website that, in part, says their mission is to “pursue the common principles of Constitutionally-limited government, reduced government spending and free markets.”

Just about any candidate can say he/she agrees with that mission statement in some way.

I do, but I have yet to vote for anyone associated with the Tea Party, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I know it’s hard to control groups like this, but some of the folks who contend they are associated with the Tea Party have turned me and several other people off with their methods, their jokes, their photos, and their displays.

There’s a saying about a bad apple (or apples) spoiling the whole barrel. I think that fits here.


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