Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Tea Party Groups forming fundraising PACs


"At the end of the day, you have to vote -- and vote for candidates. Rallies can only get you so far," said Mark Skoda, who in July founded the Memphis Tea Party PAC, the first federal PAC on record to bear the "tea party" moniker. "Creating political action committees is a good thing for us. It's a logical outcome of the growth of the movement."

For Kimberly Curtis, who last month founded the North Carolina-based Tea Party PAC of the USA, contributing more than $1,000 a month to PAC-endorsed candidates' campaigns ranks high among her goals.

"We're small, but everybody on both sides of the aisle better take a step back and take notice to what's happening here," she said. "The PAC will help us get the word out and allow us to seek, endorse and support conservative candidates."

Curtis acknowledged thinking twice before creating a PAC, explaining that her local tea partiers "were struggling to figure out the best way to move forward this year -- should we start a PAC, or should we stay decentralized?"

In the end, she said, a PAC seemed to be the best vehicle to promote candidates in whom they believed.

The federal PACs founded by Skoda and Curtis are joined by five others:

· Tea Party PAC of New York City, N.Y. (December 17)
· Tea Party PAC Inc. of McLean, Va. (December 29)
· Tea Party Patriots PAC Inc. of McLean, Va. (January 15)
· Independence Hall Tea Party PAC of Chelteham, Pa. (February 19)
· Tea Party Coalition of Clarence, N.Y. (February 25)