National PAC Responds to Gateway Grassroots Endorsement Concerns
Last week, Gateway Grassroots Initiative (GGI) issued a press releaseconcerning a National PAC endorsement of a Missouri Senatorial Candidate. On March 22, 2012, Tea Party Express announced their endorsement of candidate Sarah Steelman for Senate, and presented her with a check for $2,500 in Kirkwood, Missouri, a western suburb of St. Louis. GGI immediately voiced their concerns over the top-down nature of the endorsement by a National Pac, and at least 18 other independent Tea Party organizations across the state followed suit.
The issue in question was not the candidate chosen for endorsement, but rather the fact that not a single leader of any Tea Party organization in Missouri had been contacted prior to the endorsement. . .leaving many to feel frustrated that this may not have been an accurate representation of the political pulse reflected by the “boots on the ground”. Additionally, the endorsement seemed quite a bit premature, as filing had not closed for the 2012 Election.
One week later, Freedomworks launched a mass-email campaign which garners the appearance of a National PAC reaching out to local grassroots activists for their feedback in the same Senate race, before making thier final decision for endorsement:
From: “Max Pappas – FreedomWorks” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mar 29, 2012 10:39 AM
Subject: Who do you support in the Missouri Senate race?
We’re being encouraged by our members and allies all across Missouri to make an endorsement for the Senate race and help them make a difference. We’re glad to, but we need to hear from you before we make this big decision.
I’m writing to ask you to please reply with answers to two important questions:
1. Who do you like for the U.S. Senate in Missouri and why?
2. And who do you not like for the U.S. Senate in Missouri and why?
I look forward to your reply to this email. As with our philosophy on government and markets, we believe those closest to the action know best and that’s you.
Thank you for your input.
Yours in Liberty,
Paid for by FreedomWorks PAC and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s
committee. Contributions to FreedomWorks PAC are not tax-deductible
for federal income tax purposes. www.FreedomWorksPAC.org
While GGI is encouraged by this survey of local citizens, what remains to be seen is the transparency of results by Freedomworks before the National PAC makes their final decision for endorsement. This gives residents the opportunity to have their voice heard, instead of simply having a national organization from another state define who their candidate will be.