FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2010
STATEMENT BY GATEWAY GRASSROOTS ON TEA PARTY EXPRESS ENDORSEMENT
Earlier this morning the Tea Party Express arrived in St. Louis and announced an endorsement in the Missouri Senate Republican primary. This was done without consulting or reaching out to local groups to gauge whether or not their endorsement was a wise one. We feel that this was an important and crucial step that the Tea Party Express missed and it has the potential to discredit the organization in the eyes of Missouri voters.
We feel that all politics are local and that grassroots in our area have worked very hard to develop our voice and vetting process for candidates. We are disappointed that a national group such as the Tea Party Express failed to include in their decision-making process the very people that have actually sat down with these candidates and lived under their elected leadership.
Furthermore, while we understand that the Tea Party Express is a PAC and not an organizational group, the endorsement carries the implication of a “tea party candidate,” of which there is no such title. We understand that while the Tea Party Express as a PAC may choose to endorse, groups such as ours explicitly do not, unless in extenuating circumstances, especially in a primary when the official filing is not yet closed, and especially when there is clearly more than one conservative in the primary. It goes against the tea party aesthetic to encourage civic participation locally but then, as a national group, to override the wishes of the local groups who do most of the donating and most of the heavy lifting during an election.
In the future, we hope that the importance and influence of local grassroots groups are not ignored and that the city in which they work to change for the better is acknowledged as more than a backdrop for an endorsement.
The Gateway Grassroots Initiative