"I felt like the Republican Party didn't represent my values," Mark Meckler, one of two national spokesmen for the Tea Party Patriots, told Southern Nevada's TheUnion.com this past Saturday. "The political parties represent entrenched interests . . . and they never do what they say."
Meckler knows mucho about never doing what he says. A new report shows he was recently paid to help a campaign launched by one of the GOP's largest lobbying groups, the Lincoln Club of Orange County.
Talking Points Memo's Muckraker reported Tuesday that the NorCal lawyer also helped run a political consulting firm with ties to Republicans in Washington, D.C.
That was curious, because Meckler told Muckraker in January, "The major parties in this nation haven't represented the American people."
Meckler's involvement with the Lincoln Club campaign was first reported last month by Red County. He was paid $7,500 for "petition circulation management" by the "Citizen Power Campaign Supported by the Lincoln Club of Orange County," state disclosure records show.
Rancho Santa Margarita Newport Beach-based Lincoln Club of Orange County, whose website takes credit for helping pass Prop. 13 and recalling Governor Gray Davis, is composed of some of the region's most powerful businesspeople. That would seem to put its interests at odds with "the Tea Party's more populist, anti-corporate ethos," Muckraker notes
But give the well-heeled, not-so-honest Abe lovers credit: they can spot easy marks like you can spot stop signs. And the Lincoln Clubbers really, really, really want to see the Citizen Power Campaign succeed. Muckraker:
It aims to gather enough signatures from voters to place a measure on the ballot this November which would make it illegal to use taxpayer money, deducted from the paychecks of public employees, for political activity. That would take away a key source of funding for the state's public employees union, and make it more difficult for pro-labor candidates to get elected.
Passing the initiative, often known as "paycheck protection," has long been a goal of the state GOP, and the effort was endorsed earlier this year by Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and gubernatorial hopeful Steve Poizner, among other California Republicans.
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But what about the people? You know, us rubes who the teabaggers claim to represent. We voters have already rejected paycheck protection initiatives in 1998 and 2005, both times by 53-47 margins.
The rank-and-file 'baggers would probably be more disturbed by Meckler's GOP entanglements feeding fears that their movement is being hijacked by Republican operatives.
It's small wonder, then, that Meckler just sent Muckraker a detailed response where he admits to getting paid by the Lincoln Club of Orange County. As for the GOP in D.C., he says of tea baggers, "We align with folks who share our values on particular projects and initiatives."
Gee, perhaps you all should start a political party. Oops, already did. In 1854.