As a resident of Virginia and someone closely connected with a number of Tea Party leaders and activists, I know personally that Tom Donahue could be challenged as, well, drowning in the deep end of ignorance. And dismissing with a caustic insult the good work of good people — Tea Party people.
According to an article in USA Today:
Donahue, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told Bloomberg TV that the Tea Party’s role in the [Virginia 7th District primary] race was exaggerated. “The Tea Party had nothing to do with this,” he said. “They didn’t put any money in. They didn’t have any people there. It was sort of an attractive professor in a very, very conservative district in Virginia. And everybody was surprised.”
Just. Plain. Wrong. Donahue doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Period.
The Influence of the Tea Party-backed ground game for Cantor challenger Dave Brat was incredibly significant. As I said, I am close to a number of folks — Tea Party grassrooters — who worked long and hard to make Brat known to voters in the District.
One of those activists, Jamie Radtke, former U.S. Senate candidate and co-founder of the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation, made the case in an insightful piece she wrote for TheBullElephant.com, saying the #1 reason for Cantor’s stunning loss was:
GRASSROOTS DOMINATION: This is really the number one reason for victory last night. It cannot be emphasized enough the significance of the grassroots. Literally hundreds of individuals volunteered over the last five months to door knock and phone bank for Dave Brat.This was a ground game that was not put together overnight.
This was an organization of volunteers that started four years and grew stronger with each subsequent campaign. Dave Brat benefited from a strong foundation that had meticulously laid over the last four years by some amazing individuals.
So, while the better known “Tea Party” organizations may have not been intimately involved in the “Brat Pack”, numerous individuals with longstanding ties and allegiance to Tea Party principles and groups, made all the difference.
Mr. Donahue, as head of such a large business organization as the U.S. Chamber, you should know better than to open mouth and insert foot. Of course, your support of big-business-Republican-largesse might explain your rush to judgment.