Who is the Tea Party Congress?

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower - Mon., 9/12/11
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Seems like this would be an easy question to answer, but it turns out that we could find no group, including the tea party’s own organizations, that has made a complete list, or at least they’ve not made one public. So, the Lowdown’s ace fact diggers dug out the names themselves, presented below in three categories for everyone’s political edification.

I. Endorsed and elected as tea partiers in 2010

Note that there is no such thing as the Tea Party. The movement has no formal political entity for holding primaries or conventions, nor does the tea party name appear on general election ballots. Instead, "official" tea party candidates are those who're endorsed by FreedomWorks or the Tea Party Express--both of which are creatures of Dick Armey and his billionaire backers. Last year was the first congressional election with candidates endorsed as "tea partiers" and at least 26 of them won, all elected as Republicans. There may be more, but these are the ones we could find--if you know of others, please send their names (along with any backup material attesting to their tea partiness) to lowdown@pipeline.com.

NAME: CITY/STATE

  • Mo Brooks: Huntsville, AL
  • Rick Crawford: Jonesboro, AR
  • Tim Griffin: Little Rock, AK
  • Paul Gosar: Flagstaff, AZ
  • Tom Graves: Ranger, GA
  • Raul Labrado: Eagle, ID
  • Bobby Schilling: Colona, IL
  • Adam Kinzinger: Manteno, IL
  • Todd Young: Bloomington, IN
  • Marlin Stutzman: Howe, IN
  • Mike Pompeo: Wichita, KS
  • Jeff Landry: New Iberia, LA
  • Dan Benishek: Iron County, MI
  • Tim Walberg: Tipton, MI
  • Steven Palazzo: Biloxi, MS
  • Vicky Hartzler: Archie, MO
  • Jon Runyan: Mount Laurel, NJ
  • Ann Marie Buerkle: Syracuse, NY
  • Nan Hayworth: Mount Kisco, NY
  • Renee Ellmers: Dunn, NC
  • Steve Stivers: Columbus, OH
  • Joe Wilson: West Columbia, SC
  • Tim Scott : Charleston, SC
  • Kristi Noem: Castlewood, SD
  • Jaime Herrera Beutler : Camas, WA
  • Sean Duffy: Ashland, WI
  • Reid Ribble: Appleton, WI
  • Paul Ryan: Janesville, WI

II. Members of the tea party caucus

Formed early this year by Rep. Michele Bachmann, who chairs it, the caucus is open to all lawmakers who want to wear the tea party label (interestingly, about two dozen of the tea party-endorsed candidates who won last year have chosen not to join Bachmann's group). There are 61 members in the House caucus, plus four members of a Senate caucus. All are Republicans.

ALABAMA
Robert Aderholt

ARIZONA
Trent Franks

CALIFORNIA
Wally Herger
Tom McClintock
Gary Miller
Ed Royce

COLORADO
Mike Coffman
Doug Lamborn

GEORGIA
Paul Broun
Phil Gingrey
Tom Price
Lynn Westmoreland

FLORIDA
Sandy Adams
Gus Bilirakis
Ander Crenshaw
Rich Nugent
Dennis Ross
Cliff Stearns
Allen West

ILLINOIS
Joe Walsh

INDIANA
Mike Pence

IOWA
Steve King

KANSAS
Tim Huelskamp
Lynn Jenkins
Sen. Jerry Moran

KENTUCKY
Sen. Rand Paul

LOUISIANA
Rodney Alexander
Bill Cassidy
John Fleming
Jeff Landry
Steve Scalise

MARYLAND
Roscoe Bartlett

MICHIGAN
Tim Walberg

MINNESOTA
Michele Bachmann
Chip Cravaack

MISSOURI
Todd Akin
Vicky Hartzler
Blaine Luetkemeyer

MONTANA
Denny Rehberg

NEBRASKA
Adrian Smith

NEW MEXICO
Steve Pearce

NORTH CAROLINA
Howard Coble

SOUTH CAROLINA
Sen. Jim DeMint
Jeff Duncan
Mick Mulvaney
Tim Scott
Joe Wilson

TENNESSEE
Diane Black
Stephen Fencher
Phil Roe

TEXAS
Joe Barton
Michael C. Burgess
John Carter
John Culberson
Blake Farenthold
Louie Gohmert
Kenny Marchant
Randy Neugebauer
Ted Poe
Pete Sessions
Lamar Smith

UTAH
Rob Bishop
Sen. Mike Lee

WEST VIRGINIA
David McKinley

Tea Party "allies"

These are GOP lawmakers who were not tea party endorsees and are not in the caucus, but they provide the margin of votes and the hard-right leadership in Congress to push the extremist laissez-faire agenda forward. It includes many of the committee chairs and other leaders in the House. There is no definitive list of these players (much of this action is behind closed doors), but Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Jim Jordan of Ohio (chair of the GOP's powerful "study committee") have been the most aggressive House allies, helping the tea partiers shove the GOP's congressional center to the far-right fringe. In addition, all eight Republicans running for president are allies, with the likes of Bachmann, Perry, and Santorum often scuttling beyond the fringe in a frenetic but unabashed effort to appeal to the kookiest of right-wing factions.



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