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Republicans see conspiracy in tea party candidates

As election qualifying ended Friday, the dust settled with a dozen or more tea party candidates challenging state lawmakers in contested races.

Republicans see a conspiracy theory: a number of the tea party candidates are former Democrats, some appear financially strapped to pay the $1,800 filing and others are filing to run in districts far away from their listed address. A number of the seats are also targeted by Democrats for takeover.

"The recent flurry of last minute filings by so –called “tea party candidates” looks awfully suspicious," said GOP Chairman John Thrasher in a statement. "While a few tea-party candidates across the state do have ties to the tea party movement, in the majority of instances, it appears that the Democrats have coordinated a dishonest attempt to hide phony candidates behind the name “tea party” and to confuse voters who may be supportive of the tea party movement, effectively stealing votes from true conservative candidates and injuring the grassroots tea party movement as a whole."

(Sound familiar? Democrats sounded a similar alarm two years ago with the mysterious emergence of "Green Party" candidates. Read more here and here.)

A number of the tea party candidates we called referred us to Fred O'Neal, the head of the party. (Though remember there is a dispute about this, too.) O'Neal, a registered Democrat before becoming a tea party member, said the GOP theory is ridiculous. He said he is just following through on his promise to recruit challengers for Republican lawmakers who supported the SunRail project in the December special session.

One of the candidates is Victoria Torres, a 51-year-old Orlando resident who filed to run in District 51, currently held by Democrat Janet Long, who lives in Seminole in Pinellas County.

"It's not that we are out to help Democrats," he said. "We are out to hurt Republicans who are for fiscal responsibility and who are not."

He said the party helped pay candidate's filing fees (one candidate from the Orlando area lists a net worth of $4,500) and will help with campaigning. "Republicans really need to worry about their own business," he said. "A number of them will probably go to jail for tax problems."

The Democratic party said something similar. "Despite their beliefs, the black helicopters are not coming to get John Thrasher," said Eric Jotkoff, a party spokesman. "Maybe they should spent more time cleaning up their party."


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It is great to see the tea party putting up candidates!
Can't wait to vote the other two parties out.

Todd P.

The voters should just vote for the MOST CONSERVATIVE candidate on the ballot and NEVER vote for the LIBERTY-ROBBING, HIGH-TAXING, MORALLY BANKRUPT Democrat candidates. Voters, your very FREEDOM DEPENDS on it!!..........


"It's not that we are out to help Democrats," he said. "We are out to hurt Republicans who are for fiscal responsibility and who are not."

This quote is confusing and I'm not sure who it is attributed to?

grandma gail

The exact Corruption We the REAL TEA PARTY,,, were standing together trying to clean up... Now this group of Florida TEA PARTY " Political PARTY" jumps in riding on the Tea Party name
Jumping into the Mud .... Thanks a lot.... now you have associated the Tea Party name with everything we stand against...Like corrupt Politics as usual. I am glad to see the they are finding out about the corrupt dealings of Gayson and Getzlow, but as you know anything bad about Tea Party makes good news for the media. How true especially when it is negative. Do you see any media giving much time of day for the True Tea Party people? NO not on their life..I think they should have spelled out the fact that this Florida Tea Party 'Political Party" is not The TEA PARTY PEOPLE we do not support them. My Plea to Peg, and anyone running with the Political Tea,, God Bless you as I believe you got involved in this with all good intentions for your country. That said: The Florida Tea Party’s actions have indeed upset those of us who are the real “Tea Party,” a true grass-roots movement not linked to any one party. Conservative Republicans, libertarians, and Independents alike should fear that this will split the vote… We need to stand on Fiscal Responsibility and Constitutional laws that this country was founded on. United we stand divided we fall means a lot at this point… seeing where our Country is today we cannot take any chances.. Calling on you Peg and all others running under this Fla.Political Tea name to step down and run on your own merits without the confusion of this third party confusing the voters on all sides.. Do it for our grandchildren … our countries future depends on every seat. We all must make tough choices, put your country first. Leave nothing to chance… We can’t allow this progressive takeover of our America. Pray about it and please do the right thing.. Thanks for your consideration and prayerful thought. One day we may get to that Constitutional Tea Party Party But no time at present we must win 2010


Here is a great video of Kurt Kelly Flip Flopping on the subjects of Fiscal Responsibilty and The SunRail. Please Watch and then Share!


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