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Tea Party Co-founder Mark Meckler Resigns

Below is a copy of Mark Meckler’s letter or resignation to the National Tea Party Patriots, where he served on the Board as Treasurer.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to convey the Board’s desire to terminate my association with TPP, and the terms upon which TPP desires to make that separation.  I also now understand that you have withdrawn your offer prior to any response from me.  That’s fine, because I am afraid that your email fails to even begin to comprehend the point I have been trying to make with the Board for a very long time.  My desire is, and always has been, to advance a scenario where I am able to use the substantial fund raising infrastructure we have developed at TPP to funnel significant money and resources to the grassroots.  I have sought, unsuccessfully, to push TPP towards this as a primary mission.  I have always believed this to be the primary mission of TPP, but as we have raised more and more money, now into the many millions of dollars, only a very small and insignificant portion of those funds are directed to grassroots on the ground.  The proposal you made not only would not enable me to assist the grassroots in this way, but would actually hamper me from accomplishing that mission.  I am, and will remain dedicated to working to provide resources to the grassroots regardless of whether or not I am associated with TPP on an ongoing basis.

I have repeatedly expressed, over a long period of time, my discomfort with the way the financial affairs of TPP have been handled, and that I believe that TPP is fiscally irresponsible in the way that it spends and manages donor monies.  The expenditure of $250,000 of donor money to sponsor the Southern Republican Leadership Conference debate was only one in a long line of expenditures which I have opposed and which I believe are contrary to the obligations we have to be a good tea party steward of donor funds.  That $250,000 could have done an enormous amount of good if it had been distributed to local tea parties to help them with their ground games in 2012.  Instead, it was a colossal waste, which served to foster the narrative that TPP is a tool of the Republican party, while providing minimal PR value at best. 

It is clear that I no longer have any viable input on the direction of the organization, either philosophically or in its corporate operations.  As Treasurer, I have been excluded from the distribution of critical financial information, and critical discussions about the finances of the organization.  All personnel matters, including the recent inappropriate termination of Dawn Wildman (due to her complaints about the same matters) are being handled without any input from me.  Over my objections, we have hired an executive level employee, Scott Crockett who is a former professional lobbyist with DCI in Washington, DC, a former Republican campaign operative, and formerly associated with AFP and the Koch Brothers as the director of their “Spending Revolt” project.  While TPP publicly states to the State Coordinators that Crockett is only responsible for “staff management” he is, and has been for some time, intimately involved with the TPP PR messaging team, and has been deeply involved in developing the plan according to which we now operate.  According to Jenny Beth, Scott is the “primary author” of TPP’s current business operating plan.
It is also clear that my personal fight to see that TPP remain a bottom-up, grassroots organization has failed.  As you know, I am not the only board member with this opinion.  However, I understand that we are not in the majority on the Board, and have been outvoted on these issues.  I have fought this fight largely in private, hoping to convince the TPP board to remain true to its founding culture.  Clearly, it is impossible for me to function with TPP in any official capacity any longer.

The statement in your recent email that it is somehow “derogatory” for me to publicly disagree with Jenny Beth Martin when she calls the current Republican Presidential candidates a bunch of “losers,” makes it clear that we could never enter into a mutual non-disparagement agreement that would work.  The suggestion that I would enter into any such agreement runs contrary to the responsibility that each of us has to the movement, and to the country at large.  I must be able to speak freely when I believe that anyone is doing anything to damage the movement, and the majority of people who were watching the interview on Cavuto agreed that it was a bad thing to say.  While the folks running for the Republican Presidential nomination are a lot of things, they are certainly not “all losers,” as stated by Jenny Beth on air.  When it was pointed out in a major blog, by a reputable blogger (Gateway Pundit) that such a statement was wrong and damaging, I stepped up to take responsibility and agree.  If you note, in my responsive post, I criticized myself as well, for not stepping up in that moment and making my opinion clear, that I do not agree with Jenny Beth’s statement that the Republican candidates are “all losers.”  Your recent email to me indicating that if we entered into a non-disparagement agreement that I would not be able to make such statements, means that we can never enter into any such agreement.  I would never agree to be fettered in my ability to criticize politicians for saying things that damage the cause of self-governance in this country, and obviously I cannot be fettered in regard to speaking my mind when Jenny Beth or anyone else calls all the Republican candidates “losers.”  The idea that you want to bind me to an agreement not to say such things runs contrary to the ethos of the movement itself.

The only thing I have ever tried to do in my public statements as a representative of Tea Party Patriots is to reflect the sentiments of the movement at large, in the best and most honest way I know how.  Though I will no longer be speaking on behalf of TPP, I will continue to speak my mind publicly, honestly and objectively.

I sincerely regret that I have been unable to represent these faithful and devoted grass roots groups’ interests to the Board in a manner to sufficiently convince a majority of you that building up their capability to act independently should be the top priority of TPP.  It seems at this point that my attempts to serve their interest at the board level have reached an impasse and now my attempt to negotiate a severance that would equip me to serve them by utilizing the TPP donor list to help them raise funds for local endeavors now also seems impossible.  It was my intent to use any severance package and a copy of the TPP donor list to allow me to embark on serious efforts to provide such support to local grassroots organizers across the country.

Based on the above, and a now long history of being excluded from the day to day operations of Tea Party Patriots, I hereby tender my resignation both from Tea Party Patriots, Inc. and Tea Party Patriots Foundation, Inc.. as a board member, officer and National Coordinator.   I will find other ways to serve and build up the grassroots by equipping and enabling them to foster true self-governance.  I will work to do this in any way I possibly can.  Please forward any paperwork necessary to effectuate the legal transfer of my obligations to others still within the organization.

I am armed with the truth, and am equipped and able to tell it as necessary.   However, my first priority is to serve our great country and its citizens in restoring our great heritage of self-governance. I sincerely hope the leaders of Tea Party Patriots will not expend any further resources seeking to oppose or disable me.  There are plenty of enemies of the Republic for us to focus our attention upon.  I hope you see that further attacks against me will only undermine TPP’s already damaged credibility, and will that you will work to stop Jenny Beth and Sally’s continuing assault against me.  The abusive and threatening text messages that I received from Jenny Beth’s husband Lee (and of which I retain copies) are evidence enough.  As you are aware, there is much more.  I would personally prefer not to have to get into such a public display.  I think that for the movement and the organization, at this point it is best to simply part ways and move on.

I am and will always be co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.  It is something I hope I will always be proud of. I would like nothing better to see TPP succeed and be able to cheer your accomplishments.  Unfortunately, I believe that with the questionable path you have chosen, against my repeated advice and admonitions (and the advice and admonitions of other officers and board members), you have a very bumpy road ahead.  I hope that in the future you and the rest of the Board will apply all your resources and energies toward supporting the grassroots citizen activists who really are the movement.  

Best wishes in your continued endeavors

Mark Meckler

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