First Va. tea party political action committee registers
Will Virginia's tea party groups get involved in electoral politics, raising money for individual candidates?
It's been a key question as the movement has gained steam over the last year. Some Virginians who affiliate with tea party groups have said success at the polls is a necessity if the group is to become an established force in state politics. Others have said they'd prefer to see the movement focus on issues and stay out of campaigns.
Tea party groups have organized themselves in ways that make it legally tricky to back candidates. The organizers of the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Convention this month set up a nonprofit group to sell tickets and pay convention expenses. But they didn't establish a political action committee, which would have let them raise money for candidates or donate leftover dollars to campaigns.
In fact, no tea party group has set up a political action committee in Virginia. That is, until now.
Word comes from the Virginia Public Access Project that the Hampton Roads Tea Party Alliance registered with the state board of elections Tuesday.
In its filings, the tea party group indicated that it will be supporting a three-candidate slate for the Virginia Beach City Council elections next week. The tea party-backed candidates are William DeSteph, John Moss and Toni Hendrick.
The group won't have to file reports on their donors and spending until January. In the meantime, we'll keep an eye out for other tea party groups that might register as state PACs.
| October 27, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories: General Assembly 2010, Rosalind Helderman
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