Congresswomen Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn-6th) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7th) have dropped out of participating in the February Tea Party Nation Convention in February. Governor Sarah Palin is slated to be the keynote speaker. With Blackburn dropping out, conservative blogger-extraordinaire will introduce Palin.
The convention is a for-profit venture by Judson Phillips, a Tennessee lawyer, who says he hopes to make a profit. Rep. Bachmann was also scheduled to speak at the event to be held at Opryland Resort in Nashville.
A spokesman emphasizes that Bachmann has a problem with this particular event, not the tea party movement in general. In fact, another group—the Tea Party Patriots—is claiming credit. "We put pressure on Bachmann, and we're glad that she didn't go," a coordinator tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press, "I'm glad that she did the right thing."Bachmann was to speak at a Saturday breakfast event. She would have not have received a speaking fee.
From pricey tickets to Palin's reported $100,000 speaking fee, tea partiers recently have objected to the convention as out of line with the group's values. Backdahl and other Minnesota tea partiers do not plan to attend.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was scheduled to introduce Sarah Palin, but said she is bowing out because the "non-profit status" put her in "an awkward position." Look at this twist:
The decision follows protests over the Feb. 4-6 event's $549 cost and Palin's reported $100,000 speaking fee, which some members of the Taxed Enough Already movement thought was too pricey for grassroots activists. The Mid-South TEA party's spokesman, Jim Tomasik of Cordova, has called the Nashville event an effort by the Republican Party to co-opt the movement.The latest report is that Andrew Breitbart will now introduce Palin.
To confuse matters, there is this quote:
A founder of Tea Party Nation recently told the New York Times that it is "not a nonprofit."