The Tea Parties and Jeff MillerBy
After the Asheville Tea Party chose not to endorse Jeff Miller, there was much gnashing of teeth within the NC11 Republican Party. The AVL Tea Folk had all their chips on Dan Eichenbaum, and when he narrowly lost the primary they chose not to endorse Miller.
In response to this perceived slight, some Glenn Beck Republicans got together and formed their own Tea Party group. The newly minted Tea Party WNC, founded by a 9-12‘er, says it’s a state level PAC and won’t be involved with the Congressional race. However, this quote from Erika Franzi in the Asheville Daily Planet indicates much suspicion:
As for TPWNC, “It’s as if this thing sprang out of nowhere,” [Tim] Peck said.
Agreeing with Peck’s assessment, [Erika] Franzi continued, “I have first-hand information they’ve been working with the Miller campaign.”
Peck asserted, “This is a way to subvert criticism around the Miller campaign to give him the Tea Party support” they covet so much.
This video makes it look like the AVL Tea PAC endorsed Jeff Miller, but they didn’t. It’s a Republican videographer trying to make it look like they did. The same Republican asks if AVL Tea Party leader Erika Franzi is a liar here.
It looks like a full blown civil war has broken out among the various factions. The libertarian-leaning AVL Tea Partiers don’t like Jeff Miller’s politics. Henderson County Tea Partiers want to elect Jeff Miller and don’t like the AVL Tea Party. The TPWNC folks, who are Glenn Beck-variety conservatives, don’t like AVL Tea Party. According to Franzi, Buncombe County GOP Vice Chair Don Yelton recently attended a Freedom Works training day in Washington DC. Freedom Works purports to be a Tea Party organization. Conservative Bill Fishburne has attacked Asheville Tea Party in his Asheville Tribune.
What does it all mean? I don’t know. Miller’s not ideologically pure enough for the AVL Tea Party, so that looks like a point in his favor. He is, however, plenty pure for the Hendersonville Tea Party and the 9-12’ers who founded the Tea Party WNC, so those allies look like anchors around his neck. If I had to guess, I’d say that Miller is more partisan conservative than he is libertarian. That, however, is the guess of someone who watches these things only from afar.
What do you think it all means?