Tea partiers fear profiteering takeover

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: The Tea Party protest movement is set to hold its first political convention Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday. But grassroot's gotten pretty pricey. Tickets are 550 bucks. And if you just want to hear Sarah Palin speak, that's $350. As Brett Neely reports, it has a lot of Tea Partiers choking on their Earl Grey.


Brett Neely: Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann dropped out of the Tea Party Convention late last week. She worried that attending a for-profit event could violate House ethics rules. Other Tea Party supporters also backed out.

Phillip Glass: You know we're concerned about the appearance of profiteering, exploitation of the grassroots movement. Simple as that.

Phillip Glass heads the National Precinct Alliance, a Tea Party group.

Glass: The majority of the people, they're not going to attend a function where the ticket price is over $500.

Some Tea Partiers also worry that the Republican Party is taking over the movement. No surprise to political scientist Jack Pitney at Claremont McKenna College.

Jack Pitney: The Republican National Committee has had some difficulty raising money. And where other people might see Tea Party demonstrators as an exercise in democracy, the RNC may see a profit center.

The convention's organizer told Fox Business News that he simply wants to break even.

In Washington, I'm Brett Neely for Marketplace.

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