Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tea party movement grows - Efforts could shake up 2010 elections

It could be the birth of a party. Fueled by anger at politicians and distrust of the government, the rapidly growing tea party movement could upend the political establishment in the 2010 elections -- ultimately becoming a permanent, game-changing force in American politics. Or, it could fizzle. Even supporters aren't sure. Joyce Kaufman, a talk-show host on WFTL, AM 850, thinks the answer will come in the November elections. "If nothing happens in 2010, it falls apart," she said. But she doesn't see that happening. "It's going to be a huge dynamic. I don't think it's going to be easily defused. I think what you're going to see is an energized voice. What they will do is come out and vote. The tea party movement is going to make a difference," Kaufman said. From its start in February with an on-air rant by CNBC analyst Rick Santelli, who said he was organizing a "Tea Party" for those opposed to the president's proposed homeowner bailout plan, the tea party brand has become formidable. Protesters turned out for tea party demonstrations in cities across the country on April 15, then again to voice their opposition to health care legislation at town hall meetings throughout the summer. Now, tea party supporters and related groups have picked up where the demonstrations left off. They are active throughout the United States and in South Florida, where they're holding regular protests, preparing to register voters and recruiting more and more more

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