Friday, January 15, 2010

Florida Lawyer Claims Rights To Tea Party Name

A Florida lawyer who registered the "Tea Party" as an official political party doesn't want to share the name that's become synonymous with the fledgling grassroots conservative movement. Fred O'Neal is pressuring activists in the state to rechristen their local Tea Party groups -- and in doing so, he's become the latest figure to be charged with co-opting the movement for personal gain. In August, O'Neal, an Orlando attorney and anti-tax activist who until then had had little involvement with the Tea Party movement, registered the "Tea Party" as a new political party with the Florida Division of Elections. O'Neal has told the press he intends to recruit conservative candidates under the Tea Party banner -- an idea that hasn't sat well with many Tea Party activists, who view any organized political party with distrust. Now, according to one activist, O'Neal and his business partner "are trying to 'hijack' our movement and turn it into the thing we are protesting for their own personal gain." news

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