Friday, January 22, 2010

Tea Party shows its muscle in Bay State

The Tea Party movement that stoked antitax protests from Seattle to Washington, D.C., found its inspiration in Revolutionary-era Massachusetts. And this week it helped fuel a modern political revolt right here on the turf of its tea-dumping forbears. The anger driving this loose coalition of activists, united by a distrust of government, helped vault a little-known Republican state lawmaker into the Senate seat held for 47 years by liberal icon Edward M. Kennedy. As Scott P. Brown’s populist message began making inroads into Democrat Martha Coakley’s commanding lead, the call went out online, via e-mail and in chat rooms, drawing Tea Party activists to Massachusetts to woo its famously liberal electorate. “It was a miracle moment,’’ said Christen Varley, a 39-year-old blogger from Holliston who helped found the Greater Boston Tea Party last year. “Boom, he went from zero on the radar screen to what everyone was paying attention to.’’ Several Tea Party activists now are considering candidacies for state representative and state auditor, as well as Congress, said Varley. But many are focused on just making a statement, rather than building a viable third political more

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