As noted earlier, on January 19, 2010, the South Florida Tea Party, Inc., had filed a federal lawsuit, demanding that the ballot-qualified Tea Party change its name. On February 17, the South Florida Tea Party, Inc., filed an amended complaint. It again asks that the court order the ballot-qualified party to change its name. It says, “Defendants…must include other terms in order to avoid public confusion that the Florida ‘Tea Party’ is somehow endorsed or approved by the Plaintiffs, and other persons or entities that are similarly situated. Alternatively, Defendant Tea Party must amend the name of the political party to comport with the admitted meaning of the acronym, namely, ‘Taxed Enough Already’.” (page 31).
The amended complaint says “Florida Tea Party activists, such as the Plaintiffs, are working toward reform within the Republican Party and view third party candidacies as counter-productive.”
The new complaint differs from the original complaint by having many more plaintiffs, including Tea Party groups from states other than Florida, such as Texas, South Carolina, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan. Thanks to Bill Van Allen for help getting the amended complaint.
One of the ironies of this case is that many counties in Florida don’t print complete party names on ballots. Instead they only print acronyms. So, even if this lawsuit were successful, and the ballot-qualified party were forced to change its name from “Tea Party” to “Taxed Enough Already Party”, many counties would still print “TEA” next to the names of any of the party’s candidates.