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Tea Party of Florida calls candidate forum a fraud and a scam

This press release is from Aug 12, just found it while cleaning out my emails.

Forum organized by group already under fire for making money illegally.
WFLA 540 Host Bud Hedinger caught up in alleged scam.

(Orlando) The Tea Party (TEA) is denouncing an 8th Congressional Candidate Forum scheduled for this evening by an unapproved ‘tea’ party group as a fraud and scam by individuals that have already come under fire for collecting money from candidates illegally.

The ‘West Orlando Tea Party,’ a group organized by two ‘tea party’ leaders, Jason Hoyt and Tom Tillison had originally scheduled the forum as ‘open to the public and free. Now the group has published ticket prices that include $1,000 per person if the individual is not a Republican.

Official TEA Party 8th Congressional candidate Peg Dunmire denounced this outrageous fee as “un-American and a clear violation of the First Amendment.
For these fake tea party groups to try to make tons of money from their self-proclaimed association with the tea party movement is not only wrong but could be criminal,” concluded Dunmire.

Jason Hoyt and Tom Tillison have both been identified in Federal Election Commission reports as being paid GOP operatives for Todd Long, a competitor in the Republican primary for 8th Congressional District. Both individuals have also established the “Orlando Tea Party, LLC” as a for-profit entity unlike other tea parties that are non-profit.

Hoyt and Tillison have refused to disclose the amounts of money they have received from GOP sources.

Hoyt and Tillison are under investigation by the Florida Elections Commission for violating Florida Election laws by illegally charging candidates a fee to speak at forums (106.15) at events.

Bud Hedinger of 540 WFLA has promoted the event and is supporting the $1,000 fee for individuals.

Sara Rumpf, a consultant for Democrat candidates (Lawson Lamar – 2008) appeared on the Hedinger show this morning and defended the $1,000 fee as reasonable.

The TEA Party is considering filing additional criminal complaints based on the clear violations of Florida Law and the First Amendment.

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  1. paulie paulie September 2, 2010

    Funny, you link to West Orlando Tea Party, a known Republican front.

  2. Ron McCoy Ron McCoy September 2, 2010

    The Florida TEA political Party does not represent the grassroots movement. A little searching of their name and the people behind this party will shed some light on the facts. The DO NOT represent the movement and there is not one tea party in the state that supports them. The are using the tea name for their own agenda.

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