Judson Phillips, the Tennessee lawyer who founded Tea Party Nation two years ago, plans to draw a full-time salary from the group as it gears up to play a larger role in the 2012 elections and in the upcoming debt ceiling debate.
The for-profit organization runs a social networking site for tea party members and organized a convention last year featuring former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), but its role in the movement has since been overshadowed by the better-funded groups Tea Party Express and Tea Party Patriots.
“If we are going to play a role in the events that are unfolding in our country,” Phillips said in an email soliciting contributions, “we cannot continue to operate the way we have.”
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.