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.”
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.