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.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.