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Tea Party Convention: Imploding?

A key sponsor of the protesters' first national gathering has pulled out, and some of activists are unhappy. Is the Tea Party ending early?

Conservative blogger Erick Erickson isn't the only Tea Party supporter who thinks the upcoming inaugural Tea Party National Convention "smells scammy." Key convention sponsor American Liberty Alliance has pulled out, citing high ticket prices and the allegedly murky finances of the for-profit conference organizer, Tea Party Nation. The decision to only allow The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and five right-wing websites to cover the event has also turned off some Tea Party activists, as has the socially (rather than fiscally) conservative speaker list — which includes Sarah Palin, ousted "Ten Commandments" Judge Roy Moore, and WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah. Is the Tea Party breaking up before it even begins? (Watch Marco Rubio discuss the Tea Party's chances on CNBC)

Why is profit a bad thing? I don't get why Tea Party Nation's "handling of money" is so "controversial," says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. If you want to get "big names" like Sarah Palin, you have to raise money. A for-profit model is not "inappropriate for a movement that seeks to endorse free-market principles." There's obviously "room for improvement" here, but "hopefully, this will be a learning experience" for the nascent Tea Party movement."ALA pulls out of Tea Party Nation convention"
Welcome to Tea Party tug-of-war: The free-market, "pro-Ayn Rand Club for Growth" wing is only one faction of the Tea Party movement, says Steve Bell at Frum Forum. The populist wing would rather "hang every banker in New York City" than support the proposition that those bankers should earn as much as the market supports. As the Tea Party convention illustrates, the "marriage of convenience between these two forces cannot last.""The coming Club for Growth versus Tea Party fight"

Watch out for the "theocrats": No, the Tea Party convention is divisive because it's a "theocratic" takeover of the "populist, libertarian, or anti-government" movement, says Michelle Goldberg in The American Prospect. There's always been some "overlap between the tea parties and the Christian right" — they both like Sarah Palin, for example — but there won't be room for the Ron Paul libertarians if the "entrepreneurial theocrats" get their way."Tea Party, meet the Religious Right"

Get real. The Tea Party is thriving: The rumors of the Tea Party Convention's implosion are greatly exaggerated, says Chelsea Schilling in WorldNetDaily. With the $550 tickets already sold out, and a growing waiting list, the convention is "already a resounding success." People from all over the country are coming, and they all want one thing: to reclaim America "from the clutches of 'tyrannical central government.'""Sold out! Palin-Farah ticket rocks tea-party convention"

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