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Nevada Tea Battle: Grassroots Groups Call New Third Party Fake, Ban It From Events

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The Tea Party Nation jumped on board with the Tea Party of Nevada-bashing, saying the group is infringing on their "TPN" acronym.

"It has recently come to our attention that an email is circulating referring to the newly established liberal-funded Tea Party of Nevada as TPN. This email repeatedly disparages the Tea Party group using the acronym TPN," Tea Party Nation organizers wrote members in an email, obtained by TPMDC as a member of the mailing list.

Sherry Phillips, vice president of the Tea Party Nation group, asked members to "make any and all attempts to correct this misinformation," reminding them the group "is against the formation of a third party political party."

After the group filed its formation in Nevada, several groups balked and news reports looking into Ashjian prompted accusations the group's founders are "imposters."

Some who question the legitimacy of the group point to the political leanings of its secretary, Las Vegas attorney Barry Levinson. He is reportedly a registered Democrat and has criticized former President George W. Bush.

Ashjian got the Las Vegas Sun treatment last week, with the article's first sentence insisting the candidate is no "stooge" for Reid. "This elitist crowd doesn't have any clue about the pain and suffering experienced by the average American. ... Every small-business owner is in the same boat," Ashjian told the Sun. We've been looking for his campaign Web site, but can't find one.

Tea Party of Nevada sure sounds legitimate after quick check of their bylaws, found here. Among their "core principles" is this line: "We believe in personal responsibility and oppose government run health care and socialized medicine."

This is brewing as the Tea Party Express plans a major push to try and defeat Reid. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Andrew Breitbart and Joe the Plumber are slated to appear at the rally in Reid's hometown of Searchlight, Nevada at the end of this month.

Though polls show the official tea party group helps Reid, he is in trouble no matter which candidate Republicans choose. The TPM Polltracker shows Reid losing to the top Republican conteners.