Tea Party Group Backs Brown, Pressures Third Party Candidate To Drop Out Of Mass. Senate Race

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The Massachusetts Tea Party is working behind the scenes to make sure Scott Brown doesn’t lose votes to…a libertarian candidate, beloved by many in the Tea Party movement.

A mostly overlooked factor in the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts is that there’s a third party candidate in the race–libertarian Joe Kennedy (no relation to Ted)–who, though far behind in the polls, conservatives fear could be the Republicans’ Ralph Nader on Tuesday. So in the past several days, tea party protesters, and others on the far right have organized a letter writing campaign to pressure Kennedy to drop out of the race and endorse GOP hopeful Scott Brown.

“The Massachusetts Tea Party movement is banding together to contact Joe Kennedy and ask him to step out of next Tuesday’s Senate race,” reads a Tea Party email obtained by TPMDC. (The Massachusetts Tea Party is part of the national Tea Party Patriots organization.)

We are going to ask him to endorse Scott Brown.

The several percentage points that Joe might earn in the election could make a critical difference in Scott Brown’s election.

Meanwhile, you can help by contacting Joe Kennedy on your own at

joe@joekennedyforsenate.com

Please ask him to withdraw from the race and endorse Scott Brown.

This election is not just for Senatorial representation for Massachusetts.
It’s also for the deciding vote in the nation’s Senate.

We have to defeat Martha Coakley!

~ Barbara

This has alarmed Tea Party faithful, who want to keep the movement distinct from the Republican Party. But for the most part, it’s generated a spate of emails–thousands in the past week–to Kennedy, asking him to drop out.

Some of those emails went beyond pressure. Yesterday, Kennedy’s Facebook page noted, “Let it be known that people have been told to threaten me.” (The note has since been removed.) But, according to the Kennedy camp, the overwhelming thrust has been unthreatening.

“From all that I have read and heard, it sounds like you and Mr. Brown are more alike than not,” reads one of nearly two dozen emails, obtained by TPMDC. “For sure, you are nothing like Mz. Coakley.”

For that reason and based on all the polls, you are in a position to help defeat Coakley. I implore you to step aside and encourage your supporter to vote for Scott Brown.

As for whether this effort might be effective? Kennedy’s campaign manager, Dave Galusi, says via email “at this point that ship has sailed, and Joe feels it is important to finish what he has started.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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