Tea Party Lawsuit Defendant: Plaintiffs’ Backers Are ‘Bent On The Destruction Of The Tea Party Movement’

January 19, 2010 7:09 a.m.

GOP consultant Doug Guetzloe is slamming the lawsuit filed against him this morning by a group of Florida Tea Party activists, charging that the plaintiffs are “being supported by well-funded GOP operatives and others bent on the destruction of the tea party movement.”

In an email to TPMmuckraker, Guetzloe called on one of the plaintiffs, Everett Wilkinson, to release information about his finances “so tea party activists can see who is behind the curtain.”As we reported, Wilkinson and other Tea Partiers filed suit this morning against Guetzloe, Orlando lawyer Fred O’Neal, and a third man, after O’Neal had sent emails to the plaintiffs informing them that he had registered the Tea Party of Florida as an official political party, and claiming rights to the Tea Party name.

Here’s the full email from Guetzloe:

I believe this action validates our concerns that Wilkinson is being supported by well-funded GOP operatives and others bent on the destruction of the tea party movement. Wilkinson only had 9 people at his last rally and an additional 4 GOP operatives.

Anyone that would deliberately disparage the tea party effort in this manner is not a Patriot.

Mr. O’Neal is the attorney, he can give you some legal response, however I would anticipate that this suit will be dismissed as fast as Mr. O’Neal can get to the courthouse. The Florida and National Tea Party have the sanction of law to use the name Tea Party, Wilkinson clearly does not.

The big question is who is funding this legal effort. We call upon Wilkinson to release all finances publicly so tea party activists can see who is behind the curtain.

To make this announcement on the day of the Mass election clearly shows that Wilkinson is out to destroy the tea party effort.

Once we get the complaint, I’m certain we may have more comment.

Support The TPM Journalism Fund
  • Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
  • Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: