|Text on Button||SOUTHERN COLORADO Tea Party Organization We The People|
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The Tea Party movement was launched in 2009 in response to many of newly elected President Obama’s policies. What began as a series of protests, made up of groups of conservative, populist, and libertarians calling for lower taxes and reduced national debt, started a movement that has long since altered the Republican party’s face and has heavily shaped the politics around them.
In 2012, the Southern Colorado Tea Party Organization made national news for receiving a $20,000 fine for a campaign finance violation. They declined to formally endorse a presidential candidate during that year’s Republican primary election. Instead, they conducted straw polls of its member’s preferences. However, previous endorsements included 3rd District congressman candidate Bob McConnell who claimed their endorsement in 2010, along with Republican Governor Dan Maes, who received a $400 donation by the organization according to court records. Another $400 donation was listed as going to Colorado Treasurer Candidate J.J. Ament.
It was these campaign donations that lead to a complaint filed by Dr. Malik Hasan to hold the group accountable under transparency rules governing campaign finance. According to campaign law, any group that donates money directly to a candidate must file a political donor committee with the Secretary of State. However, the group claimed that the complaint was retaliatory because they did not endorse Hasan’s son, Ali Hasan, during his 2010 run for State Treasurer. They also claimed that the finance rule did not apply to them as they were not a political organization, but instead a social club akin to a bowling league.
In response, the group did not answer the court-ordered summons and deposition requests, which resulted in the Judge ruling a default judgment against them. The group appealed to the higher courts, but in 2013, Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the previous May 2012 ruling that imposed the $10,000 fine and $9,700 in attorney fees.
Ashby, C. (2012, April 18). Judge: Tea Party held to the standards of political campaigns. The Daily Sentinel. https://www.newspapers.com/image/529620815/?terms=southern%2Bcolorado%2…
The Associated Press. (2013, July 4). Tea party fine upheld by Colorado appeals court. Colorado Springs Gazette. https://gazette.com/news/tea-party-fine-upheld-by-colorado-appeals-cour…
Grant, B. (2011, April 13). Democrats put Scott Tipton on their hit list for 2012. The Daily Sentinel. https://www.newspapers.com/image/527857310/?terms=southern%2Bcolorado%2…
Hanel, J. (2012, February 6). Does 'tea party energy’ still burn? Durango Herald. https://durangoherald.com/articles/34776
Malone, P. (2012, May 17). Judge orders Southern Colorado Tea Party to pay fine. The Pueblo Chieftain. https://www.chieftain.com/article/20120517/NEWS/305179888
Paulson, S. K., & Associated Press. (2010, May 30). Values of Tea Party, Maes aligned neatly. The Fort Collins Coloradoan. https://www.newspapers.com/image/227202444/?terms=%22southern%2Bcolorad…
Wikipedia contributors. (2020, September 3). Tea Party movement. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement#:%7E:text=The%20Tea%20….