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Tea Party Support Sought by Missouri's U.S. Senate Hopefuls

Also, find out why Newt Gingrich may not be a fan of the St. Louis Zoo, and we have links to this weekend's congressional district caucus events.

The tea party movement’s activism may have helped tip the 2010 election cycle to Republicans, especially since dedicated volunteers helped Republicans win the U.S. House and close the gap in the U.S. Senate. So it’s no surprise that candidates—including the three major Republicans running for the U.S. Senate in Missouri—are trying to gather support from tea party organizations and political figures.

But one of the interesting aspects of the movement is its inherent decentralization—no one entity speaks for everybody. For instance, former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman announced a few weeks ago an endorsement from Tea Party Express, a California-based group that touts itself as the “nation’s largest tea party political action committee.”

“One of Tea Party Express’ top priorities in 2012 is to elect a conservative majority to the U.S. Senate," stated Amy Kremer, the group's chairman, "and we are confident that Sarah Steelman is the candidate in Missouri best suited for the job.”

Almost immediately, a number of Missouri-based groups cried foul—arguing that Tea Party Express doesn’t speak for individual organizations scattered throughout the state. And Steelman's chief rivals have since picked up support from notable political figures within the movement.

Most recently, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, announced the support of U.S. Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN). The latter, of course, recently embarked on an unsuccessful presidential campaign.

“These dear friends and colleagues of mine are a few of the most staunch defenders of liberty,” Akin said in a statement.  “I am proud to stand with them and I am very grateful for their support in this important race.  We must take back the Senate in 2012 and change our current path before Obama and McCaskill shift all power to a central government and fully strip us of our freedoms.” 

And as noted earlier, Frontenac businessman The Wisconsin Republican is seen as one of the best examples of how the tea party made a mark during the 2010 election cycle.

Not everyone is jumping into the tea party ring.

Caitlin Legacki, spokeswoman for the Missouri Democratic Party, noted in a news release that the three candidates “continue to leapfrog over each other to appear most conservative to primary voters, showing reckless disregard for middle-class families.” In particular, she criticized the three candidate’s positions on taxes.

OUCHIES

The Saint Louis Zoo made national news this past week when it was revealed that one of its baby penguins bit former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. It happened as the presidential hopeful toured the zoo around the time of last weekend’s .

Gingrich—who is still in the race even though he is unlikely to catch former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney—has a well-known soft spot for animals. He even created a Web page that allowed supporters to post pictures of their furry friends, complete with a page with Gingrich in front of a baby polar bear.

The zoo, by the way, is not on Gingrich's list of favorites.

MORE CAUCUSES PLANNED

While the GOP Presidential primary is all but over, Missouri Republicans will still  on Saturday. Information about caucusing locations in the state is available online.

Morgan Q. Mance, EA April 20, 2012 at 04:19 PM
So happy to see that conservatives are getting some attention and support!
Jo April 20, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Thanks for the hard work Tea Party. Finally someone to represent conservatives.
Jake April 20, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Yes, tired of just the usual whackos. Oops, they're baaaack:)
Kevin Lane April 20, 2012 at 09:18 PM
How has this tea-party thing gotten confusing? Support different folks if you want, but don't get confused. The basics: Do you think a failure should be given more or less responsibility? Do you think that the economy is better when the people have money to spend, or better when government takes all their money & decides how to spend it for them? Do you think it's a good or bad idea to invite the world's largest CONSUMER into every situation to become the middle-man, and do you understand the results of such a practice? There are more people than ever before in this country, paying a higher rate of taxes than ever before, and the government still thinks you owe them something... Do you think this is the right direction or not? Are your rights yours or up for negotiation? Do you think the states need the federal government, or does the federal government need the states? Do you understand what has happened to American school-system since the late 70's & early 80's? Do you know who crashed the housing market (on purpose) twice? Do you know HOW? (Fair Housing Regulatory Act) Do you want the government to spend your grandchildren into poverty & potential socialism? Do you know that it's the only direction bigger government & more spending can possibly take you? There is your tea-party test. PS- When they call you names for the way you answered, then you know you're on to something. No matter how they pronounce it, it just means American. Sticks & Stones
Brett April 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM
While many of your points are dead on, the only years since World War I with lower tax rates were 1926 to 1931. (And we know what those tax policies led to.)

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