Members of the Tea Party political movement, which started after conservative members of the party protested the federal government in 2009, claim that they protest the government because of their concern for the American people. Many members of the Tea Party also claim that, although their movement is largely funded by the Koch brothers, their ideas were drawn from their roles as “concerned citizens”.
But new evidence seems to state otherwise. A study conducted by the National Cancer Institute of Health concluded that certain groups with strong ties to the tobacco industry and the Koch brothers planned these protests nearly a decade prior to when they happened. The study concluded that the Tea Party may have begun back in the 1980s. During this time, many tobacco companies began investing money into third-party groups in order to ward off health studies and taxes that would be damaging to their product’s success. Corporate tactics at their finest.
Two organizations, Americans for Prosperity and Freedomworks, were credited with the responsibility of developing the Tea Party movement. These two organizations started as one organization called Citizens for a Sound Economy. The organization has been a long-time supporter of tobacco companies’ political agenda. The study by the National Cancer Institute of Health also found that the Koch brothers and their partners created and published the first Tea Party website in 2002. The site included a “Patriot Guestbook,” which allowed supporters of the movement to write messages to the site’s creators. The website is connected to the Koch brothers as well.
Its web address is owned by Freedomworks, which is an organization that the brothers founded. Many Tea Party supporters have argued that the movement was created by industrialists. Many of these supporters may be surprised to find that the movement that they thought represented individuals and small business, was actually created by corporate billionaire monsters who were trying to avoid taxes and other regulations. This is not surprising, but is illustrative of the immense and unknown powers that rich individuals weild in this country…