UPDATED !URGENT - State GOP comes after Tea Party groups in South Carolina

Please visit SpartanburgTeaParty.org for a GOOD resolution to this issue. I’m very proud of our Conservative leaders here in SC for their efforts.

This came across my desk 2 days ago:

The South Carolina Republican Party has announced the formation of the South Carolina Tea Party Republican Organization. The official announcement will be made at the Greenville County GOP Executive Committee Meeting on Monday February 1, 2010. The Executive Committee meeting will be held at Greenville Technical College TRC Auditorium Building. The meeting will start at 7:00PM. The address is 506 S. Pleasantburg Dr. Greenville, SC

I understand having done some furious research and conferring that this is not the FIRST attempt by a state GOP party to co-opt a very successful Tea Party movement in a state, and I think it is something we will have to contend with more and more. Michael Johns had a blog Thursday about a similar situation in Florida. My preliminary investigation revealed that a few top officials in the SCGOP approached a few members and local tea party organizers in Greenville SC about helping them form Tea Party Republication Groups in exchange for “a seat at the table.” When it seemed as if the majority of Tea Partiers were not down with the plan, several sources reported the following remark made by GOP leadership; “We are going to do this with or without you.”

Here are some excerpts from correspondence sent out by Greenville County GOP leadership:

The Tea Party movement is the great awakening from the slumber we have all found ourselves in. Although the Republican Party has been led astray by some that have compromised the very principles that they were founded on, Greenville County Republicans continue to uphold those founding principles with great prejudice.

Because of this, we would like to create an endorsement of candidates for public office that designates them as “Tea Party Republicans.”

The ability to get such endorsement would come from a council made up of Tea Party Organizers, Young Republican Leadership and Greenville County Republican Party Leadership (with full authority from the SCGOP).

Now why is this SCGOP offering coming out of Greenville SC? Because on April 17, 2009 there was a Tea Party at the Bilo Center in Greenville, SC with more than 10,000 patriots in attendance, the biggest Tea Party in SC last year. So the potential is have a big impact in a county that hosted a huge event last year. Well as a member of the team who planned that very successful Tea Party at the Bilo Center, I can ASSURE the Greenville County Republican Party Leadership that they will indeed have a big impact …

… because the local/state Tea Party groups in SC intend to show the Greenville County Republican Party and the state SCGOP what a real Tea Party looks like when we have a Rebellion Tea Party against the Greenville County Republican Party. This is a declaration of war against the Real Tea Party organizations. Several conservative organizations will make our voices heard by these Tea Party Hijackers as we Rally on Monday night outside the Greenville Technical College TRC Auditorium Building (address above) with protest signs. We will start forming outside the building by 6:30 so we can watch the hijackers as they enter the building. Now is the time to take a real stand for the Tea Party principles.

I urge the Tea Party Nation to loudly quell such hijacking by your state GOP; this is not the first and it will not be the last until the Establishment GOP Leadership gets the message … we are not for sale for a “seat at the table”, we’ve seen how disastrous that has been in the past. We have not rallied and called and donated and blogged and registered voters for the past 12 months to hand it over to those VERY organizations who could not hold the line at fiscal responsibility and support of true conservative candidates before now. WE are the Tea Party Nation. You can have a seat at OUR table. If you support and run conservative candidates, we will vote for them. If you will not, we will find our own and support and donate to and vote for them.

If you are in the Upstate SC area, please plan to attend. If you are not, please blog about this situation and inform your local Tea Party leaders. It imperative that state GOPs not be successful in their attempt to take over legitimate Tea Party organizations, databases, memberships for their own purposes, and that if they try, we are ready, and let protest situations like this in Greenville, SC serve as warning for them.