Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL
On July 27, Tea Party Nation chief Judson Phillips was given a patina of mainstream media respectability when The Washington Post published an op-ed by him on the debt ceiling crisis. His record, however, raises questions about whether he's deserving of such respectability.
First, there's the question of whether Phillips is truly the tea party leader he portrays himself as. When he put on a "Tea Party Convention" last year, other tea party activists attacked it as an overpriced operation designed to be a money-making enterprise for Phillips. Phillips tried to clamp down on media coverage of the confab, and one convention organizer fell out with Phillips and launched a boycott. Even RedState's Erick Erickson said that Phillips' convention "smells scammy."
An attempt by Phillips to stage a second convention later in 2010 fizzled; it was rescheduled and ultimately canceled. Last week, the Las Vegas hotel that was to host the convention sued Tea Party Nation for $642,000 over the cancellation.
Second, Phillips and Tea Party Nation a history of inflammatory statements that put him far out of the mainstream: