I enjoy reading your blog regularly, and wanted to inform the public of what happened in the Coalition for a Constitutional Senate meeting last night. I apologize I have to keep my identity concealed, but as a faithful member of one of the tea parties and and as one who considers Joe a friend, I hope to do no harm to the movement, but am very worried this process is destroying both the movement and our ability to defeat Sen. Alexander.
At the beginning of the day, only 27 of the 63 groups in the coalition even showed up. Three groups left before the final voting commenced. Joe only received 59% of the vote on first ballot. Four other groups abstained (including Campaign for Liberty). And, of the 20 remaining groups sympathetic to Joe (out of 60+!) who participated in the final ballot, he could not even get a unanimous vote. Some groups are going home to our members to discuss formally withdrawing from the coalition.
The reason that the majority of the tea party groups did not show up, that seven left/abstained, and that several others are going back home to discuss withdrawing is because Beat Lamar is an absolute joke and has split the conservative movement much more than united and its leaders have tried to force Joe on everyone, including most who believe Joe is not our candidate. The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of us realize Joe cannot win. His latest embarrassment with the plagiarism can be forgiven by many, but to most of us, it shows he does not have what it takes to defeat the powerful lion of the Tennessee Republican machine. The bigger issue is Joe has not and will not win the support of national conservative groups (like Senate Conservatives Fund and Madison Project, who've said in recent newspaper reports that they will not support him), without whose money, network, and aid, we simply cannot win.
The fact of the matter is we are still looking for our candidate, with or without Beat Lamar. We believe we can still defeat Lamar, united, but that requires the right candidate and a fair process. It's not over, and Beat Lamar does not speak for us. We will start anew, and we will find our guy (or gal).
Thanks for your consideration,
A patriot in Tennessee