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October 6th, 2010 1:29 pm
Tea Party-Republican Fusion Favors Grassroots

The fusion of the Tea Party and Republican Party is underway, according to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal.  Of particular interest is the headway being made in Virginia where Tea Party activists are keeping Republican politicians’ feet to the fire.

Virginia’s statewide tea-party alliance is perhaps the most advanced of any in the country, both in organization and in its own interactions with the GOP.

Its convention this weekend is expected to draw the cream of the state Republican Party and at least 3,000 participants. The state’s top three Republicans—Gov. Bob McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli—all agreed to attend and field questions, but as mere panelists, not keynote speakers.

“The party is trying to mollify the tea-party folks, if only as a protective measure,” says Mr. Cuccinelli, who rose to office last year with the support of thousands of tea-party activists.

Messrs. McDonnell and Bolling see it differently. “I am going because I am driven, and the tea-party members are driven, by the same ideas,” says Mr. McDonnell. Mr. Bolling says his message to the convention will be “that we stand with them and we appreciate their involvement in the political process.”

Several events have helped to push Virginia to the vanguard of a national tea-party movement. A huge sales-tax increase in 2004, passed with the help of Republican votes, stirred a rebellion among the party’s base and helped propel a new crop of conservatives to power last November, including Messrs. McDonnell, Bolling and Cuccinelli.

Accountability is coming to the political process.  Double-dealing politicos beware.

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