In New Jersey, a “Tea Party” candidate surfaces but local activists haven’t heard of him. In Michigan, a Democratic operative appears closely tied to a slate of candidates running under the Tea Party banner. In Florida, conservative activists are locked in court over the right to use the Tea Party name.
The list of peculiar Tea Party happenings goes on and on.
As the midterm election nears, allegations are surfacing across the country that Democrats are exploiting conservatives’ faith in the Tea Party name by putting up bogus candidates in November — the claim is that those “Tea Party” candidates will split the GOP vote and clear the way for Democratic victories.
The theories may prove to be more than just conspiracy talk. Some of the allegations are coming directly from local Tea Party activists who are trying to flag the media and election officials as soon as they smell something fishy on the ballot. And they say they’ve got proof.
“It’s obvious it’s a Democratic play,” said Jason Gillman, a Tea Party activist from Traverse City, Mich.