NYT: Disputes about expense, profiteering take toll on Tea Party convention

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In a January 25, 2010 New York Times article, Kate Zernike writes:

A Tea Party convention billed as the coming together of the grass-roots groups that began sprouting up around the country a year ago is unraveling as sponsors and participants pull out to protest its expense and express concerns about "profiteering."

The convention's difficulties highlight the fractiousness of the Tea Party groups, and the considerable suspicions among their members of anything that suggests the establishment.

The convention, to be held in Nashville in early February, made a splash by attracting big-name politicians. (Former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech.) But some groups have criticized the cost -- $549 per ticket and a $9.95 fee, plus hotel and airfare -- as out of reach for the average tea partier. And they have balked at Ms. Palin's speaking fee, which news reports have put at $100,000, a figure that organizers will not confirm or deny.

The article also quotes Philip Glass, national director of the National Precinct Alliance, on his concerns regarding the Tea Party Nation. The National Precinct Alliance, described on its website as "a constitutionally conservative organization," has reportedly withdrawn from the Tea Party convention:

"We are very concerned about the appearance of T.P.N. profiteering and exploitation of the grass-roots movement," [Philip Glass] said in a statement. "We were under the impression that T.P.N. was a nonprofit organization like N.P.A., interested only in uniting and educating Tea Party activists on how to make a real difference in the political arena."

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