Republican Senate candidate Owen Hill is a "new" Republican leader, which is a really-not-very-subtle way of saying that he's not Ken Buck. As the Greeley Tribune (firewall) reports, Hill has received the endorsement of The Tea Party Express, a national Tea Party group that endorsed Buck in 2010 (back when they still liked Buck, apparently). As it turns out, a bunch of local Tea Party groups aren't happy about this:
But a Colorado Issues Coalition news release said Monday that the Colorado Tea Party Patriots, Arapahoe Tea Party, 285 Corridor Tea Party, Evergreen Tea Party, North JeffCo Tea Party, Lakewood Tea Party, South JeffCo Tea Party and Bears Ears Patriots stand together to disavow the endorsement for Hill, a 31-year-old state senator…
…“This out-of-state organization with no local grass roots ties does not speak with the consent nor consensus of the many tea party, 9.12 and other liberty groups in Colorado,” said Regina Thomson, president of the Colorado Tea Party Patriots.
No, we don't know much about "Bears Ears Patriots" either, but it sounds cool.
The Tea Party Express has an independent expenditure arm called Our Country Deserves Better, which is running this ad in a two-week cable buy beginning today. Owen Hill — he's not Ken Buck!
This infighting among Tea Party groups is one of the most significant problems that Americans For Prosperity and the Koch brothers didn't really think out when they were trying to build a group of activists with no central leadership. When you don't have a central leadership structure, you can operate more like a grassroots advocacy group. But when you don't have a central leadership structure, there is nobody to convene to try to talk things out.
In other words, it looks like Colorado is in for a Tea Party fight. Start scrounging for scones and crumpets, or whatever.