The news just keeps getting worse for the Tea Party Nation Convention. Following on the heels of several organizations cancelling their sponsorships, today both Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) announced today they are pulling out of the controversial convention scheduled for Nashville next weekend.
Claude Chafin, a spokesperson for Blackburn, released this statement:
After consulting with the Committee on Standards, Congressman Blackburn has decided not to participate in the Tea Party Nation Convention next week. Standards advised Congressman Blackburn not to participate in the event due to uncertainty about how any proceeds from the event may be used. Convention organizers have not been clear about how those funds will be put to use. We have every indication that any profit could be put to work to advance grass roots causes and some of those uses could make the Congressman’s participation improper after the fact.
Not long after Blackburn’s announcement, Rep. Bachmann announced that she was pulling out of the convention. In a statement, she noted,
Due to conflicting advice on whether Congresswoman Bachmann’s participation in the upcoming Tea Party Nation Convention would be in line with the Committee on Standards, Congresswoman Bachmann has decided not to participate in the event. There is uncertainty about how any proceeds from the event may be used, and we must err on the side of caution. Some will want to portray her withdrawal as a repudiation of the Tea Party Movement, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Congresswoman Bachmann remains encouraged by all Americans, regardless of political party, who are concerned about this nation’s future and dwindling prosperity, and continues to be inspired their passion.
Also abandoning the convention today was the Tea Party Express. The group claimed that after the campaign in Massachusetts they are “overextended” and would not be able to attend. They join the long list of sponsor cancellations, including the American Liberty Alliance, the National Precinct Alliance, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Devin Burghart is vice president of the Institute for Research on Education and Human Rights. You can follow him on Twitter at dburghart.