After another successful election cycle, the Tea Party enters the annual post-election transformation phase. The first big change was announced over the weekend.
Darla Dawald, the longtime national director for the Patriot Action Network (PAN) going back to when it was called ResistNet, suddenly announced her departure from the organization this week.
In the introductory post at her new website, Dawald remarked “As you know I’m no longer the natl director at PAN or associated with the site or Grassfire. I would like to state that I’m grateful for the years I spent at PAN and working in the movement but I am also very excited about what the future holds for me and the movement as we move forward.”
Influential in injecting Islamophobia and the militia-impulse into the Tea Party movement through her tireless activity with the Patriot Action Network, Dawald also promoted birther racism. She is also well connected in the Tea Party, from the earliest days of the movement when she helped organize the big September 12, 2009 rally in Washington DC that helped launch the movement. Since then, she’s continued to travel on Tea Party Express bus tours, speak at the Tea Party Patriots anti-immigrant rallies, and more.
She took time away from the Patriot Action Network earlier this year to run for the District 8 seat in the Arizona House of Representatives. She finished third in the Republican primary, getting 4,081 votes, 21.9% of votes cast in the August 26 primary.
Dawald leaves an organization that stagnated in 2014. In December 2013, the group had 92,335 members. Today it has 93,443 members—an increase of just 1.2 percent.
The website of her new organization, One Nation Rising, declares that the group’s quest is “to remain One Nation Under God, Unite our Movement, and Rise to the Occasion of Preserving Our God Given Rights, Liberties, and Freedom.” It currently has just 72 members.