Weak Tea is a periodic report from Americans Against The Tea Party on the vagaries of various Tea Party figures. We depend heavily on the work of Mother Jones writer Stephanie Mencimer and Tea Party Nationalism for the background on these pieces.
Taken is the operative word. Meckler applies the skills he developed, first as a top of the heap operative in the Herbalife pyramind scheme. He moved on from pushing products largely based on the stimulant ephedra to working for UniqueLeads.com. Can you say “affiliate marketing scam”? Good! We'll leave you to draw your own conclusions on this one.
Meckler's huckster skills are readily apparent in the Tea Party growth chart. All of the major factions have the same growth curve, then he joins Tea Party Patriots and the effects of his huckster skills are immediately visible. The other two seen here are the roughly 80,000 member ResistNet and Judson Phillips' small, yet querulous Tea Party Nation, with just 30,000 members.
The other component of the Tea Party Patriots rise was the presence of software developer and cryptozoologist Rob Gaudet. Oh, sorry, he's a bigfoot hunter. It seems he built a fantastic web site for Tea Party Patriots, working long hours with little pay for “the cause” … while Meckler and his cronies raked in $50,000 monthly on donations. Like all startup operations where the initial labor gets screwed, this devolved into a messy lawsuit.
We've trimmed down Stephanie's work to make it fit our format, but unlike James O'Keefe we didn't cherry pick stuff to "display Meckler's true nature". This is just a quick read and if you're inclined to dig into the original work you'll find deeper confirmation of this summary.
Next time we'll look into Jenny Beth Martin, Meckler's partner in, well, whatever it is that he's doing.