Tea Party Patriots, an organization with more than 1,000 affiliated groups across the nation that proclaims itself to be the "Official Home of the Tea Party Movement".
A 2011 investigation by the magazine Mother Jones found that the Tea Party Patriots organization was using its 501(c)(4) status to avoid disclosing its expenditures both to the IRS and to local contributors. The magazine reported that when local Tea Party groups pressed for more details on the group's expenses, they were removed from the umbrella organization and threatened with legal action.
Americans for Prosperity, an organization founded by David H. Koch in 2003, and led by Tim Phillips. The group has over 1 million members in 500 local affiliates, and led protests against health care reform in 2009.
FreedomWorks, an organization led Dick Armey. Like Americans for Prosperity, the group has over 1 million members in 500 local affiliates. It makes local and national candidate endorsements.
Tea Party Express, a national bus tour run by Our Country Deserves Better PAC, itself a conservative political action committee created by Sacramento-based Republican consulting firm Russo, Marsh, and Associates.
Tea Party Nation, which sponsored the National Tea Party Convention that was criticized for its $549 ticket price and because Sarah Palin was apparently paid $100,000 USD for her appearance (which she put towards SarahPAC).
“It won’t happen,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and one of the first labor leaders to embrace the Occupy movement. “They are not working with the unions in a serious way yet; nor are the unions working with them in a serious way. And it is the wrong strategy.”
The difference isn’t just one of tactics: Despite public expressions of solidarity, labor leaders say privately that they’ve been frustrated by their inability to build a long-term relationship with the leaderless movement. Instead, they’re beginning to plan a day of protest later this year in support of the right to organize.
None of the union leaders BuzzFeed spoke with said they’d been contacted by occupiers about plans for a strike, a silence that has made the grand talk of a general strike even more puzzling to people whose members are familiar with picket lines.
“A general strike is a very specific thing,” said Bob Master, co-chairman of the Working Families Party and the legislative and political director of Communication Workers of America District 1. “It’s when all the workers in a city decide that they’re not working. It’s not when an outside group says, ‘How about we stop working for a day because we’ve got a set of demands that you weren’t part of formulating.’”
“Frankly there's not enough union people in this country anyway, so even if you made every union person strike, you still couldn’t have everyone not working,” said Jeff Smith, an organizer since the beginning of Occupy.
“It’s about getting enough people to opt out of what their normal equation is,” Smith said. “Even if you just stay home and watch TV, in some ways you'll have participated in this.”
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