Such rumors received new weight today, and directly from the GOP in that same area.
According to The Arizona Republic, four local district officials resigned due to threats from Tea Party members of their same Republican Party.
Legislative District 20 Chairman Anthony Miller stated fear for his and his wife’s safety as the basis of his resignation.
Miller was recently elected district chairman after a heated contest with another candidate, a member of that region’s Ahwatukee Tea Party. On one occasion during the campaign, a Tea Party member made handgun-like gestures towards him, Miller recalls. He was also the subject of verbal and blog-issued assaults following the election, too, he states.
First vice chair Roger Dickinson, secretary Sophia Johnson and former spokesman Jeff Kolb also announced their resignations from the District 20 Republican Party, citing the same circumstances as basis.
With active participation and promotion from noted Republicans, such as former Gov. Sarah Palin (a national promoter) and former Rep. Dick Armey (who helped create and promote the movement at its inception), this Tea Party-created unrest in the Republican Party could be self-defeating to the GOP, as this Arizona incident indicates.
Approximately 79 percent of Tea Party supporters are Republican, according to a Gallup poll.
Over the last two years and shortly after its creation, Tea Party demonstrations were reported to include veiled threats and violent themes. Some activists promoted vandalism, and one Tea Party sect could be responsible for attempted against an elected official.
For example, signage displayed at a Tea Party demonstration against the healthcare act included the message “Warning: If Brown [a congressman] can’t stop it, a Browning [handgun brand] can.”
A Tea Party enthusiast in Alabama posted blog messages asking others to vandalize local Democrat Party facilities. This same site also posted residential addresses of congressional representatives who voted for the national healthcare act, advising readers to “drop by” their homes. A gas line at one of those addresses was severed after the posting.
If the Tea Party was created and supported by the Republican Party as a method to gain votes, these recent incidents only indicate that the efforts have backfired on the GOP.