After five Beat Lamar town halls, the folks behind the effort would like you to know that they have united behind Joe Carr. This press release came out this morning …
Michael Patrick Leahy, co-founder of BEAT LAMAR, today announced that BEAT LAMAR, a project of the conservative ground game SuperPac the Real Conservatives National Committee, and a coalition of local Tea Party groups across Tennessee have endorsed State Representative Joe Carr for the Republican nomination in the 2014 United Senate race.
“Over the past month Joe Carr has been vetted in five BEAT LAMAR Town Halls across the state of Tennessee—in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Maryville, and this Saturday in Johnson City,” Leahy said. “Joe Carr has emerged as the unanimous choice among the Tea Party co-sponsors of each of these events—the Nashville Tea Party, the Mid-South Tea Party, the Chattanooga Tea Party, the Blount County Tea Party, the Roane County Tea Party, and the Tri-Cities—as the constitutional conservative candidate we enthusiastically endorse to stand with Ted Cruz and beat Lamar.”
“I am also delighted to note that the Coalition for a Constitutional Senate, an informal coalition of 63 Tea Party and Liberty groups throughout Tennessee, is also issuing a statement of support for Joe Carr today,” Leahy said.
But something else hit our inbox as well, and it hints that not everyone is happy with the process or Joe Carr.
Someone who would only describe themselves as "a patriot in Tennessee" writes Pith and says that the process was not exactly broad.
At the beginning of the day, only 27 of the 63 groups in the coalition even showed up. Three groups left before the final voting commenced. Joe only received 59% of the vote on first ballot. Four other groups abstained (including Campaign for Liberty). And, of the 20 remaining groups sympathetic to Joe (out of 60!) who participated in the final ballot, he could not even get a unanimous vote. Some groups are going home to our members to discuss formally withdrawing from the coalition.
The reason that the majority of the tea party groups did not show up, that seven left/abstained, and that several others are going back home to discuss withdrawing is because Beat Lamar is an absolute joke and has split the conservative movement much more than united and its leaders have tried to force Joe on everyone, including most who believe Joe is not our candidate. The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of us realize Joe cannot win. His latest embarrassment with the plagiarism can be forgiven by many, but to most of us, it shows he does not have what it takes to defeat the powerful lion of the Tennessee Republican machine. The bigger issue is Joe has not and will not win the support of national conservative groups (like Senate Conservatives Fund and Madison Project, who've said in recent newspaper reports that they will not support him), without whose money, network, and aid, we simply cannot win.
The fact of the matter is we are still looking for our candidate, with or without Beat Lamar. We believe we can still defeat Lamar, united, but that requires the right candidate and a fair process. It's not over, and Beat Lamar does not speak for us. We will start anew, and we will find our guy (or gal).
We've reached out to the Coalition for a Constitutional Senate folks for a response.
The one thing Pith has learned in the whole process is that anybody who attempts to wrangle together as many independent interests as there are within the Tea Party elements is going to have a hard time wrangling them all together. The Beat Lamar folks attempted to employ a systematic approach to vetting the candidates and all that's clear is that Joe Carr is their candidate. Given Pith's level of inbox bombardment every time there's news about Carr, it seems like the Tea Partiers have a ways to go before presenting a united front against The Senior Senator.