Tea Party Express’s Expensive Luxury Cruises
Wait a sec! Isn’t the tea party for fiscal restraint? Then how can they explain $103,000 spent for 7 staff members to cruise around on the M.S. Amsterdam to help Alaska’s Joe Miller Senate campaign?
For seven weeks this summer, staff members of the political action committee coordinated their efforts on behalf of Miller from staterooms aboard Holland America’s M.S. Amsterdam, a cruise ship that plied the waters from Seattle to various ports of call from Canada to Alaska. There, while other passengers were shopping or photographing glaciers, Tea Party Expressers held press conferences, rallies and meetings with Miller supporters.
The Tea Party Express, paid Holland America Line a total of $103,000 to send six of its staffers on four consecutive cruises on the Amsterdam. The payments to the cruise line, which appeared on a campaign finance report filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission, have started drawing attention from critics of the Tea Party Express, who have alleged that the committee is a front for Republican consultants seeking to use the populist movement to make a buck and live the high life.
Kelly Eustis, who was fired from the PAC last year and has been a constant critic of the Tea Party Express, calls it “outlandish.”
“Why would a committee spend all that money going on cruises when they weren’t even on land most of the time? They made it seem like they were up there campaigning the whole time, when they were really up there on a Holland America cruise ship,” said Eustis, contrasting the boat’s lavish accommodations with the grass-roots tea party movement’s populist sensibilities.Click here for reuse options!
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