Tea Party Patriots
Type501(c)(4) non-profit
HeadquartersAtlanta, Georgia
Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler

The Tea Party Patriots is an American conservative[1][2][3] political organization founded in 2009 as part of the Tea Party movement. It is known for organizing citizen opposition to the Affordable Care Act during the presidency of Barack Obama, and more recently for supporting President Donald Trump.

In 2020, Tea Party Patriots hosted and funded the "America's Frontline Doctors" event promoting use of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a cure to COVID-19. In 2021, Tea Party Patriots was among 11 groups listed on the website of the "March to Save America", the pro-Trump rally that led to the storming of the United States Capitol.


Obama years, 2009–2017

Representative Ron Paul of Texas addressing the Tea Party Patriots American Policy Summit in Phoenix, Arizona in 2011

Rick Santelli, an editor for the CNBC Business News network, is credited as being a catalyst in the early formation of the Tea Party movement through a statement he made on February 19, 2009.[4]

The organization was founded by Jenny Beth Martin, Mark Meckler, and Amy Kremer in March 2009.[5]

Tea Party Patriots was a co-sponsor of the 9/12 March on Washington,[6] but refused to participate in the National Tea Party Convention.[7] Tea Party Patriots is most notable for organizing citizen opposition at the healthcare town hall meetings of 2009.[8]

In 2010, Tea Party Patriots was among the 12 most influential groups in the Tea Party movement according to the National Journal,[9] and among the top five according to The Washington Post.[10] In September 2010, the group announced it had received a $1 million donation from an anonymous donor.[11] The money was distributed to its affiliated groups and must be spent by Election Day, though it could not be used to directly support any candidate.[11] In 2010, the group reportedly included over 2,200 local chapters.[12]

In 2012, the group along with the Southern Republican Leadership Conference organized a presidential primary debate that aired on CNN.[13]

Along with various other conservative and libertarian organizations the Tea Party Patriots developed a Contract from America that echoed the Republican Contract with America of 1994 stating some of the core principles and several specific goals shared by organizations and individuals involved with the tea parties.[14][failed verification]

In July 2012, the group's Atlanta chapter partnered with the Sierra Club and the NAACP to defeat a proposed transit tax in Atlanta. The referendum was defeated by a margin of 63 percent.[15]

Trump years, 2017–2021

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the Tea Party Patriots were reported to have assisted in lobbying efforts by hospitals against restrictions on elective surgeries and procedures.[2][16]

America's Frontline Doctors event

Main article: America's Frontline Doctors

On July 27, 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tea Party Patriots hosted and funded a press conference in Washington, D.C., at which they introduced "America's Frontline Doctors", a group founded by Doctor Simone Gold that promotes misleading and erroneous medical advice regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Video of the press conference, published by Breitbart News, was promoted by President Donald Trump and viewed millions times before it was removed by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for spreading misinformation.[1][2][3][17][18]

March to Save America

The Tea Party Patriots were among 11 groups listed on the website of the March to Save America, the pro-Trump rally in 2021 that led to the storming of the Capitol.[19]


The organization is run with the help of FreedomWorks, a conservative nonprofit.[20][21][22][23]

A 2011 investigation by the magazine Mother Jones alleged 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.[24] The magazine reported that Tea Party Patriots "has started to resemble the Beltway lobbying operations its members have denounced."[25]

In 2014, The Washington Post reported that Tea Party Patriots president Jenny Beth Martin was receiving two salaries from the organization: a $15,000 per month fee for strategic consulting and a $272,000 salary as president, with total annual compensation over $450,000.[26]

Richard Uihlein, CEO of the Uline business supplies company, donated a total of nearly $4.3 million in the five years through 2020 to the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, the group's political action committee.[19]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Don't fall for this video: Hydroxychloroquine is not a COVID-19 cure". PolitiFact. July 28, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Frenkel, Sheera; Alba, Davey (July 28, 2020). "Misleading Virus Video, Pushed by the Trumps, Spreads Online". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Goodman, Christopher Giles, Shayan Sardarizadeh and Jack (July 28, 2020). "Why a video promoted by Trump was pulled on social media". BBC News. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  4. ^ Fed-Bashing Three Ways Slate, Bethany McLean. November 9, 2010
  5. ^ Burghart, Devin, and Leonard Zeskind. Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope, and Focus of Its National Factions. Rep. Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, Fall 2010. Web. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 24, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Tea Party Patriots: 912 March and Rally". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  7. ^ Brant-Zawadzki, Alex; Advocate, ContributorIndustrial Hemp (March 18, 2010). "Tea Party Convention Loses Main Sponsor". HuffPost. ((cite web)): |first2= has generic name (help)
  8. ^ Urbina, Ian (August 7, 2009). "Beyond Beltway, Health Debate Turns Hostile". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Snow Hopkins, Christopher; Mahanta, Siddhartha; Poulson, Theresa (February 4, 2010). "12 Tea Party Players To Watch". National Journal. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  10. ^ "The top national players in the tea party". The Washington Post. September 26, 2010. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Jensen, Kristin (September 21, 2010). "Tea Party Patriots to Hand out $1 Million for Election Spending". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  12. ^ Zernike, Kate. Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America. New York: Times /Henry Holt and, 2010. Print.
  13. ^ "Presidential Debate".
  14. ^ "Contract from America: About Us". Archived from the original on 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
  15. ^ "How tea party and its unlikely allies nixed Atlanta's transit tax". Christian Science Monitor. August 1, 2012.
  16. ^ "Hospitals, Doctors Get Conservatives' Push for Elective Care". Bloomberg Law. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  17. ^ Passantino, Jon; Darcy, Oliver. "Social media giants remove viral video with false coronavirus claims that Trump retweeted". CNN. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  18. ^ "Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Solidarity Trial and hydroxychloroquine". www.who.int. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
  19. ^ a b "Chicago-Area Billionaire Gave Millions To 'Patriots' Group That Backed Pro-Trump Rally". WBEZ Chicago. 2021-01-12. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  20. ^ Jacobs, Lawrence; Skocpol, Theda (2016-01-07). "Health Care Reform and American Politics". Oxford University Press: 193. doi:10.1093/wentk/9780190262037.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-026203-7. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. ^ The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 2016-08-01. pp. 9–10, 108–109. ISBN 978-0-19-063366-0.
  22. ^ "FreedomWorks Says Jump, Tea Partiers Ask How High". Talking Points Memo. August 11, 2009.
  23. ^ Dickinson, Tim (Sep 23, 2009). "The Lie Machine". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 28, 2009.
  24. ^ Mencimer, Stephanie. "Tea Party Patriots Investigated: Don't Ask, Don't Tell".
  25. ^ "Tea Party Patriots Investigated: They Use You and Abuse You," Mother Jones, February 14, 2011, retrieved November 10, 2016.
  26. ^ "Tea Party PACs reap money for midterms but spend little on candidates," The Washington Post, April 26, 2014, retrieved November 10, 2016.