Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Searching for scandal

A tea party caucus of U.S. senators convenes Thursday for the first time, but one of the movement's biggest stars doesn't plan to be there.

The meeting -- at least for now -- is not on Sen. Marco Rubio's schedule, said spokesman Alex Burgos, who pointed out that the freshman senator had yet to make up his mind about joining any caucus.

``He's proud of his relationship with the tea party movement,'' Burgos said. ``He shares with the movement a commitment to tackling debt, defending the free enterprise system and restoring our limited government tradition. It's the same case with other causes that have been brought to our attention, he hasn't made any decision one way or the other.''

Getting Rubio, who harnessed conservative fervor to secure a come-from-way behind win, would bolster the influence of the tea party caucus, which was started by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. He calls the caucus a ``direct reaction to the demands Americans made at the polls in November.'' Paul and two other founding members will meet with movement activists to discuss ``bringing an end to our nation's deficit, and limiting the size and scope of the federal government.''

The caucus members are Rand, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, who backed Rubio's fledgling Senate campaign even as the Republican party backed former Gov. Charlie Crist. They will meet in a Senate office building with leading tea party activists including Campaign for Liberty president John Tate, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist and Tea Party Express chairman Amy Kremer.

Rubio has indicated that he won't join the tea party caucus.

Tea party supporters say they don't care, as long as he votes with them on important issues.

For some reason, this non issue resulted in a front page story in which the reporter seeks to drum up scandal and division where there are none.

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