Bleeding Heartland: Third district primary will test "tea party" phenomenon
Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
I view last year's "tea party" activism primarily as a corporate-funded "astroturf" movement hyped by Fox News and conservative talk radio, but some Republicans insist the tea partiers are a real grassroots force to be reckoned with. This year's Republican primary in Iowa's third Congressional district will give some indication of who's right. Five GOP candidates are competing for the chance to run against seven-term incumbent Leonard Boswell. Two of them have significant backing in the Republican establishment: various elected officials are supporting State Senator Brad Zaun, while a bunch of major donors are supporting Jim Gibbons. Long-shot candidate Dave Funk was the first Republican to enter this race, and he announced yesterday that "Iowa Tea Party Chairman Ryan Rhodes has joined the campaign team as Political Director" ... I'm guessing that the forces funding and publicizing the national "tea party" movement won't weigh in against two establishment candidates in this Republican primary, and Funk will therefore not be able to compete with the front-runners.