Tea Party Express ready to roll

2011-08-11T00:00:00Z 2011-08-22T20:31:37Z Tea Party Express ready to rollJAMES NOONAN Napa Valley Register
August 11, 2011 12:00 am  • 

What’s being billed by organizers as a “Tea Party Super Rally” is headed to Napa later this month, and event organizers say a few White House hopefuls have already committed to appear.

The event — a kickoff rally for the nationwide Tea Party Express tour — is set to take place on Aug. 27, and has already generated RSVPs from a few GOP presidential candidates, said Pam Silleman, head of the Napa Tea Party.

Silleman wasn’t willing to reveal which candidates were making plans to attend the rally, saying it was up to the candidates themselves to announce whether they would be attending.

Tea party luminaries such as Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain would likely be among those most willing to commit to the Napa rally, although inquiries to their respective campaigns were not immediately returned.

Calls to Sal Russo, a GOP consultant and co-founder of Tea Party Express, were also not returned Wednesday.

While the names of the candidates will remain a mystery for now, Silleman was willing to report that the logistical aspects of the rally had largely fallen into place.

“It seems like it’s going to be quite a big rally,” she said. “It’ll be something Napa’s never seen before.”

Silleman previously said that attendance at the event could be measured in the tens of thousands.

Not everyone gathering in Napa that Saturday will do so to support the tea party movement. Members of the local Green Party have already announced plans for a counter rally that day.

According to Napa County Green Party spokesman Alex Shantz, the local chapter will be hosting what they are calling a “green tea party” at Veterans Memorial Park to protest the tea party’s presence in Napa.

“The purpose of this rally is to show our opposition to the tea party's far right-wing agenda while affirming positive Green Party values, such as grassroots democracy, social justice, respect for diversity, nonviolence, community-based economics and ecological wisdom,” Shantz said in a statement.

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