Tea Baggin' Battle: Florida Tea Party to Sue Other Florida Tea Party

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

The "tea party" might be one of the silliest names associated with a political movement, but that hasn't stopped one Florida group calling itself the Tea Party from taking a similarly named group to court over the rights to the name.

The Florida Tea Party, a grassroots movement not affiliated with any party, is taking the Tea Party, a political party registered with Florida's Department of State, to court in Miami over the name, according to Newsmax.

"We look at the tea party movement as similar to the civil rights movement or any other political movement, such as women's suffrage. It's a movement that transcends beyond politics and political parties, and we did not want to have it being taken advantage of by any political party," said South Florida Tea Party chairman Everett Wilkinson, apparently without irony comparing his group, whose main goal is to lower taxes and oppose the effort of the first African-American president, to historic movements that brought long-overdue rights to all Americans.

The other Tea Party, unaffiliated with the larger Tea Party movement, was officially registered as a political party in Florida in August 2009 by Orlando-area political operative Ed O'Neal long after the other Tea Party had held rallies.

"My colleagues and I believe the identity of the Florida Tea Party has been hijacked by cynical forces. What we're trying to do is make sure the success of the tea party movement is not perverted," Wilkerson told Newsmax.

O'Neal says he is looking into taking legal action of his own.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.