Politics

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

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.

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Kyle Munzenrieder