From of all places CNN Political ticker: (is the TIDE turning? will lamestream media reform?)
From CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser 3-Dec-09
Washington (CNN) - Just about every blockbuster movie is followed by a sequel, or two. The tea party cross country caravan, it appears, is no different.
A Tea Party Express official tells CNN that they're planning a third national tour in late March and early April that will culminate in the nation's capitol on April 15, tax deadline day.
Levi Russell, a spokesman for the group, which is organized by the conservative political action committee Our Country Deserves Better, says the slogan for the tour is "just vote them out."
Russell says that with the crucial 2010 midterm elections just months away, the tour will spotlight members of Congress who they consider the worst offenders when it comes to fiscal policy. While both Republicans and Democratic lawmakers will be targeted, Russell acknowledges that more Democrats than Republicans will be on their scopes.
Russell tells CNN that tour is expected to kick off on March 27 in Searchlight, Nevada, which is the hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He adds that the three Republican candidates running to challenge Reid in next year's election are planning to attend the rally.
Just as the first tea party cross country caravan ended in the nation's capital, as part of a taxpayers march on Washington on September 12, this national tour is also scheduled to conclude in D.C. as well. The conservative group FreedomWorks organized the first march on Washington and will reprise their role for the April 15 event.
The first march ended with a large rally in front of the U.S. Capitol. This time organizers plan to hold their rally near the White House.
"September 12, 2009 was a historic day for patriotic, grassroots Americans who care about freedom," says Brendan Steinhauser (no relation to the writer of this article), director of federal and state campaigns for FreedomWorks. "The momentum has continued, and we expect hundreds of tax day protests on April 15, 2010 around the country. But the biggest event of all will be right outside the White House, where President Obama can hear and see us."
A second tea party cross country tour in late October and early November experienced a drop off in the number of people participating and in coverage by the media. But Russell says that drop off was expected and feels the third tour will be the best one yet, saying that "we'll be well into the 2010 election cycle and the campaigns will be heating up."
As with the first two cross country caravans, next year's tour is expected to highlight the message by organizers and activists that the federal government is too large and too intrusive into the lives of private citizens, federal taxes are too high and that the federal budget deficit is out of control.
Last month, a separate group announced that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be the main attraction at what's being billed as the "First National Tea Party Convention."
Tea Party Nation says that last year's Republican vice presidential candidate will serve as a keynote speaker for the conference, scheduled to take place in Nashville, Tennessee from February 4-6. The group also announced that Rep. Michele Bachmann will be speaking at the gathering as well. The Minnesota Republican has become a hero among many in the conservative movement.
Tea Party Nation is not part of the planned national tour in March and April and Tea Party Express is not taking part in the tea party convention.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn