It looks like Tea Party activists are starting to get a little more savvy about the image they portray and trying to counter the movement’s growing reputation as the natural home for cranks, as Orly Taitz has been dropped from a Tax Day Tea Party in California at which several GOP candidates are scheduled to speak:
Several California Republican political candidates, including Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina, were scheduled to share the stage this week with one of the leaders of the “birther” movement that claims President Obama was not born in this country and is thus ineligible for his elected office.
Orly Taitz, an Orange County attorney who has gone to court many times to try to disqualify Obama, was invited to speak Thursday at a Tax Day Tea Party rally in Pleasanton, Calif., that is expected to draw thousands of people. Late Tuesday, organizers said that they had rescinded Taitz’s invitation after questions were raised about her presence by candidates who had been contacted by The Times.
Bridget Melson, founder and president of the Pleasanton Tea Party, said the organization had been “getting calls from candidates like crazy.”
“It’s not worth it,” she said. “She’s too controversial. This is not what the tea party is about at this point.”
While spokespersons for Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, and John Dennis all strongly blasted Tatiz and her Birtherism, not everyone speaking at the event shared such views:
“I certainly don’t have enough information to decide that,” said Tom Del Beccaro, vice chair of the California Republican Party. “I’ve never seen yay or nay either way, so how could I know?”
And a consultant to San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson, a candidate for state Assembly who is speaking Thursday, declined to say where Wilson believed Obama was born.
“Given the things going on in our state right now, the last thing I am thinking about is where Barack Obama was born,” consultant Jason Roe quoted Wilson as saying.