Joe Miller's spokesman Randy DeSoto initially told KTUU that Miller isn't concerned with having the Tea Party Express advocating on his behalf, because the controversial NAACP letter published by Williams was posted on a private blog and didn't appear on anything directly linked with the Tea Party Express. DeSoto said the Miller campaign trusts the Tea Party Express in no way shares those views. Shortly thereafter, the Miller campaign released the following statement:
Joe disavows racism of any kind. He agrees with Dr. Martin Luther King's admonition not to judge anyone by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Mark Williams stepped down as a chairman of the Tea Party Express last month, in the wake criticism caused by earlier controversial remarks that he had made. His satire, "Letter to Lincoln," appeared on his private blog, not anything directly linked with the Tea Party Express. We trust that organization in no way shares those views.
Update July 19th: In a press conference in Anchorage, Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer refused to throw Mark Williams under the bus to placate the diversity lobby. Kremer pointed out that Williams resigned from the chairmanship of the Tea Party Express over a month ago, so he does not speak for the organization. The money quote from Kremer: “I’m not going to throw a fellow conservative under the bus. I don’t agree with what he wrote, I wish he hadn’t wrote it, but that’s not what we are here to focus on”.
There has been no recorded reaction from Lisa Murkowski. However, Alaska Voices columnist Paulette Simpson published a major hit piece against Joe Miller, where she hysterically accused him of trying to stage a "coup" against Alaska Republican Chairman Randy Ruedrich in 2008. Why she's bringing this out now, and what it has to do with the current campaign is unclear. It's quite probable somebody put her up to it. The bigger story about the National Tea Party Federation continues after the jump.
The National Tea Party Federation expelled the Tea Party Express in the wake of a satirical anti-NAACP letter published by Williams in response to the NAACP resolution declaring the Tea Party to be "racist". The Federation posted the notice HERE. In the letter, Williamson wrote, "Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!" You can read the full letter at the bottom of this post.
Williams eventually decided to change the offending post on his blog, and stated "We denounce racists of any color and all those who seek to divide the American People along any lines", but it wasn't enough to satisfy the Tea Party Federation. The Federation first asked the Express to fire Williams; when they refused, the Federation then expelled the Express en masse. They trotted out David Webb to deliver the coup de grace. The Tea Party Federation claims to to represent 85 Tea Party groups, although the Tea Party Express has been more active in promoting sympathetic candidates and in particular, in opposing the proposed construction of a mosque near the WTC site in New York City. The idea that the same religion who claimed the allegiance of the 9/11 hijackers should be allowed to construct a religious facility on the site of their destruction is an unforgivable insult to the memory of those who died when the World Trade towers collapsed. The Tea Party Express has claimed about 375,000 members nationwide, with about 1,000 of those in Alaska.
In response, Mark Williams says he's done discussing the controversy stirred up by his attack on the NAACP, accusing David Webb of turning the debate into a World Wrestling style personality conflict. "That careless individual tea partier who assumed the mantel of 'leadership' did so long enough to turn a critical and serious movement and delicate peace with skeptical groups into a World Wrestling style personality conflict with me at the center," Williams said. "There are internal political dramas amongst the various self-anointed tea party 'leaders,' and some of the minor players on the fringes see the Tea Party Express and Mark Williams as tickets to a booking on "Fact [sic] the Nation.'"
As for NAACP President Ben Jealous, he met Williams' statement by telling CNN, "Good riddance, Mark Williams." But he praised Tea Party activists like Webb for standing up and self-policing their movement. "As the movement grows up, you have to act responsibly and they have to keep doing what they just did to Mark Williams and make it clear there is no space for bigots here, period," Jealous said.
Here's the full satirical letter published by Mark Williams, who says there may be more than one version on line, since he made several changes on the fly before deleting it altogether:
Dear Mr. Lincoln
We Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!
In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the 'tea party movement'.
The tea party position to "end the bailouts" for example is just silly. Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn't that what we want all Coloreds to strive for? What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds! Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds.
And the ridiculous idea of "reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government." What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!
The racist tea parties also demand that the government "stop the out of control spending." Again, they directly target Colored People. That means we Colored People would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.
Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government "stop raising our taxes." That is outrageous! How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?
Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.
Precious Ben Jealous, Tom's Nephew National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Head Colored Person