Co-Founder of Tea Party Express Openly Supports Amnesty. Has Been GOPe Operative for 50 Years. So Why Has He Been a “Tea Party” Strategist?


By Isabel Matos

I reported last month how the endorsement of the Tea Party Express in Florida’s 19th Congressional District threw the election off by giving voters the wrong impression that “their” guy was a Tea Party conservative and an outsider.

An article appearing in Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ reports that Sal Russo is openly supporting amnesty. This is a 180 degree turn from Tea Party Express’s statement that it would not take a position on immigration reform.

I’m jubilant about the news because I feel a bit vindicated. I knew there were issues with TPX early on but first learned about Sal Russo when I wrote about him and possible infiltration in TPX via Russo and RandPac. Being at Lizbeth Benacquisto’s campaign helped me see first hand the impact the Tea Party Express endorsement had and the meme that would not go away in the media.  (It is important to get involved. You never know what good comes of it.)

Chris Chmielenski, Director of Content and Activism, Numbers USA mostly writes about amnesty but adds a link to Sal Russo’s past I found interesting:

The man behind the organization is anything but a fresh-faced activist. The architect of the Tea Party Express, Sal Russo, is a California political operative who has spent nearly half a century campaigning for Republican candidates. 

The Sacramento-based political action committee that funds Tea Party Express activities, Our Country Deserves Better, has taken in more than $4.5 million since forming in 2008 to help John McCain’s presidential campaign. That includes major contributions from corporate executives and other bedrock supporters of conservative candidates, such as actor Chuck Norris.

That raises a couple of questions: WHY didn’t we know about this before and WHY would a REPUBLICAN OPERATIVE be chosen to be a strategist for a Tea Party enterprise to begin with? All of this means we have to continue being vigilant but get better at disseminating information for our movement to sparkle and be squeaky clean.  Conservative HQ’s article, his links or any information leading to more knowledge about the corruption in the TPX must be shared.

After Florida I saw how TPX mixed establishment and non-establishment candidates on their national tours, how they used good people to travel and represent them at those rallies (you know who they are) and how by doing so, they hurt the Tea Party brand. TPX’s ties with the GOPe creates confusion in races they interject themselves in. It has been a big confusing mess! GOPe collaborators like Russo and organizations like the TPX need to be exposed.

I look forward to journalists in the Right Wing Media reporting more on this and for them to add Rand Paul 2016 to the list of corrupt politicians in the GOPe. Every other GOPe establishment type has been named except him it seems.

I wish I knew why Amy Kremer resigned but I can start seeing why.  I will stay on top of this.  I also promise to write what I can if I find anything.  For now this article (most of it in the passage) is a juicy and encouraging start:

Sal Russo, co-founder of the Tea Party Express, announced his support for amnesty on Wednesday, reversing his organization’s statement from a year ago that it would not take a position on immigration reform. If you take a look at Russo’s background, this isn’t exactly the revelation that some in the media are making it out to be. What’s interesting, though, is the dichotomy between Russo’s position and the principles of the organization he helped to create.

The Tea Party Express bills itself as anti-establishment, but Russo’s immigration proposal is nearly identical to the principles pushed by GOP House Leaders — John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Paul Ryan — back in January. While most Conservatives scoffed at those principles, Russo warns that if they don’t act, immigration reform would take the shape of the “misty-eyed ideals of some of the liberal do-gooder reformers.” This is strange seeing that if you simply changed the byline of Russo’s op-ed in Roll Call to Sen. Chuck Schumer, no one would notice the difference.

Even though it’s buried in the second-to-last paragraph, Russo expresses his unequivocal support for amnesty (even though he doesn’t want you to call it that). He calls for the legalization of 11 million illegal aliens once they pay a penalty, pay their taxes, learn English, and undergo a background check. Contrary to many House Republicans, he doesn’t even block illegal aliens from eventual citizenship; instead, he says he opposes a “special path to citizenship that puts them in front of people who waited in line.” That’s a creative way of describing Schumer’s plan that creates a special path to citizenship after the 4 million foreign citizens waiting in line receive their green cards.

The Tea Party Express calls for a return to Constitutional principles, but Russo seemingly has no issue with rewarding illegal aliens whose first act in the United States was to defy the very document his organization fights to defend.

Another principle of the Tea Party Express is to restore American prosperity, which to many Americans likely means individual prosperity. But Russo joins the business elites, the GOP establishment, the Gang of Eight, Pres. Obama, and 99% of the Democrats in Congress by calling for increases in foreign worker visas. When scoring Schumer’s amnesty bill, the Congressional Budget Office found that its increases in foreign worker visas combined with amnesty would depress wages for American workers, increase unemployment, and reduce GDP per capita over time. Is that the kind of American prosperity that the Tea Party Express and Russo stand for?

The Associated Press called Russo’s comments “notable”, while other reporters wrote about the significance of his coming out party. But if one knows Sal Russo, this is really no surprise.

In the 1980’s, he started a political consulting firm in California where he helped his “close friend” Jack Kemp during his 1988 presidential run.That’s the same Jack Kemp who advocated for both the 1986 and 2006 amnesty bills. It’s the same Jack Kemp who had Cesar Conda, Marco Rubio’s chief of staff, serve on the board of his think tank, Empower America, that employed Paul Ryan. If that’s not enough, Russo also consulted John McCain during his 2008 presidential run. Russo’s open-borders, pro-amnesty ties run far and wide.

For the rest of the article read more here.


I’m not on the traitor band wagon. I just think we have to focus on exposing the infiltration and corruption going on in the GOPe and very aggressively!


Related Articles

Front Page Magazine:  Tea Party Express Jumps Shark, Endorses Illegal Alien Amnesty (5/15)

 GROVER NORQUIST: Here Are The Only 6 Republicans Who Can Win In 2016



Filed under In The News, Politics

12 responses to “Co-Founder of Tea Party Express Openly Supports Amnesty. Has Been GOPe Operative for 50 Years. So Why Has He Been a “Tea Party” Strategist?

  1. Terrific – albeit discouraging – report, Isabel! We have traitors among us – that is, “traitors” to the Conservative and Tea Party cause. I’d always thought that Russo was a good Conservative, but, obviously, I haven’t kept up with him and his current affiliations, etc. And now, this lemming-like rush to join the liberals and anti-US sovereignty types in an insane effort to commit national suicide, is really beyond common sense, reason and good domestic policy.

    So, we’re learning more about the TP Express – and we’ve learned a lot about Tea Party Patriots! Unfortunately, those two major organizations have gathered tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of members and their patriotic donations. It’s a good bet that most members are not aware of what’s been going on with less-than-honorable types at the helm (or in positions of power) at those two seminal organizations. I’d love for Sarah Palin to weigh in on this and help lead “the people” away from the phonies and toward her North Star!

    • Isabel Matos

      That’s great “lemming-like rush”. You’re great.

      The TPX started with a Rino-ey reputation but I had no idea this guy was involved in FIFTY YEARS of pushing RINOS that were obviously “demish”. He supported McCain in 2008. (and that was not after Sarah Palin). He’s quite smart and ahead of the curve it seems to use the TEA PARTY label to make money for himself but very ill-willed for trying to divide us. This is just the tip of the iceberg of all the corruption tied to amnesty which is a sham and it raises more questions than it provides answers. His wife and daughter are involved with RandPac. It’s a whole money-making deal with that family. I want more! My appetite to bust these liars is (almost) eating me alive. I’m kidding of course. But it does have me hungry for more.

      • Greg Pickens

        Well done Isabel! Superb article and keep digging. Once we begin to pull a thread here and there eventually it all unravels. This infiltration needs to be exposed and it is a shame and disgrace that the political corruption has so infested both sides of the aisle but that is the nature of the DC beast.

      • Isabel Matos

        Thank you. And people need to know. They are confusing voters and hurting our cause. It’s time to share the info!

        Much appreciated visit. Thanks again.

  2. (Forgot to check the box to notify me of follow-up comments.)

  3. Pingback: Co-Founder of Tea Party Express Openly Supports Amnesty. Has Been GOPe Operative for 50 Years. So Why Has He Been a “Tea Party” Strategist? | askmarion

  4. Jim Thompson

    Well, we now know who’s screwing us. (Hint): They’re right under our collective noses. First, it was this B!96h down in Florida who resigned after aiding McConnell, now this. Pardon my bellicosity, please.

    • Isabel Matos

      Bellicosity welcome in this site. It is justified! We have not forgotten what we are fighting for and part of that justice is to expose GOPe wrongdoing. Facts are awesome!

      Thank you so much for such a fun comment. If you have a link to the B196h I will keep it in a handy place or future reference.

  5. AWC

    Oi. How irritating. I’m getting to the point where there are just too many enemies and not enough friends. I’ve seriously considered Puerto Rico and Belize for my family. It just seems like Americans are never going to get on-board…hell…most of them don’t even know what’s going on. My brother-in-law, that I’ve been trying to educate told me the other day that when he left his last job, he had to get on Medi Cal and he told me “Everything was free…seriously.” He was very happy about it. He’s in his late 20’s. He’s the future.

    And even if my lifestyle takes a hit moving out, I can at least look back on what’s happening here and wipe my brow and think…well…it could be worse…I could still be in the States.

    So what is your opinion on the TPP? Who would be your Top 3 “friends” of freedom? Apologize in advance if you’ve already covered this.

    • Isabel Matos

      Top three friends of freedom in polticis: first Sarah Palin. She will put country before her political ambitions. That is why she is trying to refresh the page again on Congress and hopefully gain a majority in the Senate with her endorsees. One of them is Karen Handel and we will be covering that tomorrow. That’s been part of thr vision and solution to DC. Corruption. Everyone else is looking out for themselves. She has character.. She has ignored all the polarity and attacks against her to keep on message and used her star qualities to improve pop culture which she understands. Andrew Breitbart said it best: the GOP knows they would have to transcend that to beat her.

      Her smack downs of Obama and the GOP alike have been beyond courageous and epic if you think about it, as BOTH the Democrats and Republicans have been trying to destroy her, her family and her credibility since 2008. The left hates her and the GOPe has tried in vain to make her irrelevant. Why? She sent corrupt Republicans to jail in Alaska.

      After Sarah I would pick Ted Cruz who visibly cares about taking on Obama and has the intellectual capacity and legal background to do so. The is a great report on 76 lawaless actions : abuse of power. RINOS loke Mcconnell tried to make his life impossible last September and all last year because they all stand to gain from Obamacare. Anyone who the GOP is threatened by is usually an advocate for the prople. Cruz makes Harry Reid look like a complete idiot. He is a good listener and could probably be V.P. one day. I would love to see him as Senate Majority Leader not McConnell.

      I dont know who number three would be.. Allen West is pretty reasonable and reliable. I like when he takes on the Muslim brotherhood issues and other foreign policy matters when they come up. He is a tough guy with big heart for this country. Mike Lee is also reasonable. He seems to be a good guy team player so far and has been there for us.

      The rest I watch like a hawk. That includes right wing media, pundits, Tea Party Organizations (of any kind). TPP apparently spends its money on community organizing not candidates. Fox is great but doesn’t report on Rinos. I don’t watch them anymore. They are probabaly going to do what they did in 2012 when they pushed Romney on us, only this time it will be for Jeb’s run. Bush, Inc has powerful tools in the GOP shed at their disposal. Fox is one.

      Anyone can turn on dime just to stay in power even IF they don’t start that way. I’m curious who you support.

      Have a great evening.

      • Greg Pickens

        My picks for friends of freedom would be Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz without a doubt. Mike Lee would be my third pick and I pray he remains steadfast. Outside of politics, Mark Levin would be my top of the list choice. I would take either Sarah or Ted as President any day.

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