W. Ames Curtright is a wealthy tea party activist associated with the Oregon Republican Party.
He holds a annual rally he calls the “Gathering of Eagles”, on his family farm in Turner Oregon. Past presenters and attendees at his rallies have included former Congressman Tom Delay, former Oregon House member Jeff Kropf, entertainer Lars Larson, Todd Palin, Herman Caine, and former Oregon Republican Party Chair Bob Tiernan.
Mr. Curtright yesterday sent an email missive which appears to claim that Oregon Republican Chair Art Robinson has unified with the “tea party” and Curtright has been tasked to reform the Oregon GOP by ridding it of corruption. (In a post that was apparently scrubbed from the Lane County Republican site, but I found in a cached version, Curtright claims that he recruited Robinson to run for GOP Chair)
Curtright’s email is long and can be read in its entirety at Willamette Week. But, Mr. Curtrights message, after listing a bill of particular grievances, is that W. Ames Curtright himself is the acknowledged spokesperson and leader for all the various organizations that make up the Oregon tea party movement, and in partnership with Chair Robinson, Curtright is empowered to “clean up” the Oregon Republican party. In part, Curtright states:
“[That is why] Dr. Ames feels it is imperative that the Republican Party unify. “We need to recognize that communists exist in our midst and want to disrupt us. They are taking positions in our government in programs like Obama Care, DHS, and unions across the country in order to control us. The word we need to recognize and use for these people is not Progressive, Democrats, or Liberals. It is Communists. They should know what they are! This is the enemy that killed 70 million people during World War II, and America needs to Wake Up because it is happening again today!” I say, “Wake up, America!” …
Dr. Ames hopes that the actions being taken at the ORP level will also help the Republican National Committee but first we need to work on Oregon. He is working as a trouble-shooter for the ORP Chairman, and having earned the Chairman’s (Art Robinson’s) devout confidence, he is empowered to speak for all of Oregon’s Tea Parties.”
If you want to see what Mr. Curtright believes, you’ve got to read the entire email. It is extreme. And while I doubt Art Robinson has designated Mr. Curtright with any task or considers him the spokesperson for all tea party factions, Curtright clearly has some believers. Is Curtright simply a loose cannon who has some money to spend on a passion but carries no weight? or does he indeed speak for many, if not all, of the Oregon tea party members and adherents?
Chairman Robinson can, and should, call out Mr. Curtright and set the record straight. If Curtright has it wrong that is.
Are you a tea party member? Does Curtright speak for you?
(For more insight into the tea party v. modern Republican schism see our story on Rep. Julie Parrish)