Rep. Minnick rejects Tea Party backing

July 21, 2010

By Shane D’Aprile -The Hill

Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho), the only member of his party to receive the backing of the Tea Party Express rejected the group’s endorsement Monday citing the controversy over a blog post written by one of its leaders Mark Williams.

Williams posted a mock letter to President Abraham Lincoln from Benjamin Jealous, the president of the NAACP. It came on the heels of the NAACP’s July 13 passage of a resolution calling on Tea Party leaders to repudiate racist elements of the movement.

The mock letter begins: “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!”

The Tea Party Federation expelled Williams’ group over the weekend. The Tea Party Express reacted with anger to that expulsion Monday and defended Williams in a news release.

In a letter to Amy Kremer, co-chair of the Tea Party Express, Minnick called the blog post by Williams “reprehensible.”

“Since the Tea Party Express refuses to reject and rebuke Mr. Williams, I have no choice but to decline your endorsement,” Minnick wrote. “I thank you very sincerely for your kind words about my work as a Congressman, and hope that your group can see the error of its ways.”

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