Tea Party Express secret weapon: Chuck Norris?(Read article summary)
The PAC for the Tea Party Express gave $237,000 to the Christine O'Donnell campaign in the days leading up to the GOP Senate primary. One fierce dude can be counted among its donors.
That’s right. Chuck. Norris. Action hero, famed deliverer of roundhouse kicks, and subject of hundreds of epigrammatic Chuck Norris facts, such as, “If at first you don’t succeed, you’re not Chuck Norris,” and “Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.”
Last Jan. 14, Chuck Norris wrote a $5,000 check to the Our Country Deserves Better political action committee, the Tea Party Express PAC, according to Federal Election Commission records we were leafing through on our lunch hour. He’s listed as an actor/entertainer who lives at a Dallas Zip Code.
Five thousand bucks might not sound like a lot for the star of “Walker, Texas Ranger,” but it’s the most an individual can donate to a PAC per election cycle. It puts Mr. Norris on the list of the Tea Party Express’s biggest contributors, along with several Perots and Jenny Craig.
These donations helped support the push Tea Party Express gave Ms. O’Donnell in the last week of her primary campaign. In those crucial last days, the group aided her to the tune of $237,000, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
What did that money go for? Well, let’s look at the record of its independent expenditures, which are made without direct candidate involvement. On Sept. 13, the PAC paid $2,800 to Delmarva Broadcasting Corp. for advertising, for example. On Sept. 10, it paid the Philadelphia Inquirer $1,444 for a print ad. The group also bought e-mail newsletters and ad design and unspecified support services.
These records show that in the last weeks before the primary, Tea Party Express also paid out a lot of money in support of another Delaware candidate – developer Glen Urquhart, a "tea party" favorite who was running for the House seat Representative Castle vacated for his unsuccessful Senate bid.
In a situation analogous to Delaware’s Senate primary, Mr. Urquhart beat a candidate favored by state and party GOP leaders, attorney Michele Rollins.
And yes, we’re aware that Chuck Norris isn’t really a “secret” weapon, as his donations are a matter of public record, and he has a record of public political involvement. He backed Mike Huckabee in the 2008 GOP presidential primaries. He’s cut commercials for the National Rifle Association intended to spur voter registration and turnout. He’s long been a tea party supporter.
And when it comes to Chuck Norris and politics, remember this fact (which we just made up and are rather proud of).
Chuck Norris does not vote. His ballot marks itself, out of fear.