That first convention was controversial within the tea party movement. Several tea party-related organizations pulled out over the event’s questionable for-profit financing. At the time, Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of RedState.com and a conservative contributor to CNN, wrote that it “smells scammy.”
A few months later, the Tea Party Nation squabbled with the Tea Party Express over Nevada’s GOP primary race for the US Senate, which eventually went to Sharron Angle. Ms. Angle was supposed to be featured at the October “unity convention” along with conservative celebrities Lou Dobbs, Joseph Farah, and Andrew Breitbart.