Tea Party Express Banks on Tucson

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is taking heat for blasting out a fundraising email based on the gruesome shootings in Tucson over the weekend that left six people dead and at 14 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). Sanders’ email read in part, “In light of all of this violence—both actual and threatened—is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process?” The Hill‘s Brent Budowsky wrote in response, “I like Bernie and respect him, but there is absolutely no excuse for turning this tragedy into a fundraising opportunity.”

But Sanders isn’t the only one who leveraged the Tucson tragedy into cash. On Monday, the Tea Party Express fired off an email asking contributors to “stand with Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh + Tea Party” and fight “liberals” who were linking conservatives to the weekend’s shootings. “We want to have our largest fundraising day in the history of our organization and we need your help to achieve this success,” the email read.

And there’s more. Another Tea Party Express email from Monday accuses liberals of “trying to exploit this shooting for their own political benefit, and they used deception and dishonesty to try and smear all of us and our beliefs.” The heated message goes on to say, “Well guess what: to those liberals in the news media and on the political Left who think you can silence us, you are wrong! Your efforts to try and smear us and shut us up will fail.” Then, at the very end of the 600-word email, this:

“We ask you to please stand with the Tea Party Express and show your support for our efforts.

You can make a contribution online right now to the Tea Party Express – CLICK HERE TO CONTRIBUTE.”

Enough said.

(h/t First Read)

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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