Tea Party Leader Plans to Infiltrate Union “Goons”

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Last year, Mark Williams was tossed out of the Tea Party Express for his racially insensitive NAACP parody. (Three weeks later, he took the helm of an upstart tea party group.) Now, he wants to sow mayhem among “the union goons in Wisconsin” and elsewhere. According to a post on his blog today, Williams is seeking volunteers to pose with him as members of the Service Employees International Union at a Sacramento, California, rally, to act like angry fools and get the union workers bad publicity from “lazy reporters”:

we are going to target the many TV cameras and reporters looking for comments from the members there  (5) we will approach the cameras to make good pictures… signs under our shirts that say things like “screw the taxpayer!”  and “you OWE me!” to be pulled out for the camera (timing is important because the signs will be taken away from us) (6) we will echo those slogans in angry sounding tones to the cameras and the reporters.

Williams later updated the post to report that tea partiers in multiple states, including Iowa, Colorado, and Massachusetts, were calling in to plan “their own creative ruses” for embarrasing the union demonstrators. “Several have also reminded me that we have a distinct advantage in that the SEIU primarily represents non-English speaking illegal aliens so we will be the ones whose comments will make air!!!!” he wrote:

Our goal is to make the gathering look as greedy and goonish as we know that it is, ding their credibility with the media and exploit the lazy reporters who just want dramatic shots and outrageous quotes for headlines.  Even if it becomes known that we are plants the quotes and pictures will linger as defacto truth.

Thus far, demonstrations and counterdemonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin, have been peaceful, according to reporting by MJ‘s own Andy Kroll. Anti-union protesters, led by media mogul Andrew Breitbart, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, and “Joe the Plumber,” largely fizzled after a rally on Saturday. And the image of union workers that Williams seeks to portray seems to run uphill against the images of the employees’ leaders seen thus far. But as labor disputes spread to other states, it remains to be seen whether tactics like those proposed by Williams will be effective in embarassing the public employees…or embarrasing the tea party “plants” themselves.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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