Just how deep are the Tea Party’s grass roots?

Who is the Tea Party? You know them as your neighbors, the grassroots organization that GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes and Republican Senate nominee Ken Buck have ridden to unlikely success.

Maybe it really is a movement of the people, rising up to reclaim America. Frank Rich, writing in The New York Times Saturday, lays out a different scenario altogether. His column was reprinted in The Denver Post today.

Rich says the Tea Party is bankrolled by a trio of billionaires with an agenda that may be a little less benign than most people in the organization believe.

He says Rupert Murdoch and David and Charles Koch are the muscle behind the Tea Party and that the roots of the organization go back to the founding of The Liberty League in 1934 and also through the John Birch Society, where the Koch brothers’ father was a guiding hand.

When David Koch ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket in 1980, he called for the elimination, according to Koch, of Social Security, all regulatory agencies, welfare, the FBI, the CIA, and public schools.

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About the Author

Scot Kersgaard

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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