National tea party groups like Americans for Prosperity have been bussing conservative activists to Madison, WI to confront protesters there standing up to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) union busting. But Tea Party Nation and Mark Williams, the disgraced former chairman of Tea Party Express, who was forced to resign after making offensive racial comments, are calling for a more radical approach. In an email alert to supporters sent last night, Tea Party Nation promotes Williams’ “great idea” to impersonate SEIU organizers at upcoming labor rallies in an attempt to embarrass and discredit the union.
Williams lays out a highly dishonest and fairly involved scheme to have “plants” sign up on the SEIU website to be organizers for an upcoming rally, dress up in SEIU shirts, and to then make outrageous comments to reporters covering the events in order to “make the gathering look as greedy and goonish as we know that it is”:
That link will take you to an SEIU page where you can sign up as an “organizer” for one of their upcoming major rallies to support the union goons in Wisconsin. Here is what I am doing in Sacramento, where they are holding a 5:30 PM event this coming Tuesday: (1) I signed up as an organizer (2) with any luck they will contact me and I will have an “in” (3) in or not I will be there and am asking as many other people as can get there to come with, all of us in SEIU shirts (those who don’t have them we can possibly buy some from vendors likely to be there) (4) 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. […]
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.
Williams is even hoping to make a few bucks off the idea, asking readers to “Please contribute!!!” as “I need to travel beyond Sacramento to the other SEIU rally cities and then Madison, and in short order!”
And Williams has no qualms about employing this treachery, telling his “plants”: “Chances are that because I am publishing this they’ll catch wind, but it is worth the chance if you take it upon yourself to act.” In an update, Williams say activists in Iowa, Colorado, Massachusetts, “and several other states” were already on board, and he said “Tea Party Patriot groups and individuals are flooding me with emails vowing to participate and come up with their own creative ruses!”
Williams’ plan appears to have been taken down from both Tea Party Nation and Williams’ own site, suggesting they perhaps realize this plan is entirely in the wrong, but view a cached version here, and screen grabs here and here.
UPDATE In a statement to ThinkProgress, SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette condemned Williams’ plot, saying: “At a time when Americans are standing up and courageously speaking out, these guys are playing the same old dirty tricks. Last week we learned about the Chamber trying to create phony research to debunk and hack into our computers, this week the Tea Party dons purple. It’s like the emperor has no clothes: they have to rely on subterfuge because they do not really represent the majority of people.”