We told you last month that the political action committee behind the Tea Party Express (TPE) directed almost two thirds of its spending during a recent reporting period back to the Republican consulting firm - or entities associated with it — that created the group in the first place.
But it’s actually worse than that. It now appears the figure is over three quarters.
From July to November, the PAC, Our Country Deserves Better (OCDB), paid $168,437 to King Media Group, for creating ads for the Tea Party Express, according to FEC filings. And King Media has very close ties to Russo, Marsh, the GOP consulting firm that created OCDB and the Tea Party Express. Sal Russo, the founder of Russo, Marsh, is listed as a “senior adviser” on King Media’s site. Three other Russo Marsh staffers also are listed as officers of King Media. The two companies are both located in the same Sacramento office building, and their websites share a design scheme. (Here’s Russo, Marsh, and here’s King Media.)
In other words, we can count the money paid by OCDB to King Media as an additional example of the PAC’s spending going back to Russo, Marsh or entities closely associated with it. That brings the total such spending to $1,025,559. And it means that about 76 percent of OCDB’s $1.33 million total spending for the period in question, went to Russo, Marsh or entities closely associated with it.
TPE already has been slammed by rival factions in the Tea Party movement as inauthentic and corporate-controlled. It’s not hard to see why.
No one at Russo, Marsh responded to our original report, or responded immediately to a followup request for comment.