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Tea Party Dropped $103K on Miller Strategy Cruises

Critics not happy with lavish accommodations
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2010 7:03 AM CDT
Tea Party Dropped $103K on Miller Strategy Cruises
In this photo taken Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller campaigns door-to-door in Anchorage, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

(Newser) – The Tea Party Express took to the high seas this past summer, spending $103,000 to send six political action committee staffers on four back-to-back cruises over seven weeks. Of course, they were working the whole time—strategizing for Alaska’s upset-winner Joe Miller while at sea, and holding press conferences and rallies at Alaska ports-of-call. Even so, “it seems so outlandish,” says a former staffer, who notes that the lavish trip doesn’t really jive with the Tea Party’s focus on populism.

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Other critics of the Tea Party agree, alleging that the PAC is just a front for consultants who want to make money and, well, go on cruises. But a former Tea Party Express political director insists the cruises were a less expensive way for Miller to campaign in Alaska, and that “our supporters were really excited that we were looking outside the box to find a more cost-effective way to run a campaign.” That cost-effective method included $5,000 for flights, more than $4,000 for hotels, and $1,000 at one tony restaurant, Politico reports.
(Read more Tea Party stories.)

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