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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

DC hub for tea party providing organizing muscle for Rubio's Senate bid



Debbiewilson.jpg WASHINGTON — Debbie Wilson will arrive here Sunday with tens of thousands of other conservatives for a "9/12" taxpayer march. Then she'll return home to Florida to engage in a different sort of rally.

Every day until the Nov. 2 election, Wilson plans to call 100 voters and urge them to support Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

"We could lose the country that we have," said Wilson, 52, who lives in Apollo Beach near Tampa and views the midterm elections as a critical juncture in history and Rubio as a defender of the conservative ideal.

Wilson is one of thousands of activists in Florida — and many thousands more across the country — who are transforming the angst behind the tea party movement into a grassroots machine operating outside the traditional campaign and party structure.

Behind the drive is FreedomWorks, a Washington group that has provided organizational support to tea party groups since they began to emerge nearly two years ago amid swelling anger over the bank bailout and the election of President Barack Obama. (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, October 7, 2010 5:28pm]


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