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WASHINGTON- Tea Party activists say they can influence the 2010 midterm elections without the big bucks traditionally needed by Washington establishment Republicans and Democrats.
"It doesn't cost any money to be an activist," said Anastasia Przybylski of Kitchen Table Patriots, a Tea Party group in Pennsylvania.
Przybylski and her colleague Ana Puig are among activists from a dozen states who came together for a Tea Party Summit of sorts, organized by Freedom Works, over the past few days in Washington.
"What you're going to see is some surprising and powerful results on November 2nd," said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of Freedom Works. "November 3rd is the day we hold this new generation of leaders responsible."
On Monday the political action committee also released the latest list of candidates they are supporting as "Champions of Freedom" in the 2010 midterm elections. In the senate races they are backing the following nine candidates:
Ken Buck over Jane Norton in the Republican Primary in Colorado. Marco Rubio (R) over Governor Charlie Crist (I), Kendrick Meek (D) or Jeff Green (D) in Florida.Rand Paul (R) over Jack Conway in Kentucky.Sharron Angle (R) over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) in Nevada.David Malpass (R) over Senator Kirsten Gillirand (D) in New York.Pat Toomey (R) over Congressman Joe Sestak (D) in Pennsylvania. Mike Lee (R) over Sam Granato (D) in Utah.Dino Rossi (R) over incumbent Senator Patty Murray (D) in Washington.Ron Johnson (R) over incumbent Senator Russ Feingold (D) in Wisconsin.
Freedom Works is also actively involved in Tuesday's Colorado Senate GOP primary where they are backing Ken Buck over Jane Norton, who the group says "buckled" when she as lieutenant governor supported [Referendum] C, which they call the largest tax hike in Colorado's history.
The group has not made an endorsement in Connecticut's GOP Senate primary race, where millionaire and former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon has spent $22 million trying to hold off former Congressman Rob Simmons (R) and businessman Peter Schiff.
"We weren't real hot to get involved in that one," Said Brendan Steinhauser, Freedom Works Director of Federal and State Campaigns.Many inside the Tea Party movement say they can make their voices heard without having to spend huge bucks. "On the fundraising front, we didn't do as well as we would have liked," said Managing Director Rob Jordan. "But a little bit goes a long way. We're not doing television ads or direct mail. Just straight grass roots."
Jordan says the PAC has about a million dollars right now for use in the 2010 midterms and that should be plenty, if the money is used wisely. Freedom Works points to a web application that will allow their best and most trusted activists to "phone bank." It basically means an activist can sit in their home, anywhere in the country, and the web application will pipe their call to voters in the hottest races so they can try to convince them to support the Tea Party backed candidate.
"It's a powerful tool... and it doesn't cost a lot," said Jordan.