Published December 14, 2010
Sharron Angle's Tea Party-fueled rise in national politics wasn't enough to vanquish Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last month. But rather than throw in the towel, Angle, the Nevada Republican who was a lightning rod for controversy, now is setting her sights on taking down President Obama.
With $27 million, a huge campaign donor list and a high-profile name, Angle has started the latest Tea Party political action committee: the Patriot Caucus.
An umbrella group for Tea Party-searching candidate wannabes, the new caucus could do to 2012 GOP candidates exactly what Republicans feared in 2010 – put up viable third party challengers, though Angle and her backers insist that’s not the intent.
"The Tea Party movement stood with me through a hard fought race against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid," Angle said in a recent statement. "It's time for me to give back and help our movement take the fight against big government to a new level."
In a Facebook posting announcing the formation, Angle said the caucus is preparing to open offices in Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire and Florida, all key battleground states in a presidential election. Angle said she is working with Tea Party organizers from 15 states and that a series of websites being developed will be rolled out through January and February.
"I understand that many of you were disappointed with the results of the 2010 elections – especially with the victory of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid," she wrote in the Facebook posting. "However, there is one thing even more depressing – the thought of President Obama being re-elected in 2012."
Angle said the caucus "will serve as an organizing and educational hub for all those who are interested in being active in politics and government – and especially for those who wish to see a grass-roots conservative in the White House in January of 2013!"
Angle's caucus is just the latest of several other Tea Party groups and political action committees, including Sarah Palin's. Angle's group is likely to raise some of the same concerns that the other groups did – mainly are they hurting the Republican Party by helping to elect conservative candidates in primaries who have no shot of winning in the general election.
The Tea Party Express, which supported Angle's campaign, did not return a message seeking comment. Neither did Jerry Stacy, a spokesman for Angle, nor Angle herself.
Kurt Luidhardt, an online fundraising consultant who worked on Angle's Senate campaign, told FoxNews.com that Angle revealed to his wife that she was only lending her name to the group and that she still has plans to start her own political action committee.
"She doesn't have control over this group," Luidhardt said. "So it sounds to me like it's a little murky about what the status of this Patriot Caucus is."