This from Talking Points Memo:

In August, O’Neal, an attorney and anti-tax activist who had had little involvement with the Tea Party movement, registered the “Tea Party” as a new political party with the Florida Division of Elections. O’Neal has told the press he intended to recruit conservative candidates under the Tea Party banner — an idea that hasn’t sat well with many Tea Party activists, who view any organized political party with distrust.

Now, according to one activist, O’Neal and his business partner “are trying to ‘hijack’ our movement and turn it into the thing we are protesting for their own personal gain.”

More accusations of either profiteers or GOP establishment types trying to co-opt the Tea Party name for their own personal gain. It seems when a movement gets plenty of media coverage, everyone wants their cut. Which brings me to this conclusion.

The Tea Party movement has been severely damaged by the recent amateur attempts at co-opting the name and philosophy. We’ve seen it with Sarah Palin and Judson Phillips and their involvement in Tea Party Nation and that dreadful convention in Nashville, and now we’ve seen the more direct politicized outcome with Fred O’Neal attempting to actually turn the movement and its ideologues into a Third Party force, of course with himself as founder and leader.