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Tea Par(ties) Update 

By Enrique Lopetegui

Michael Knowles, listed as store manager/webmaster of the Tea Party Support (a recently formed splinter group from the San Antonio Tea Party), wrote the QueQue in order to “correct some mistakes” on The Tear-Itself-Apart Party.

It seems our first mistake was that we called the group “San Antonio” Tea Party Support, stupidly assuming that it was a San Antonio group since all involved live and work in San Antonio.

“Our group is Tea Party Support,” wrote Knowles, and we thank him for clarifying that for us. “We left the SATP to start working on national issues. There is more to do than just protest. As a matter of fact, we held a candlelight vigil for the troops at Alamo Plaza on Veterans Day and we asked the SATP if they wanted to help and they said no.”

Gail Kaciuba, treasurer for the San Antonio Tea Party (SATP), and the target of accusations by former SATP president Matt Perdue, insists that, yes, Perdue, Knowles, and others left the SATP, but only after the organization asked Perdue to resign.

“Yes,” Kaciuba told the QueBlog in an email. “It is true that we did ask Matt Perdue to resign at a meeting that was held on October 19. `And` to my knowledge, I never heard anyone from TPS request assistance from SATP for the vigil. To me, it just seemed like TPS wanted to handle the event.”

The second “mistake” pointed out by Knowles relates to the sudden disappearance of the SATP website, almost as soon as Perdue left. In our blog post, SATP health-care Tiger committee chair Jon Kaplan was careful not to accuse anyone, but suggested all fingers pointed to Perdue, Knowles, and others.

“The site was purchased by Matt Perdue,” explains Knowles. “He holds the â??title' to the domain, not the SATP. The entire site was created by me using WordPress themes that I modified and therefore held the intellectual property rights to. I removed the theme as well as software that I owned and allowed to be used on the SATP site. I created and left the group with the basic theme.”

So they did put down the SATP website. No mistake there. Nobody had questioned their rights to do so, but they could've told the SATP, couldn't they?

“The domain name, as well as a few other related domain names, were purchased by Matt Perdue and then SATP reimbursed him for this expenditure,” Kaciuba told the QueBlog. “Understandably, SATP was not happy that it lost its website as well as its ability to send blast emails. But we are trying to work around this.”

After using for a while, SATP recently launched

Other QueBlog “mistakes” are related to the San Antonio MoveOn claim that Knowles was an SATP “mole” on MoveOn's mailing list. The QueBlog had wondered whether we were talking about the same Michael Knowles.

“Yes I signed up for their newsletter,” Knowles told the QueBlog. “So what? I'm sure one of them gets the SATP mailings as well ... Why would you not want to get the word of what your opposition is doing directly from them instead of from a news organization that may slant it one way or the other? And if you look at the TPS site, there is nothing in there that states you can't belong to an organization that disagrees with the Tea Party `as MoveOn had suggested`. And again I was never a member of MoveOn `as they, not the QueBlog, said`. I just liked reading their emails.”

Finally, Knowles says that “We didn't form our own tea party... .We formed Tea Party Support.”

Oh, OK.

“ And since when can't a person serve on more than one board?” he asked, in relation to the fact that Perdue is still president of the SATP (the organization he left) until SATP elects a whole new board. “It happens all the time.”

Yeah, it happens all the time, especially if you pretty much accuse the treasurer of one of the boards of being a thief.

By the way, Kaciuba's answers to Perdue's accusations were posted on At the time of this posting, Perdue had no comment.

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