Rebranding the Tea Party

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- They flexed their muscle four years ago, but were nary a factor in last November's election - the Tea Party.

The local Tri-Cities Tea Party is searching for ways to boost membership, as national numbers plummet.
It's a push for a new tea party that promotes the old America.

"If you're not getting emails from us, put your email address down," Jamie Wheeler told the group. There's a clear problem off the bat as the 15 member strong Tri-Cities Tea Party meeting got underway.
"How many of you are on Facebook," asked Wheeler, only three raised three hands.

It's the reality of the decline the Tea Party nationwide is facing and what local groups are trying to do bring it back. "We're trying to introduce people to where we areit helps that connection, that interaction," she said.
At its height in 2010, 23% of voters identified themselves with the Tea Party, but in two years that number dropped to 8%. Although there are many reasons people cite for the two-thirds decline, here in the Tri-Cities, they're trying to re-vamp.

"I am hoping we'll re-focus," said Wheeler. That means staying away from the President's birth certificate and getting back to their roots. "If the government took $50 of our furniture, our silverware, we'd be livid. But that's what they're doing to our paychecks," she said.

It's the message Americans spread in Boston nearly 400 years ago, but this time they say they have the upper-hand on a candle. "So far, we have 90 people that like us," she said. It's the age of Facebook and Twitter the Tri-Cities new president is now trying to harness, in a demo that's difficult.

It's an uphill battle much like Bunker Hill, and like their predecessors these troops say they aren't giving up just yet.

"Something's got to change, our country is going in the wrong direction," said member Rick Holmes.