Conservative 'institute,' Tea Party Patriots to hear from those 'abused' by IRS
The New Hampshire Republican Leadership Institute, a little-known conservative advocacy group, will join with the national Tea Party Patriots for a discussion of government abuse next week, its top official said Wednesday.
Conservative businessman Andrew Hemingway, who ran unsuccessfully for state Republican Party chairman earlier this year and previously managed Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign in the state, said he was named executive director of the 501(c)(4) advocacy group in February.
Hemingway said the group will join with the national Tea Party Patriots for an event called "New Hampshire Citizens Against Government Abuse" on July 25 at 6 p.m. at the Raddisson Hotel in Manchester. There is no charge, said Hemingway.
The event will take place at the same time and in the same hotel that the House Republican Victory PAC will be hosting conservative author James O'Keefe in another room. Hemingway said the two events are not related.
Hemingway said the Tea Party Patriots "will bring in people from around the country who have been the targets of IRS abuse. We fee it is important that the people of New Hampshire hear the stories of real citizens who have been abused by their government.
"It's a call to action intended to stir people with the reality of those who have been abused and have been stirred to action," Hemingway said.
He said he expects national Tea Party Patriots co-founder and national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin to co-host the event.
Hemingway said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was among seven Democratic senators who "signed a letter directing the IRS to take action and specifically target conservative groups."
Shaheen last year joined several Democrat senators, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, in a letter asking the IRS to crack down on nonprofit organizations that were "engaged in a substantial amount of political campaign activity."
The letter did not specifically mention conservative groups, but conservatives say the senators' message was clear.
Hemingway, of Bristol, is a web expert who currently heads a firm called "Grassloot," which, he said, "is building a social fund-raising platform for the grassroots."
He said the institute has been in existence for many months, but he could not say exactly how long. He said the group has so far kept a low profile.
It was founded, said Hemingway, by "a group of long-time Republicans from New Hampshire."
According to its web site, the institute's mission "is to empower the individual Republican activists in New Hampshire to be effective leaders. We will accomplish this by training grassroots activists and leaders of local committees in the fields that will help them lead a winning electoral effort. We will equip local activists with the tools to build sustainable and permanent political organizations."
The site says the NHRLI offers "courses at no cost on topics related to political campaigns, local committees, and causes. These classes are taught by industry experts and will be conducted at our Manchester classroom."