The 2010 Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention is expected to bring as many as 3,000 people to the Greater Richmond Convention Center, which would be more than double the size of similar conventions in other states. According to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jamie Radtke, head of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, says, "This will be, by far, the largest that's ever been held in the country." The convention will feature nationally known speakers like Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs. According to the Web site, Dick Morris and former Virginia Gov. George Allen may also speak. It will also have policy forums, breakout sessions and a straw poll on contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Attendance at Tea Party conventions in states such as Tennessee and Michigan has been in the hundreds. In February, the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville drew about 600 people. The relatively low attendance was attributed largely to costly tickets. Prices were as high as $500, not including separate $349 tickets to hear former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speak. Whoa. We're not surprised that Virginia would have a projected turnout in the thousands. We are surprised that the Tea Party charges so much for participation. We thought it was for the "average" American citizen who "wants his country back." Tickets that cost $500 and then additional tickets in the hundreds of dollars is not hardly average. But neither is the Tea Party leadership — just the followers.
Read more at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.