It's difficult to keep up with the shifting Tea Party groups--the players, alliances, aims and factions. That's part of the charm--this is a leaderless grassroots, bottom-up national movement, after all. It's expected that there would be overlapping territories, redundant organizations, and confusion over names.
Nationally, we've seen the National Tea Party Federation expel the Tea Party Express this week, itself a sister of the Tea Party Patriots. Then there's the 9/12 Project, Tea Party Nation and the Campaign for Liberty. The TPE is known for their highly publicized bus tours, Glenn Beck is the spiritual leader of the 9/12 Project, TPN received national attention for hosting the "Tea Party Convention," and Campaign for Liberty is a Ron Paul organization. Confusing, I know.
The largest Tea Party in Ventura is following suit, as it is splitting in two now that some members are leaving to formally create a non-profit organization.
Unofficially, the two groups have been working separately for months and have their own websites.
The face of the original Ventura County Tea Party is Carla Bonney, whose team executed several well-attended marches in Ventura, primarily at the Government Center. They are not incorporated.
The driving force behind the new Ventura County Tea Party is George Miller, who successfully pulled off a five-candidate Congressional debate earlier this year.
Bonney wants to continue to focus on a strong street presence, while Miller, who is helping to start the new non-profit, is emphasizing a more direct impact on politics (which he calls Tea Party 2.0). Miller's group is meeting in August to hammer down the details of their organization.
So what do we call these two groups?
Bonney's group is associated with the Tea Party Patriots, but it's also known as Ventura County NGTTIA, which stands for Not Going To Take It Anymore (I find it a little unwieldy). I'll refer to them as the Ventura County Tea Party Patriots for now. Miller's group simply goes by the Ventura County Tea Party.
Despite being ideological brethren, the two Tea Parties are not expected to partner up in upcoming projects. Instead, look for them to largely remain independent of each other.