Remember that Athens Tea Party Convention a few weeks ago that was supposed to draw thousands of people to the Classic Center (somehow topping that of the GA GOP Convention) and was to include speakers like Governor Deal, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and others who oh-so-coincidently withdrew their participation at the last minute after a venue change ?
As predicted by Floyd Politics, the drama is still brewing. The Athens Banner-Herald alleges that the Athens Tea Party Patriots organization has over $65,000 in outstanding debt for speaking engagements stemming from the June Liberty Convention. 17-year old party founder Keyantwon Stephens has apparently been negotiating repayment plans with a few of the speakers, including Georgia’s own Martha Zoller. Others, like Crystal Wright who filed a police report last week, have not been so lucky.
This, coupled with significant skepticism prior to the event, has left many wondering who is at the root of the Athens-based organization. Keyantwon Stephens is the same Stephens who announced his candidacy for Democrat State Party chair in June. He supposedly ran for Congress as well. Yes, you read that right. A DPG Chair is also the founder of the Athens Tea Party Patriots and former Congressional candidate with ties to Derrick Grayson. When all the dots didn’t quite connect, Blake Silvers of Floyd Politics attempted calling the offices of several “scheduled” speakers. With the exception of Ben Swann, no confirmation regarding attendance was ever received by any of the proposed guests. Despite all of this, the convention that did take place seemed to go off without a hitch- just with a much smaller crowd, a much smaller location and a couple of duped speakers.
Many of us would like to know how Mr. Stephens has established such an extensive base: both parties, multiple factions AND statewide. He should hop in for Governor. Heck, Senate! The whole debt thing will certainly need to be addressed before moving forward, though.
Mr. Stephens, of course, could not be reached for comment. He did tell the Athens Banner-Herald he plans to sue blogger Crystal Wright for defamation after confirming that there were outstanding debts. [::crickets::]