June 19th, 2010
01:32 PM ET
4 years ago

Mark Williams steps aside as chairman of the Tea Party Express

'This initiative came from me,' Tea Party activist Mark Williams said Saturday of his new role within the Tea Party Express.
'This initiative came from me,' Tea Party activist Mark Williams said Saturday of his new role within the Tea Party Express.

Washington (CNN) - Conservative radio talk show host and prominent Tea Party activist Mark Williams is giving up his role as the chairman of the Tea Party Express, Williams told CNN Saturday.

Williams said his decision stemmed from his involvement in two other major projects.

One is opposing the construction of a mosque near the site of Ground Zero in New York, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamist hijackers on September 11, 2001.

Related: Protesters descend on Ground Zero for anti-mosque demonstration

The other is leading a recall effort against some members of the Sacramento City Council and running for a spot on the local body himself after the council voted to boycott Arizona over its new immigration law.

"What I'm doing is thinking globally and acting locally," Williams said of his bi-coastal commitments.

Williams said he will continue to be involved with the Tea Party Express as a spokesman, a featured speaker at the group's events, in television and print media, and generally as a public face of the organization.

But Williams will be taking a back seat when it comes to the Tea Party Express' day-to-day managerial responsibilities.

"I'll still be shooting my mouth off and appearing on TV," said Williams. "I just won't be as critical in strategy which is fine by me."

Pointing out that the organization has grown so large and consists of a network of volunteers spread out all over the country targeting a number of midterm races, Williams said the group now needs something akin to a chief executive officer.

The Tea Party activist said he's already weighed in internally within the organization about who should succeed him as chairman.

And the outspoken conservative said recent controversial comments on his part played no role in his change in status within the Tea Party Express.

"This initiative came from me," said Williams. "Once I got involved in this recall effort, I realized I would have zero time."

Williams also said the recall effort "is an example of Tea Party philosophy in action. You see something wrong and you step in to fix it."

soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. shawn

    These right-wing loons are hilarious!

    June 19, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Djinn

    Of course!! "featured Speaker" draws in more $$$ from the dupid.

    June 19, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Tony

    ...so the man that wants to lead the NATIONAL lunatic fringe resigns to run for LOCAL office? Am I missing something here?

    I hope the good people of Sacramento show him what real Democracy is all about and shun him in the election.

    He isn't qualified for any elected office, but apparently would be a good office assistant or ego stroker for Glen Beck.

    June 19, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Do they ALL have fat faces and little beady eyes? or do they look like limpballs because they act like him?

    YUK !!

    June 19, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. NVa Native

    These teabaggers are always whining about how they are the only ones who follow the Founding Fathers ideals and everyone else are Godless communists??
    Freedom of religion and commerce are probably two of the most important pieces and here these butt-monkeys are trashing both by trying to stop a mosque because of their religious bigotry. Amazing how tea-baggers continually prove they are guttless punks without integrity or morals, and are certainly NOT patriots!

    June 19, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. BillE

    Take Sarah Palin with you. And remember, If people don't agree with your views, they must be wrong! The teabaggers motto.

    June 19, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. kd

    nutty is as nutty does. This guy defines nut.

    June 19, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Fairfax Patriot

    Support Arizona + No NYC Mosque = World Class Bigot

    June 19, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. JimK

    The greatest threat to this country is the individuals on both sides of the political spectrum that seek only to divide. This includes talk show hosts, politicians, and anyone who has the childish attitude that conservatives are morons or liberals are stupid, etc. And the worst are those who do it for a living, such as on Fox news or MSNBC. There will always be liberals there will always be conservatives, and working together will make this country greater and greater; and working against will divide and weaken it.

    June 19, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. KateHikes

    I love how these "patriotards" will rail against the supposed "Muslim threat," while turning a blind eye to the REAL force that's bring America down. Satanic jews have infiltrated our government and culture at every level. Does it occur to anyone that we wouldn't *have* any problems with the Muslim world if not for our support of that malignant little warmongering regime occupying Palestine. DUMP THE JEW PARASITE.

    June 19, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Pragmatic

    I thought the tea-party was a grass-roots organization .... they need a manager? chairman? paid or volunteer? Follow the money trail!

    June 19, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Gymo

    Right!
    He either got caught doing bad things or he realized that the Tea-Party is now only real in the heads of delusional Journalist and Talking-Heads.
    Don't blame him, I too would jump from that sinking ship.

    June 19, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Rob

    These right-wing, corporate loving, racist loons are a pile of garbage. What a frickin' joke!

    June 19, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Joe, San Diego

    Yuck, a male Sarah Palin...

    June 19, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Ron

    Just like with Sarah Palin who cares? What the Tea Party says or does is of no interest to thinking reasonable people. It is clear that the GOP and their extreme right wing affiliate the Tea Party only have one agenda and it isn't helping the American people.

    June 19, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. chris

    Apparently Mark Williams and the Tea Party he represents aren't really big on that whole "Freedom of Religion" thing. Once again, they keep going on about how they are the only "true Americans' and how dedicated they are to upholding the Constitution – but pick and choose which parts they like and ignore the parts they don't. Mark Williams is the one who made the remark about Muslim worshipping a "terrorist monkey god." – But I forget, people in the Tea Party also keep insisting they are in no way intolerant, xenophobic ignorant bigots.

    Now he's trying to stop a group of peaceful, law abiding American citizens, who had nothing remotely to do with 9/11, from building a place where they can worship in their own way. "Freedom of Religion" for most conservatives means you are free to practice any relgion you want – as long as that religion is Christianity.

    June 19, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. Steve

    We need more people like Mark. I hope he has a good replacement. This country is getting out of control. Foreigners are taking over this country slowly but surely and Obama is asleep at the switch. Where is the outcry and where are the real Americans out there. You need to speak out.

    June 19, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. dick delson

    another right wing idiot. they say they want their country back. well, they had it for 8 years under Bush (THE MORON) and look what it got us.

    June 19, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. REG in AZ

    The Tea Party Movement scares me as being a likely Trojan Horse. To venture an educated guess I’d say the money people behind the Tea Party Movement are the very same money people behind the Republican Party. Which is just like the 2004 ‘Swift Boat’ attacks and it would be that same aggressive effort to deceptively sway, manipulate and control public opinion, again aimed to allow them to once more push through and maintain dominance over government and the people. Consider that the Tea Party Movement, Sarah Palin, Bush-Cheney and the Republican Party all end up with the same results – nothing for the 90%+ majority and ‘more of the same’ benefiting only Special Interests and the select very few (less than 5%), while fully depending on the subterfuge to rationalize and camouflage. It is once more all impressively well organized and totally financially supported as well as likely being a grossly dishonest, self-serving con! Are the people actually being duped again?

    June 19, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Thomas

    While you're at it why don't you charter a boat to take you twenty miles off shore, tie some lead weights to your ankles and show us how you can walk on water. God I'm sick of these people.

    June 19, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Mike Mc

    meh...The Tea Party is the John Birch Society of the 21st Century. They are way to extreme in their views and I expect their "star" to shine about another 10 minutes or so.

    June 19, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. ana

    Basically, the head of the Tea Party along with most of its members are a bunch of racist, bigoted, white men and women, hiding behind the banner of "we want low taxes".
    Fortunately, Mr. Williams couldnt hide it any longer....end of story.

    June 19, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. pierce

    The biggest problem with the tea party is that no decent person with a good communitywide standing wants to be photographed or filmed attending one of these National Socialist rallies or gatherings.

    Look closely and you will see the retired, bitter angry people and the bikers and blue collar workers who have nothing to lose by appearing at these white-rights rallies and gatherings.

    That is the failure of this party: to attract the educated, the well-to-do or those who want to interact with the rest of their communities, not close themselves off in a bunker spouting angry rheteric.

    If I am an employer and I see one of my employees at these rallies, that employee will soon be shown the door, overtly or covertly or with the reason that standards of decency toward all people, not just with angry whites, needs to be projected from a business.

    The tea party has devolved into a very angry, extremist and dangerous subset of America that is fuel on hatred for minorities, for government, for the Constitutuion and anger toward things in general.

    You attend tea party gathering at your own risk. When you do, you won't see decent America there, only the slinking bitter personalities.

    essional person

    June 19, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. ATL Guy

    Guess he's read the "tea leaves" and realized that this so called Tea Party is more a liability that an asset to the Republican Party. I wouldn't be surprised if he's not the anonymous writer of the Tea Party article in Playboy Magazine that just rips the Tea Party to shreds over their duplicity and lack of cohesion.

    June 19, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. rk

    how does any of this guy's activities have anything to do with lower taxes and fiscal discipline?

    the tea party is a joke. its just a more conservative wing of the republican party masquerading around as a grassroots movement.

    June 19, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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