The Tea Party Nation lets the invisible hand of the free market guide fraudulent companies into its member’s mailboxes. Roll Call reports on a recent mass email sent by the Tea Party Nation to members that was sponsored by Agora Financial. The email mentions an opportunity that is available thanks to a law passed by Ronald Reagan. It promises “triple the retirement income most stocks or bonds pay” to potential investors. Even The Gipper is on board with this one.
Unfortunately, the company has a history of fraud and its parent company, Agora Inc., was sued by the SEC in 2003 for defrauding investors with false information.
When confronted by Roll Call, the Tea Party Nation seemed dismissive about running the advertisement:
The ad marked a more aggressive turn toward advertising for Tea Party Nation, which in the past has faced criticism for profiting off the movement. Some Tea Party Nation members complained to Phillips that they mistook the ad as editorial content because of how it was designed. Phillips said that it was the first time he tried the ad format and that he was able to allay concerns raised by his supporters.
The group’s ad money offsets its expenses, including Phillips’ salary and travel expenses, a model that he defends.
“We put advertising on the site. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to be part of the site,” Phillips said. “We live in a free-market society.”
An excerpt from the SEC’s lawsuit against Agora:
Newsletters contain nothing more than baseless speculation and outright lies, fabricated to induce investors to pay Agora (or its subsidiaries) for subscriptions or purported inside information.