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Tea party alternative? Obama backer launches ‘coffee party’ movement, including West Palm Beach event

by George Bennett | March 11th, 2010

A 2009 rant by MSNBC’s Rick Santelli helped launch the conservative tea party movement.

Now an Obama supporter’s Facebook rantings have launched an alternative “coffee party” that will try to gain traction Saturday with gatherings across the U.S., including one in West Palm Beach.

A local organizer said the group doesn’t have specific policy aims other than to promote civil dialogue, which he said is in contrast to the “obstructionism” of the tea party movement.

“We don’t have an agenda. Our agenda is cooperation,” said George Papison, a telecommunications consultant from West Palm Beach.

The coffee party movement was started by filmmaker Annabel Park, who volunteered for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and is a contributor to the United For Obama channel on YouTube.

“I kind of lost it and started ranting on my Facebook page about frustration I felt listening to news coverage that made it seem like the tea party was representative of America. I completely disagree with this,” Park says in a video on the Coffee Party USA Web site.

Park says the federal government is the “expression of our collective will” and should play a role in solving problems. “If you don’t believe that the government has any role, then, yeah, you should join the tea party.”

Park’s partner, filmmaker Eric Byler, co-directed the viral “Si Se Puede Cambiar” video in support of Obama in 2008. Park and Byler both volunteered on Democrat James Webb’s 2006 U.S. Senate campaign in Virginia.

West Palm Beach organizer Papison, 59, said he supported Obama in 2008 but also supported John McCain’s failed 2000 bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Elections records show Papison switched his voter registration from Republican to the Independent Party in September 2008. Papison said he has also been registered as a Democrat in the past.

Papison said he read about Park’s efforts last month and decided to get involved.

“Philosophically what I want to see is open communications,” said Papison, who criticized the “very right-wing” tea party and its boisterous opposition to health care at town hall meetings last summer.

“We don’t believe in going to events and shouting people down and obstructing conversation. Their objective is to close the lines of communication,” Papison said.

“That’s not what our objective is,” said South Florida Tea Party Chairman Everett Wilkinson.

“I’m for dialogue, too. It’s unfortunate our government’s not listening to us,” Wilkinson said.

The West Palm Beach coffee party event is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday at Panera Bread at 771 Village Boulevard. Information is available at 561-865-6864 or

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47 Responses to “Tea party alternative? Obama backer launches ‘coffee party’ movement, including West Palm Beach event”

  1. Human Says:

    Thanks, I think I will join the Tea Party movement.

  2. HILARIOUS Says:

    This is a great quote…”We don’t have an agenda. Our agenda is cooperation.” Maybe that attitude will rub off on your president. This current “white” house occupant has done nothing but polarize anybody who disagrees with his agenda. Good for you coffee party, let me ask you…is your coffee black with just a lil’ cream?

  3. HEY Says:

    There are still people claiming to be “Obama supporters”?!?!?!? Have you not seen how he has “handled” responsibility over the past year and a half?? This guy is a freaking joke. Point blank period, he is horrible. I miss Bush. Actually, I take that back, I miss my first grade teacher, she made better decisions than this guy.

  4. american patriot Says:

    A 2009 rant by MSNBC’s Rick Santelli helped launch the conservative tea party movement.


    Ron Paul held the first Tea Party in 2007

    Another PUNDUNT trying to destort the truth

  5. Freida Says:

    Tea Party has a focus and passion.

    Coffee Party ha ha ha, what a joke on the people who formed it.

  6. Concerned Citizen Says:

    Personally, as a 17-year old worried about the direction our country is on right now, am glad something like the Coffee Party exists to counter the frightening corporatist and bigoted rhetoric coming from the teabaggers. I’m a proud member of the Coffee Party and plan to be one for some time to come.

  7. Coffee Party? Says:

    Coffee Party? That doesn’t even make any sense. At least the tea party has some sort of historical significance. Maybe I should start a doughnut party in support of cops? Or a cream party in favor of porn whores? Maybe a sugar party to benefit mexican migrants?

  8. dave Says:

    Hilarious’s comments just prove that many (not all) conservative/Tea Party members are just racists who can’t handle the fact that we have a black President that is doing a far better job than our past President and is far more intelligent and articulate. Don’t like the bank bailouts – blame your ol pal Bush. And how about a little criticism of all the Republican members of the legislature who railed against the stimulus yet proudly accepted stimulus money and PUBLICLY touted the benefits to their districts. Don’t like the national debt/deficit? Look at who ran it up. When Clinton left office we had a SURPLUS. Think Obama is soft on terror? What about the surge in Afghanistan and the resulting caputres of high-ranking Taliban officials and taking a major Taliban-controlled city. Don’t like that the underpants bomber is being tried in civilian court? Look at how Bush tried Richard Reed, the shoe bomber (I’ll give you a hint, it was in civilian court). Think the Democrats are being un-American by passing healthcare through reconciliation? Look at how many major substantive pieces of legistlation were passed by the Republicans in reconciliation. And while you’re at it, look at how the Republicans have ABUSED the filibuster in the past 4 years. They’ve used it more than any Senate in history. So they can filibuster every piece of legislation, but it’s wrong for the Democrats to use reconciliation. It’s getting to the point where it’s even hard to take a Republican seriously or believe one word that comes out of their mouth. It’s hypocrisy at its WORST.

  9. GEOFF Says:


  10. GEOFF Says:


  11. YOU GOT IT DAVE Says:

    You got it 100% right Dave. Don’t like someone who disagrees with your point of view? Call them racists. Don’t like someone disagreeing with your man obama? Blame Bush. Don’t like people justifiably disagreeing with the way democrats are conducting business? Blame the Republicans. Brilliant playbook for those with no game other than to name call and blame other people. And guess what, Dave? I’ve voted on both sides of the aisle in my life, but you “messiah” defenders are getting really desperate.

  12. Palm912 Says:

    The violent protest recorded was at an event by this wingnut former KKKer Wilkinson.
    Wilkinson says he’s “all for dialogue,” yeah right.

  13. Mannix Says:

    ‘Coffee Party’, what a clever play on words but you libs could have done better… how about the ‘Coffee and Cigarettes Party’ for that loooonng November election eve night when you won’t get a night of sleep.
    Maybe, the ‘Coffee and Donuts AND Cigarettes Party’; since you will have abandoned healthcare reform by then.
    Lots of Laughs!

  14. Ed Fulop Says:

    Palm 912 –

    If you are going to make disparraging comments about people, have the stones to use your real name, and most certainly not the name of the group I belong to. Man up.

  15. stanley Says:

    America, love it or leave it! Tea baggers leave! Yes to the Coffee Party!

  16. Caffine Says:

    The current administration needs caffine because they are on life support. Obama is way over his ski’s.

  17. Ed Fulop Says:

    Stanley –

    Let me tell you something I noticed the other day whilst protesting in front of Ron Klein’s office in Boca Raton; I saw about 30 people there in support of Obamacare, all with their shop-printed signs provided by SEIU or maybe OFA directly (and they call us astroturf), and not one of them had an American flag! Not one! Reconcile that with my fellow patriots in attendance — we had at least 10 full-sized flags, and probably 20 or more hand-held flags, not to mention all of the red, white, and blue we were wearing (something else the Pro-Bama’s hadn’t thought of either). And you think we don’t love America? What do you think we’re all fighting for!? Please read the Constitution and study your history before you go shooting your mouth off.

  18. stanley Says:

    Ed F. -

    Loving America is not how many flags one carries or if they wear red, white, and blue. Such ignorant views. Support our wonderful President and our Democratic congress…or leave!

  19. jay Says:

    Where was are these tea party members when Bush was ruining our country? It’s because of Bush we had a recession and many Americans have lost their jobs. It’s because of Bush the banks got richer as he was preparing to leave office. When Bush went into office, we had a balanced budget. Now we have no budget and a bunch of ignorant people tired of government. Remeber, Bush lied in order to get into Iraq and Cheney, him and their constituents got rich off of lies. Go Coffee Party.

  20. PBC Resident Says:

    Oh yes, there agenda is cooperation. As long as you are not a tea party member, right winger, oppose mandatory health insurance, don’t agree with Obama or think’s the peoples rights are superior to the governments.

    For the record I voted against the last administartion by voting for Obama. He has turned out to be just another liar. He will never get my vote again.

  21. RUcerious? Says:

    Mr. Fulop,

    I served, and my friends died so you could make your self serving, devise comments on the blog. I wore my uniform with pride, and I do not need to affirm my patriotism by calling myself a patriot, wearing a flag pin, carrying a flag,or deriding others that disagree with my beliefs. I find your brand of fascism particularly galling, as you are the pawns of a disgraced Texas politician and you have the unmitigated gall to tell red blooded american’s that we’re not as patriotic as you are. You are here by the grace, and blood, of my brothers and your arrogant spew of mean spirited bile is only possible because of the commitment we made to our country. Crawl back into your hole, your brand of patriotism is a disgrace to every American that served his country, and died for the constitution you have no respect for.

  22. PBC Resident Says:

    Checked out their website. They mention the government is our friend and democracy, blah, blah, blah. Look at what Obama has pushed through. The people were against the bailouts. Obama forced it. The people are against mandatory health insurance. Obama is forcing it even though it’s unconstitutional.

    Just come out and proclaim you are a propaganda site for Obama lovers. What cr@p….

  23. steve Says:

    I heard the coffee party costs 1 trillion dollars to join but they will finance it over 30yrs.

  24. NativeChick Says:

    PBC Resident, I commend you for being so honest about your vote and your feelings now.

    I did not vote for Obama. The old adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” kept coming to mind.

    I’m a middle of the road Republican, but leaning towards changing to Independent.

    I don’t care who can do the job – Democrat, Republican or Independent; he/she/it can be green, blue, pink or a combination of the above.

    Greed got the best of Bush and Obama’s power trip is getting the best of him. We’re screwed!

    Is it really too much to ask for a presidential candidate that we don’t have to fear (whether it’s his greed, corruption, inexperience)?

  25. JoseO Says:

    It is about time that we, the silent majority spoke out against the right wing tea party facists.

    We support President Obama. Healthcare and home ownership are not privilages; they are both human rights.

    Viva Obama, may he become President for Life.

  26. JoseO Says:


  27. Joe Says:

    JoseO, with your infinite wisdom, please tell us how health care and home ownership are human rights. Gun ownership is a right, it is in the Constitution. The other two are only socialist fantasies.

  28. geoff Says:

    jose! you should move to canada! sounds right up your alley!

  29. Ed Fulop Says:

    RUcerious — post #21

    If you did serve, I thank you for that service, even if you feel that I am unworthy of your defense. I can assure you that we — those in the tea party movement — are pawns of no one; we don’t take marching orders from anyone but our own conscience. To think that we are beholden to Bush just proves how little you really understand the cause. As far as patriotism goes, I refer you to Stanley’s post #15 above. “America, love it or leave it, tea-baggers leave!” is the equivalent of “sit down and shut up!”. Now, isn’t that patriotic? Who’s got the lack of respect for the Constitution in this discussion? I suggest you read it once or twice before you start deciding who gets to stay in “your” country. By the way, anyone I’ve ever met who has served this country in the armed forces had the honor and courage to use their own name when they make a statement about their convictions.

  30. Ed Fulop Says:

    JoseO — posts #25 & 26

    You are most certainly NOT part of any silent majority, and if saying things like “home ownership and health care are human rights” doesn’t show your ignorance to our country’s Constitution, your statements about annointing a “president for life” and banning guns certainly does. I suggest you read it a few times before your ignorance does any more damage.

  31. LOL! Says:

    Another attempt to form a pressure group because the stagnant two-party “dumbocracy” is unresponsive to the average person. However, like the Tea Party and other elements within both parties it misses the mark. The problem isn’t the lack of cooperation or the level of empty obstruction. The problem is the system that encourages that behavior and that is the stagnant two-party system. The problem is the lack of openly competitive, pluralistic democracy. Only in that environment can voices have equal opportunities to compete on the basis of ideas as opposed to empty rhetoric about “cooperation” and “less government”. Only in that environment will investing in politicians and their chances of winning be such a risky business as to make special interests think twice before wasting their money.

    By the way, HILARIOUS up there in the second post, whether you agree or disagree with Obama, your comment still shows you as a racist.

  32. PBC Resident too Says:

    Post #7-Please, at least know a little history. The Boston Tea Party
    Coffee came to America with the tastes of the British. In the middle 1700s, tea and coffee were equally favored and many taverns doubled as coffee houses. This all changed as a result of the famous Boston Tea Party of 1773. No tea was actually consumed at this “tea party” but a large shipment of tea was dumped into Boston harbor to protest the British tax on tea, proclaiming “no taxation without representation”. Thereafter it was unpatriotic to drink tea. Colonists soon found that they could import coffee grown in Central and South America and by the beginning of the 1900s, America was consuming 1/2 of all coffee produced in the world.

  33. life, liberty and the pursuit... Says:

    We need government. We need government to work. We need government to work for us.

    Obama drop the health care bs. Just try and get them to make it affordable for the average hard working American citizens (Not aliens). F—ing rate hikes are bull. i got a 26% increase in my health care plan this year and i am healthy. WTF? Something has to be done for people like me. Pay a lot of taxes now i need some representation.

    COME ON!!!

  34. BalckhawkDown Says:

    Coffee Party! What a joke….JoseO must be the only friend Bennett has. I wonder if he has a job? Viva Obama—Yeah maybe he could govern Mexico, since thier system works so well

  35. Otis Mathes Says:

    I look forward to the time when President Obama will say ‘enough’ to these backward and ignorant ‘tea-party’ people and puts them in prison for acts of subversion and treason against the country.

  36. Rev. Dr. E. Buzz Miller Says:

    “conservative/Tea Party members are just racists”

    No one I have ever encountered in my life is more racist than Obama’s Spiritual Adviser, Rev. Wright.

    Obama came from the fever swamps of black supremacy…but let’s not talk about it.

  37. Rock-and-a-Hard-Place Says:

    Ed, Thank you for your intelligent perspectives and the reasoned way you have addressed irrational and nasty attacks. I would think that YOU would be the kind of participant that the coffee party purports to welcome into their ranks.

    Unfortunately, from the comments I have read, the CP appears to be attracting some people who are not interested in CPs stated objectives of constructive dialog with people of differing opinions and concerns, but who are more bent on demonizing anyone who feels we are on the wrong path as a country, and who disagree with the Obama agenda, reckless spending, a bloated federal government full of pork, entitlement programs, corruption and bribes.

    CP can only be a shining light if it stays objective enough to hold true to its mission, and that requires respect, civil discourse and tolerance for ALL opinions.

  38. Ken Neil Says:

    WTF: America, love it or leave it! Tea baggers leave! Yes to the Coffee Party!

    I good reading of history would show that the anti-Tea Party folks were run out of this country or shot the first go around. For all you Coffee partiers, Canada still accepts traitors to the cause of Freedom and Liberty.

  39. akw Says:

    The so-called “grassroots” Coffee Party Movement, isn’t so “grassroots”.

    The coffee party is partnered with democracyinaction, a 501(c)(3) organization, (meaning contributions to the latter are tax-deductible) whose motto is “wiring the progressive movement” for “social justice”.

    Democracyinaction gets its funding from the Open Society Institute (funded by GEORGE SOROS!). Democracyinaction is also linked to wiredforchange whose clients include the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the DEMOCRATIC Congressional Campaign Committee.

    And, here is Annabel, herself, urging Coffee Partiers to go to this website ………

    The bottom line is that Annabel Park is a seasoned political activist who got frustrated with the fact that the Tea Parties were getting their message heard, and the liberals who support Obama were not.

    So, she co-opted the Tea Party’s format and told everyone that the intention is to promote “civility in discourse”. The fact is, her intention was to amass enough people to get attention in order to promote Obama and his agenda, and get him reelected. She didn’t care about civility when she was trashing the Tea Parties, though, and she originally said that her intention was to render the Tea Party obsolete.

    If people want the same things Annabel Park wants, that’s great – but, everyone who doesn’t want to promote and support Obama and his reelection should know that they’re being used.

  40. Chris Says:

    no Ken, don’t give them any ideas! PLEASE!
    We have enough of this sort in Toronto.

  41. CosmicConservative Says:

    The Coffee Party is a transparent attempt by “progressives” to try to marginalize the Tea Party movement. At first the Left (including the MSM) tried to ignore it. When that didn’t work, they tried to ridicule it with coarse “teabagger” jokes. When that didn’t work they tried (and are still trying) to paint it as racist. Playing the race card is always the last desperate attempt of the “progressives” to attack an enemy. Since that is also not working, they are trying desperately to manufacture a competing movement to try and peel away support from the Tea Party.

    The desperation of the progressives as they see their once-in-a-lifetime chance to ram their collectivist tyranny down the throats of the American people fade away is actually quite entertaining to watch.

  42. Jannette Campeau Says:

    Thanks for that news, coming back soon

  43. Local coffee party attendee ‘a little surprised’ by lack of diversity in tea party alternative group | Post on Politics Says:

    [...] rants against the tea party launched the coffee party movement, seems to allude to these criticisms in a video in which she describes coffee partyers as in tune with America’s changing [...]

  44. Bigkahuna Says:

    HA HA! Coffee Party a.k.a. Brown Baggers. ewe!


    is it racist to say she looks like an Asian Jedi knight?

  46. Uncle Harry Says:

    44 – Unfortunately everything is racist if you don’t believe sitting on your duff’s and letting the socialist/ communist movement over take the formerally greatest nation on earth. Everyone with brains always knew there would come a day when we had more people sucking the old sow than we had grain to feed her. Obama is not the problem with this country. The brain dead who believed his lies are the propblem with this country. The survivors of this crisis will turn in such a way against socialism voters will throw out all the communist leaning congress and senate and the other offices will be purged of all this corruption and crap. Probably no one living will ever live long enought to see this great nation as organized and strong at it once was. Hopefully the nation will survive and rebuild once again. You can’t fix stupid we just have to wait out its demise!

  47. (personally classified) Says:

    This is what I say to the Obama backer. What the government is doing is unconstitutional. We should deal with the health care and buissness situations ourselves. This is basically giving credit to those who don’t work for the production of this nation and taking credit from those who do and say that it is a solution. Thus we only increase the crisis and give the government more power over us.

    I agree with the system the founding fathers set up and not with this program. Do you think our founding fathers would participate in this coffee party? To give these responsibilities to the government is a lack of responsibility. If you don’t agree with the Constitution, emigrate from America. The perpouse of government is to protect us from criminals and invaders and to support our rights. God bless America and long live the republic!

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