The man who threatened to crash tea parties with protesters wearing Nazi uniforms, carrying misspelled signs and making wild claims on TV, is an Oregon middle-school teacher who may have been working on his tea-party infiltration effort during school time, according to reports.
Some tea partiers claim Jason Levin, a teacher at Conestoga Middle School in Beaverton, Ore., has been working on his “Crash the Tea Party” website when he should have been teaching, according to Portland’s KATU-TV.
Levin claims the accusation is not true.
He told an interviewer he believes the tea-party movement is out of control, especially after angry Americans showed up at town-hall meeting last year.
“So rather than fight fire with fire, we decided, rather than shouting at them as their opponents, that we would do something a little more panache, and that was to infiltrate the movement and try to take it down,” he said.
Levin has said he will send operatives to infiltrate various Tax Day tea parties and make the movement appear to be a group of racist and homophobic “morons.”
“Whenever possible, we will act on behalf of the Tea Party in ways that will exaggerate their least appealing qualities (i.e. misspelled protest signs, wild claims on TV interviews, etc.) to further distance them from mainstream America and damage the public’s opinion of them,” his website states. “We will also use inside information that we have gained in order to disrupt and derail their plans.”
Big Journalism’s Matthew Vadum reported one post by an administrator of Crash the Tea Party identified as Mad Hatter encouraged tea-party crashers to collect Social Security numbers from protesters at the rallies: “[A]sk people at the rally to sign a petition renouncing socialism. See just how much info you can get from these folks (name, address, DOB, Social Security #). The more data we can mines from the Tea Partiers, the more mayhem we can cause with it!!!!”
Levin’s website says the group seeks to take down the movement “by any non-violent means necessary.”
“Our goal is that whenever a tea partier says ‘Barack Obama was not born in America,’ we’re going be right there next to them saying, ‘yeah, in fact he wasn’t born on Earth! He’s an alien!” he told Talking Points Memo earlier this week.
If his group can make the tea partiers look crazy, Levin said, the movement will begin to lose power.
Levin told TPM that his group is nonviolent and if violence breaks out at a tea party, it won’t be due to the actions of his crowd.
“He explained the distinction to me this way: If you see someone wearing a Nazi uniform at a tea party, it could be one of his members,” wrote TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro. “If you see someone wearing a Nazi uniform throwing a rock, it’s definitely not one of his members.”
Meanwhile, Levin took to Twitter this morning, tweeting “I wondered when someone would find this.” He was referring to a blog posting on Verum Serum that revealed Levin’s May 2008 blog posting titled, “My Personal Manifesto,” organized into the following 10 statements of belief:
1. You own your body. If you want to put drugs into it (like weed, heroin, alcohol, or tobacco) you should be free to do so. And it should be taxed. If you want to sell your body, you should be free to do so. And it should be taxed. Both should be regulated (like the food supply) to ensure public safety. Both should be available only to adults. Also if you want to kill yourself, be my guest. It’s your body so it’s your decision to leave it.
2. Everyone is free to get married. That goes for a man and a woman, two men, two women, three women and a man, four men and two women, whatever … So go ahead and do whatever the hell you want in your own bedroom, as long as the participants are all consenting adults. Oh, and if being Gay is “against God’s will” why does every species on the planet engage in homosexual behavior?
3. Everyone must be provided with basic healthcare. Universal government sponsored healthcare as a baseline is just as much of a necessity for a thriving society as public schools.
4. Church and State must remain separate. One of the biggest problems in this country right now is the hijacking of the republican party by right-wing fundamentalists who are convinced that 2000 years ago the “Sky Daddy” had a baby with a virgin …
5. Which brings us to war and the death penalty … I believe that there are some truly evil mother—ers on this planet who deserve to die. I do not condone attacking a country that had nothing to do with 911, nor do I condone interventionist foreign policy. If Saddam was so evil, why haven’t we attacked Kim Jong il? That crazy sonofab–ch has nukes!!! Unless someone physically attacks us here on American soil (ala pearl harbor) we should not go to war. But if we do go to war, we need to kick as much ass as is humanly possible. Kill, Maim, Torture, take the gloves way the f–k off! That is how you wage War. This of course, should only be used as a last resort. I also have no moral or ethical problem with the death penalty. The only reason I don’t support the death penalty is that I truly believe the judicial system in its current form is too inept to hand down such an such an irreversible punishment.
6. Which is why I believe citizenship should be earned. Either through military service, public works service, or foreign service (peacecorp, drs. without borders etc.). Only then should you have the right to vote, sit on a jury, or hold public office. Perhaps if these privileges were earned, they would finally be respected.
7. Politics is NOT a career. Public service is something you do while on hiatus from your regular vocation. You should get elected, serve a term or two, and get the f–k out. Only by adhering to these strict standards can we hope for altruism in our elected officials. Politics is a dirty business and no matter how clean you were when you started, the longer you stay in the dirtier you get. That collective dirt seeps into the gears and inevitably harms the machine as a whole. In addition to serious term limits, we need at least 3 political parties in this country! Having only two has led to a stagnant and polarized system which caters to lobbyists and does not serve the interests of the majority of Americans (most of whom are somewhere in the middle).
8. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions! If you break it, buy it. If you spill hot coffee in your lap, don’t sue McDonalds. Learn that coffee = hot and move on! Thus “Loser Pays” [court costs] lawsuits should be the rule, as only those with a righteous beef will bring suit…
9. Corporations need to be subject to the same rules as individuals and should be required to maintain “citizenship” in this country in order to do business …
10. Finally, If you don’t like what’s on the TV or the radio, it has 2 buttons. One to change the channel, and one to turn it OFF. The FCC should not be allowed to regulate content. The only thing they should do is issue licenses to TV stations to avoid a monopoly of media control. News needs to be about information not infotainment. The time was for a TV station to maintain its license they had to air a certain amount of commercial free community oriented programming.
Since he hatched his plan to have 65 leaders for groups across the country to infiltrate the tea parties, Levin told KATU, his personal contact information has been posted on the Internet and he’s been receiving angry phone calls.
“My phone rang around the clock,” he told the station.
KATU reported radio talk-show host Lars Larson said he doesn’t like Levin’s ethics.
“This is a man who thinks it’s legitimate to further your political goals by lying, by stealing and damaging somebody else’s reputation,” Larson said. “I don’t want a kid like that teaching kids.”
According to the report, Larson said the Beaverton School District’s contention that what happens after school hours is the teacher’s business doesn’t sit well with him.
“If you ran a Klan website on your own time, do you think you would be excused?” Larson said. “If you ran a porno website, which is also legal, do you think you would be excused in that kind of job?”
When reporters asked Larson whether someone crashing tea parties should be compared to pornographers or white supremacists, he responded, “Sure, because all of those are simply forms of free speech.”
According to the report, one of Larson’s listeners called attention to code (“BSD” and “2010-04-06T22:32:00Z”) that the person said shows it was created on school software during school hours. The following is a screen capture of that code:
Larson listener contends this code shows Levin was working on school software during school hours
“He Twitters all day long while he’s on the public payroll,” Larson said. “Do you think that he would do something like this (the web page) on the public payroll – sit there and type a document? I wouldn’t find that amazing.”
Levin denied working on the effort on taxpayer-funded time.
“That is absolutely incorrect,” he told KATU. “The website was registered, created and maintained on my own time at my own home.”
However, district and state officials have said they will investigate. Levin’s website is now under investigation by Oregon’s Teacher Standards & Practices Commission.
Tea Party Patriots, one of the leading tea-party organizers, e-mailed the following message to tea partiers:
Many have asked about the news that there may be “infiltrators” at tea parties around the nation. A website (crashtheteaparty.org) was recently set up. The creator, though he tried to hide his identity, has been outed; his name is Jason Levin, and he’s a middle school teacher in Beaverton, Oregon. He’s on record saying that you might see some of his team in Nazi uniforms at your local tea party pretending to be racists and other offensive characters. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy doesn’t it? And one has to ask the question; if tea partiers are racist, anti-Semitic homophobes, and it’s so obvious, why does he need to plant people who pretend to be those things at your tea parties? Ah … leftist logic and tactics … there is no way to understand their twisted thoughts.
Tea Party Patriots continued:
And by the way, if you’d like to let Mr. Levin’s school district know what you think of his behavior, and his potential influence on public school students in Beaverton, Oregon, you can contact them here. … If you choose to contact them, in direct contrast to Mr. Levin’s behavior, please be polite. Remember, just because he’s exposed himself publicly as a vile, indecent human being who will stoop to Nazi symbolism, and the promotion of racism and bigotry to silence those with whom he disagrees, doesn’t mean everyone in the school district is bad.
But Levin claims he no longer plans to attend Tax Day tea-party rallies.
“I thought, you know, I would blend in – maybe not shave for a day or two. Get some dirty overalls,” he said. “Can’t happen.”