FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — A judge in Las Vegas has ordered a Tennessee tea party group to pay a casino $748,000 for rooms booked for a tea party convention that failed to lure political activists.
Tea Party Nation was found liable for the debt to the Venetian Casino Resort. The group was founded by Franklin, Tenn., attorney Judson Phillips.
The Tennessean reported Thursday that the judgment was handed down last month in Clark County (Nev.) District Court. Hotel officials said Tea Party Nation reserved 1,637 room nights for a July 2010 event but canceled the gathering a few weeks prior to its scheduled date. The casino filed the lawsuit in July 2011.
No telephone listing for Tea Party Nation could be found Thursday in Franklin or in nearby Nashville.
Phillips created the Tea Party Nation in 2009. It's one of a number of tea party groups in Tennessee but most, if not all, of those are nonprofits. The for-profit status of Phillips' group has been controversial.
Republican Congresswomen Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn backed out of Phillips' National Tea Party Convention in Nashville in 2010 after they questioned how the profits of the event would be used.
But former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin did come to town to headline the event.
Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.