'Lincoln letter' blogger Williams has stirred up controversy before

The Sacramento BeeJuly 20, 2010 

Former Sacramento radio personality Mark Williams is used to getting his run of publicity — and more than his share of controversy — for his inflammatory remarks.

He also knows how to get press while advertising that he is no longer talking to the press.

On Sunday, the Tea Party Express leader and former chairman was kicked out by a national tea party group for penning a satirical letter from "Colored People" to Abraham Lincoln. It suggested that African Americans would rather be re- enslaved than work for their own betterment.

On Monday, Williams fired a blast at the spokesman for the National Tea Party Federation who disavowed him for the letter and his clashes with the NAACP over its allegations of racism within tea party ranks.

The controversy stirred debate over whether the tea party's populist anti-tax, anti-big government movement will be upset by turmoil and charges of racial prejudice.

And though he suggested otherwise, the matter elevated — once again — the profile of one Mark Williams, the fiery former talk-show host for Sacramento radio giant KFBK.

"I am refusing all media requests on this. I do not wish to widen the fracture and exasperate the damage done to our movement," Williams wrote in a blog post Monday.

But he let it rip in response to National Tea Party Federation spokesman David Webb's announcement on CBS's "Face the Nation" that "we have expelled Tea Party Express and Mark Williams."

Williams, who until recently was chairman of the Tea Party Express, one of the nation's largest tea party groups with an estimated 400,000 members, and a speaker in its national bus tours. He condemned Webb as a "self-anointed leader" pushing "a World Wrestling-style personality conflict with me in the center."

He said he was sacked by a group — the Tea Party Federation — of which he wasn't even a member.

"There are internal political dramas amongst the various self-anointed tea party 'leaders,' " he wrote. "And some of the minor players on the fringes see the Tea Party Express and Mark Williams as tickets to a booking on 'Face the Nation.' "

To read the complete article, visit www.sacbee.com.

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