What’s a nice tea party leader doing in a place like this?
Ana Puig of Bucks County, a leader in the tea party movement since its earliest days in 2009, has a new job: legislative liaison for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.
Intellectual whiplash! The tea party, of course, is defined by its skepticism of big government, and particularly by its dislike of taxes. Puig not only went to work for state government, she represents the people who collect the taxes to keep the beast purring along.
Puig was not interested in meditating on irony Monday, nor did she talk about changing the system from within. “I’d rather not do any stories,” Puig said. “I’m taking a different route, for my family.”
In addition, she said, “after four years, I’m tired of media attention.”
She was hired Aug. 12 at an annual salary of $68,245, according to the state Office of Administration.
Puig, co-chair of the Kitchen Table Patriots, earned national renown as a tea party leader, including a prominent role in the book Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America , by New York Times reporter Kate Zernike. Puig, a naturalized citizen from Brazil who grew up in a conservative military family, was a fiery speaker, noted for fervently asserting that the U.S. was on the road to socialism.
She worked as state director for Freedom Works, a Washington-based group that has nurtured the tea party movement, and was a member of Gov. Corbett's education transition team when he took office in 2011. Puig also lobbied heavily in the legislature for a school tuition-voucher bill.
“For me, it has switched from just being, ‘I want to save the country in my spare time’ to ‘I’m going to do this for life.’ It’s a commitment,” Puig told the Inquirer in an August 2011 interview.