In Florida, one Tea Partier who's active with his local GOP organization is suing a Republican political consultant and his ally after they registered the Tea Party as a third political party in the state, then asserted rights to the Tea Party name. Both sides are bitterly accusing the other -- with some justification -- of having ties to the Republican party.
And even the Tea Party Patriots, perhaps the organized faction of the movement that most loudly proclaims its political independence, can't escape the party's reach. In putting together the rallies that brought tens of thousands to Washington last year, it worked closely with FreedomWorks, the conservative advocacy group run by former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey.
But many of the rank-and-file Tea Partiers whose energy helped launch the movement last spring -- and among whom a more libertarian ideology often prevails -- remain deeply wary of getting into bed with the GOP. And lately, they've started speaking out.