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Monday, March 16, 2009

"Tea Parties" Growing Bigger, More Frequent

Thousands gather for 'Tea Party' By Amber Ellis
March 15, 2009

DOWNTOWN - Dawna Frost had a simple message for anyone who glanced her way: “I live off what I make. Government needs to live on what they already take.”

The Mason resident was one of thousands who showed up Sunday at Fountain Square for the Cincinnati Tea Party, a grass-roots effort designed to show disapproval for “wasteful government spending.”

The group wants Congress to repeal the $787 billion stimulus package that President Barack Obama has championed as a way to create jobs and give the economy a boost.

“The thought of all this spending makes me angry,” Frost said. “I’m tired of being angry.”

Other protesters wore Revolutionary-era costumes, sported “Got Tea?” shirts and raised signs with messages like, “Give us Liberty, not debt” and “No more bailouts.”

“There is a movement going on in this country,” said former U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot. “You can see it here today.”

Sean Lynch of Colerain Township brought his children . His 8-year-old, Isabel, held a “Stop spending my allowance” sign, and 5-year-old Kate raised one that read “Stay out of my piggy bank.”

“I’m frustrated with the way things are going in Congress. They need to remember that they work for us, and right now, we don’t approve,” Lynch said as he propped up a sign for his son Charlie, 2.

“This is not a Democrat thing or a Republican thing,” he said. “It’s a government thing.”

The Sunday rally was one of dozens that have taken place across the country in recent weeks. The anti-bailout protests started last month when Rick Santelli of CNBC complained about Obama’s $75 billion mortgage-relief plan. Santelli accused the government of promoting bad behavior and sarcastically asked people at the Chicago Board of Trade whether they’d like to pay for their neighbor’s mortgage. His rant was picked up on the Drudge Report and posted on YouTube.

His call for a Chicago Tea Party along Lake Michigan spread rapidly via the Web, and people started planning mini-versions of the Boston Tea Party, a 1773 revolt where colonists dumped tea into the harbor in protest of what they considered unfair taxation from England.

Cincinnati police said unofficially that about 4,000 protesters showed up Sunday, less than the 6,000-plus people lead organizer Mike Wilson had projected.

“The American people are outraged. All you have to do is look around,” said Dave Kern, a Liberty Township trustee . Kern was one of two trustees who made a political statement last month by voting against asking for stimulus money to build a new firehouse and township hall.

A lone Obama supporter made her way through the edge of the gated area, shouting “O-bam-a” to jeers from the crowd.

Other, less-vocal proponents of the spending plan blended in. Some passersby people voiced their disagreement, too.

“I’m alone. I’m very alone right now,” said Cathy Moss of Price Hill.

Hoisting a “Spend, baby, spend” sign in the air, she said she agreed with the stimulus plan, although she knew Sunday she was far outnumbered.

“This is the worst economic crisis of our lives. We’ve got to do something,” Moss said.

Before the two-hour rally ended, dozens of people had lined up to buy an “Obamacard,” a novelty credit card that belongs to “Neda Bailout” and is designed to “spread the wealth.”

“I figured what better place to be than here,” said Ken Raber of Beavercreek, Ohio, as he gave a customer change for the $1 card.

Sporting straw hats with tea bags around the brims, Jena Russo, 19, and her dad, Dave, said they drove from their Bridgetown home to make a statement.

“I just think government is getting too big, too out of control. There is no more ‘We the people,’.” Dave Russo said.

Five-year-old Kaylee McChesney posed for pictures. Her tongue-in-cheek “Where’s my free pony?” sign attracted lots of attention.

Her mom, Lisa, said she’s concerned that Kaylee’s generation will be left on the hook for “today’s excessive government spending.”

“It’s going to overshadow her entire life. As a parent, I think this is unconscionable. Now is the time to do something,” said McChesney, of Mason.

Lynch, a father of three, said he didn’t think he would wake up today and find that “we changed the world.”

“I don’t think anything is going to change overnight,” he said. “But this is a start.”


My thoughts

These "tea parties" that have been getting bigger. There was also the one in Fullerton, California that drew an estimated 15,000. The old media is completely ignoring them. This is the reason why so many are dying.

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