Tea Parties mark their one-year anniversary – rain or shine
One year ago today, concerned citizens throughout America began the arduous task of organizing a movement. The movement would grow like wildfire and be known as the Tea Party. The leaderless grassroots group would focus on big-government spending and infringement of laws threatening American liberty and freedom.
Tea Party members say this will be the first battle of the Second American Revolution. Across America the calls were heard and citizens formed a vast patriot social network. By April, the Tea Party movement included millions of Americans, and on April 15th, 850 tea parties across the nation hosted 1.2 million patriots voicing their defiance of an out-of-control government.
“To date in California we have 173 different Tea Party groups and we are home to the largest coalition in the country – we are even bigger than Texas,” said Dawn Wildman co-founder of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition in San Diego. “It’s great to see the rain or the last minute parking charge (formally a free lot on the weekends) didn’t keep the 1,000 Tea Party supporters from our first anniversary.”
The parking charge didn’t sit well with the Tea Party organizers and after the event it was back to work doing what the citizen activists do best – hit the phones.
“I was able to pin this down to the San Diego County Supervisor people. But I also heard that Bill Horn was they’re complaining about us being anti-politician. I guess he hasn’t heard that we are Pro-Citizen! And he doesn’t understand the distinction,” Wildman said.
Nevertheless, the supervisor in charge of parking was Richard (he was actually really nice and just caught in the middle). The county official who contacted him and insisted on having paid parking was David Hall.
“The slimy thing about this is we’ve had several events at the same location, never had any incidents and were always able to park free in the county lot on the weekends. When the Supervisors got wind of our rally they were threatened by our activism (they should because we hold all officials accountable) and decided to charge $10 to park. Did you see how empty the lot was – their ploy didn’t work,” Wildman said.
Wildman explained the movement is so powerful in California that for the first time there has been no talk of Northern or Southern California. “We are all Californians.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be a rally without a jab or two at California leadership. This time it would be Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Comments made this week on the Fox News channel by Schwarzenegger described the Tea Party movement as nothing more than anger at a slow economy.
“The irony about Schwarzenegger is a similar movement was responsible for recalling disgraced Governor Gray Davis and got Arnold voted into office,” Wildman pointed out.
The line up of speakers in San Diego did not include any politicians, however many candidates were spotted in the crowd. A tax advocate, Richard Rider, touted the movement as a positive sign and explained change finally is on the horizon. “I was skeptical at first, over the years we’ve seen pockets of resistance, but as the year unfolded the movement grew stronger and stronger.”
Rider also noted that the race to take back the country’s economic freedom was not a sprint race, but more like a super marathon – one which would leave a country worth having for those children who want to grow up and be all they can be.
This sentiment was echoed by headline speaker, Roger Hedgecock, a nationally syndicated Conservative talk show host based in San Diego; “The government is now telling you that they know how to better spend your childrens money they haven’t even made yet.” The crowd went nuts.
Other notable jabs included, “every seat is the people’s seat” and “We the People intend to restore a free market economy that is the envy of the world.”
Another San Diego Tea Party organizer, Leslie Eastman had this to say about the attendee diversity question the main stream media tends to focus on. “Quick — someone call the MSNBC diversity police. I have just shown more racial diversity in two pictures (in the slide show) than MSNBC has on its whole lineup.
Before and after the rally, citizens were encouraged to sign petitions on the three core issues. They were also informed about Icaucus, “Independence Caucus” via a full group table and speech given by Stephanie Jahn. This group puts potential candidates through a thorough background check before endorsements are made. Chuck DeVore, who is running for Senate in California against Barbara Boxer has already been endorsed by Icaucus.
Those in power can expect to be held accountable in the upcoming elections. The Tea Party movement is supporting like-minded candidates and encourages friends and neighbors to get involved with the political process; every race can expect to be the center of attention, local, state and national.
“We intend to take the country back to America’s founding principles. We’ve let the country drift too far, and as citizens we have an obligation to return the nation to the sort of governance imagined by our Founding Fathers,” says the Tea Party Patriots.
Judging by the turn out and determination career politicians have a real fight on their hands.