Tea Parties Rally Around Nation on Tax Day, Vowing Independence From Major Parties

April 15, 2010 17:45

Tea party activists streamed into state capitals and Washington on Thursday, carrying signs that read “Don’t Tread on Me” and “Follow the Constitution” as they marked tax day – April 15 – and vowed to stay independent of party establishments.

By: Dan Weil at Newsmax.com

WASHINGTON — Tea party activists streamed into the capital they love to hate on Thursday, carrying signs that read “Don’t Tread on Me” and “Follow the Constitution” as they marked tax day — April 15.

On a sun-splashed morning and serenaded by patriotic songs, the protesters gathered as Washington’s Freedom Plaza for an 11 a.m. rally. Several wore T-shirts with the date “April 15” and some carried American flags, the Associated Press reported.

The Tea Party Express cross-country tour was wrapping up in Washington. Local events are also planned in Oklahoma, Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states.

Tea party protesters opened their tour nearly three weeks ago with a Nevada rally that drew at least 9,000 and heard from one of the few politicians the conservative, anti-tax movement embraces: Sarah Palin.
Palin also starred at a tea party gathering of 5,000 on Wednesday in Boston but is not scheduled at the finale. Radio host Neal Boortz is among the listed speakers.

But Republican congressional leaders weren’t invited.

Those omitted include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia.

Officials of Freedom Works, the group organizing the event, say the leaders are still in the doghouse for backing the bank bailout in 2008.

“What [tea party activists] are saying to the officeholders and office seekers is, ‘Earn your spurs and you can get on our stage.’ There’s an old line: ‘We don’t call you a cowboy until we can see you ride,’” former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, told The Hill newspaper.

Armey asked how McConnell and Boehner voted on the Troubled Asset Relief Program, adding, “TARP has been the acid test.”


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