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Tea Party shares philosophies for country with large crowd

Mountain City’s Ralph Stout Park became the site of Johnson County’s first Tea Party rally Saturday night. With the bleachers full of supporters and many more standing on the surrounding grounds, a big crowd was in attendance to hear a variety of speakers delivering the ideals and principals of the Tea party while at the same time rejoicing in patriotism and voicing misgivings about the current status of our state and federal governments.
Formed in 2009, the Tea party takes its name from the historical tea party movement in Boston, where protestors dumped barrels of British tea into Boston Harbor in anger towards increased taxation and a lack of representation within the British parliament. The modern Tea party is made up of traditional Americans who want to see positive conservative changes in the government, especially on the national level. Many feel that the rights of the states within the union are being abused and also want to see many current government plans, such as the recent health care bill, repealed.
One of the important documents that the Tea Party supports is the Contract from America, which is a list of the ten most important goals and ideals of the movement. The party asks all political candidates to pledge to this contract in the hope of seeing future changes in the government. The first of these goals is to have all new bills brought before the federal government to have backing directly from the U.S. Constitution. Others include demanding a balanced budget, removing the Obama healthcare bill, develop a simpler and more fair tax system, and a reduction in government spending.
Several candidates were present at the rally, including some such as State Representative candidate Timothy Hill, who have signed the Contract from America and are proud members of the Tea Party. Hill stated, “I am the only candidate in the Bristol Tea Party and it is great to see such a wonderful event in Johnson County, to see so many people who care about the constitution and our nation. I feel it is always important to support the constitution and the nation, and it all starts right here.”
Hill was not the only state representative candidate at the rally, however. Both Sherry Greene Grubb and Johnson County’s own Scotty Campbell were present and participating in the evening’s events. Grubb has been involved in several Tea party activities including the march on Washington D.C. on September 12, 2009. Other local politicians, including county mayor candidates David Pleasant, Larry Potter, and Jerry Jordan were present as well.
The rally began with the presentation of an early United States flag by the honor guard. This flag, which has six pointed stars, was of an early design that was common in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Following the presentation of the flag, Johnson County High School student, Kevin Eller, gave a remarkable rendition of the national anthem. Tea Party member Ray Comeaux led the pledge and Dwayne Dickson led the rally in prayer.
The first speaker was Kershaw Getty, who came onto the stage to deliver a speech concerning the life of founding father Benjamin Franklin. Dressed in full costume, and addressing the audience from the position of Franklin, Getty delivered a memorable presentation, citing the religious and political beliefs of one of our nation’s most important figures. Struther Smith, a representative of the Tenth Amendment Foundation, followed Getty. Smith delivered a speech detailing the different clauses of the recent health care bill and informed the audience that the foundation is filing a lawsuit against the law.
Other speakers included Dick Woods, describing the fair tax measure, retired pharmacist Toni Carti talking about historical figures and the republic, Dr. Carolyn Love, Mark Herr, Kim White, and Tom Pope. At times the audience got involved, waving flags with the Tea Party rallying cry of “Don’t Tread on Me,” alluding to the earlier revolution use of the same slogan. Signs bearing testaments to the ideals of the Tea Party were spread throughout the crowd, and at times audience members would call out questions.
For complete details please pick up your copy of this weeks The Tomahawk available at local newsstands today