Tea party supporters rally in Jefferson City

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 | 6:13 p.m. CDT; updated 8:56 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Conservative speaker Michael Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, speaks to a crowd at a tea party rally held Tuesday at the Missouri Capitol.

JEFFERSON CITY — Bearing stickers, flags and hand-drawn posters, more than 300 supporters of the tea party movement rallied Tuesday on the Capitol lawn.

The event was hosted by Americans for Prosperity and organized by state director Carl Bearden. He said he hoped the rally would prompt citizens to "engage and take action," whether it be at the event or into the future.


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Michael Reagan, a talk show host and son of former President Ronald Reagan, was the keynote speaker.

"(Reagan) represents the conservative values and principles that America needs to hear right now," Bearden said.

Reagan said that at age 8, he proposed an increase in his weekly $1 allowance. His father delivered a 35-minute explanation of government taxation, Reagan said, ultimately prompting the younger Reagan to offer his father back half of his allowance.

Rather than accept the 50 cents, the former president told his son, "When there is a president elected who gives me a tax break, I will give you a higher allowance."

In regard to the federal health care plan, Reagan told the crowd, "We're going to prove this is unconstitutional. This is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong."

Reagan also appealed for bipartisan support.

"People like to say this is a Republican movement," he said. "This is a people's movement."

But the tea party movement does not resonate with everyone. Protester and Capitol intern Trevor Collins, 22, of Jefferson City, raised concerns about racial divisions with the group.

"Just look at the racial makeup of this gathering ... I'm the only person of color I saw here, and that's a damn shame," Collins said. "There are plenty of black and Latino people who are conservative, who believe in small government."

Collins also spoke out against media propaganda and racist iconography he said are associated with the tea party movement. Collins said some conservative media outlets were not being honest with citizens.

"They're tricking people," Collins said. "They're confusing them. Many (tea party supporters) weren't very politically cognizant or aware before the election of our first African-American president."

Reagan addressed claims that the tea party movement provided an outlet for racist groups to infiltrate.

"Don't let that stuff get in the way of what you're trying to accomplish," he said.

Melissa Shamp, 33, traveled from Kansas City to volunteer at the event. Wearing a green sticker that read "Stop the spending," Shamp said she was "here to listen and learn."

"I care," Shamp said. "I care about the deterioration of our government. We're not a silent majority anymore, we're a vocal majority. These changes are being pushed upon us, and we don't want them."

Brunswick couple Shirley and Harry DeWeese brought their sons, Carl, 10, and John, 6, to the rally. Shirley said she hoped to impress the importance of civic involvement upon her sons.

"When you believe something, you stand up and speak," Shirley DeWeese said.

D. Jayamanne of Columbia sat in the shade watching the crowd from across the parking lot. Carrying a sign that read "I am not your ATM," Jayamanne said his biggest concerns were government spending and tax increases.

"We need to protest this. They're spending too much of our money," Jayamanne said. "Taxes have gone up, and they are going to go up more. All they do is waste it."

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Carl Kabler April 13, 2010 | 9:36 p.m.

I dunno, it seems to me while the so called "Tea Party" movement certainly raises some valid issues,IMO, at the same time they seem to have been taken over by simply more of the same ol 'status quo'type gatekeepers.

Originally the Tea Party idea (at least one early formation) seems to have come from the Ron Paul style LIBERTARIAN leaning camp who is neither strictly so called 'left' or so called 'right', those who refuse to allow any 'party' to tell them what to think or be pigeon holed into having to accept some well planned laid out agenda that simply keeps the old Hegelian 'left vs. right' game alive.

It is centered around the principle of simply honoring and following the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and allowing citizens to lead their lives under Liberty and making choices for themlselves. I don't really see this much anymore among the "Hollywood" 'tea party' spokespeople, IMO it seems they have infiltrated the movement and diluted and corrupted it's original intentions, and instead turned them into the same old partisan sound bites. Luckily many will avoid the trap and stick to their true principles and not be so easily led astray.

(Report Comment)
Carson Dugal April 14, 2010 | 5:15 a.m.

We didn't need much organization for the love-ins in the sixties when we would all meet in the local parks. We still managed to get the issues of the day discussed.

I feel the reason behind most of our troubles and the need for TEA Parties is the government's ability to print up whatever money it wants to get their way.

Maybe this will help make the danger of fiat money clear.

Imagine you and me are setting across from each other. We create enough money to represent all of the world's wealth. Each one of us has one SUPER Dollar in front of him.

You own half of everything and so do I.

I'm the government though. I get bribed into creating a Central Bank.

You're not doing what I want you to be doing so I print up myself eight more SUPER Dollars to manipulate you with.

All of a sudden your SUPER Dollar only represents one tenth of the wealth of the world!

That isn't the only thing though. You need to get busy and get to work because YOU'VE BEEN STIFFED with the bill for the money I PRINTED UP to get YOU TO DO what I WANTED.

That to me represents what has been happening to the economy, and us, and why so many of our occupations just can't keep up with the fake money presses.

They have been beating us with our own stick!!!!1

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 14, 2010 | 7:40 a.m.

OathKeepers are now being targeted by State run media outlets like Newsweek and by Constitution hating groups like the SPLC. The SPLC appears to be declaring a 'media war' on both the Bill of Rights and those who still 'cling' to the principles upon which this nation was founded. Just wait, some 'incident' will just 'happen' or be 'linked' to some dangerous element out there, in an attempt to try and discredit the growing appeal of OathKeepers, in order to undermine their growing POLITICAL popularity. Just look at the smears already taking place: (bookmark this linked site below readers, and Columbia Missourian writers take note of the comments on this story at the link and what many citizens are saying there)people are waking up and standing up and SPLC just HATES that!

(Report Comment)
Dan Dothage April 15, 2010 | 1:51 a.m.

I guess there's one good thing to this economic downturn and high unemployment numbers...the normal working class has time to stand up and protest this crap! Ah, the silver lining to this cloud!

Hey Mr. Obama, get our people back to work and maybe you won't hear from them during the day like you are now! Why don't you cut taxes and encourage businesses to start hiring?

As to the racial comments, I've met just as many black people who dislike Obama as non-blacks. Who cares what the color of someone's skin in or their gender? If they have crappy policies and purposefully want to harm America, get them out of office!


(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 15, 2010 | 6:00 a.m.

Dan Dothage said, "Who cares what the color of someone's skin is or their gender?" Actually, psychologists will tell you that such feelings, in mild degree, are normal. What's important is not letting them dominate our thinking or actions.

As a number of folks have observed, if God had wanted to make things less complicated He'd have made all humans look the same. Perhaps He'd have made them androgynous as well. How boring would that have been?

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 15, 2010 | 10:23 a.m.

So many provocateurs, so many staged events, to keep the sheep inside the barbed-wire, but how many people today are no longer getting fooled by the charades, and are starting to wake up to the hand of the puppeteers making the puppets dance. I don't know a single person really who cares if Obama's skin is brown, black, or purple for that matter, rather they care if he continues to engage in lies about war, lies about the hundreds of billions in giveaways to billionaires, ratcheting up the Growth of the Big Brother 24/7 surveillance State, and attempting to destroy America's sovereignty (what little it has left.) etc. Look and see what the provocateurs are up to:

(Report Comment)

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