Tax Day Tea Parties

Daily News Article   —   Posted on April 16, 2009

(by Carri Geer Thevenot and Ed Vogel, ReviewJournal.com) – Thousands of people, many waving hand-painted signs and American flags, held tax day “tea parties” Wednesday in Las Vegas and Carson City as part of a nationwide movement to protest what they consider excessive government spending.

At Sunset Park, an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 people gathered to hear speakers and express their views. Demonstrators along Eastern Avenue and Sunset Road attracted a stream of honks from passing traffic throughout the afternoon.

“There’s a lot of anger, but there’s a lot of positive anger,” said Jack Landreth, program director for KXNT-AM, 840 radio. “There are people who want to be heard and make a difference, and this gave them the opportunity to do that.”

The radio station promoted the event, which featured speeches from Herman Cain, a FOX News business commentator and host of a radio talk show in Atlanta, and Wayne Allyn Root, the 2008 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee and a Las Vegas sports handicapper.

Although billed as a nonpartisan event, the messages from participants were largely anti-Obama, and Democrats were hard to find. Many protesters carried signs with the “tea party” slogan: Taxed Enough Already.

Las Vegas resident Jennean Scacco, a 55-year-old Republican, sat in a chair along Eastern Avenue holding a “Stop Spending” sign with a tea bag wrapper attached to it.

“I learned long ago that when you find yourself in a hole, you should stop digging,” said Scacco, who works as a senior account technician for the city of Las Vegas. “Unfortunately, those we elected have not figured that out yet. They just think spending is going to get us out of this problem.” …

“I’m a law-abiding citizen, but I want them to use my tax money wisely,” she said.

Las Vegas resident Ryan Kissling, 26, said he learned about the Sunset Park event through the social-networking Web site Facebook and decided to take the afternoon off from his job as a trade development manager at Monster Energy, a company that makes energy drinks.

Kissling, a Republican, stood along Eastern holding a sign that read, “Look 2 the Constitution Not Karl Marx.”

“I’m tired of the government getting so big,” he said.

Kissling said he was glad he decided to attend.  “It makes me have hope again,” he said.

… Mary Meyers, a 49-year-old cocktail server, carried a sign that read, “No: Socialism. No: Bailouts. Flat Tax!” Her husband [Tom Meyers], a 45-year-old bartender, held a sign that read, “When is big government too much?”

“We want our message heard,” [Mrs.] Meyers said. “We’re afraid of the direction our country’s going. We fear we’re headed toward socialism.”

… Dozens of demonstrators gathered for a smaller evening “tea party” at the main post office on Sunset Road. The post office was open until midnight to accommodate last-minute tax filers. …

In Carson City, a…crowd of 2,000 demanded that legislators not increase taxes and condemned President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus and spending plans in a protest outside the Legislative Building.

Legislative police and Carson City sheriff’s deputies said the gathering was the largest they had seen in more than 30 years in the state capital.

… Janine Hansen, a longtime lobbyist for the conservative, pro-family Nevada Eagle Forum, said she believes the sentiment of the protesters reflects current thinking of mainstream Americans.

While acknowledging that FOX News and local conservative talk show hosts had urged people to attend the protest, Hansen said people had to have strong objections to government to take time off work and drive to Carson City for a rally. …

Robert and Dwanna Dempsey [from Carson City] said too many people believe the government should give them cradle-to-grave support.

They said they were not just blaming Obama, but many politicians who over the years supported deficit spending.

“We need to clean out all the politicians,” Dwanna Dempsey added. “They don’t listen.”

In response to the “tea party” gatherings, Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan released the following statement Wednesday:

“While we support the right of Americans to petition their government, what’s clear is that the overwhelming majority of folks support President Obama’s plan to get the economy back on track and provide 95 percent of working families with tax relief, because they are no longer going to accept ‘more of the same’ as an answer.”

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at cgeer@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Contact reporter Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901.

This article was first posted at the Las Vegas ReviewJournal.com. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the Review Journal. Visit the website at ReviewJournal.com.

Questions

1. Why did thousands of Americans across the country attend “Tea Parties” on April 15th?

2. Why do you think that, at the Nevada rallies at least, Democrats were hard to find, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter? (NOTE: Attendees at the Washington DC event said that people who had voted for President Obama were in the crowd.)

3. For what reasons did Las Vegas residents Jennean Scacco, Ryan Kissling, and Mary and Tom Meyers attend the Tax Day protest?

4. What was significant about the number of people attending the Carson City rally?

5. Janine Hansen, lobbyist for the Nevada Eagle Forum, said she believes the sentiment of the protesters reflects current thinking of mainstream Americans.  She said people had to have strong objections to government to take time off work and drive to Carson City for a rally.
Do you agree with her assertion? Explain your answer.

6. Who do Robert and Dwanna Dempsey of Carson City blame for excessive government spending?

7. How did the Obama administration respond to the hundreds of protests that took place across the country yesterday?

8. The mainstream media was unhappy about these protests. This massive nationwide event on Tax Day was underreported or inaccurately reported as being sponsored by Fox News or the Republican Party. To determine what is true, watch the videos from around the country. What do you think?
Watch videos from the Tea Party protests at sunshinereview.org/index.php/April_15_Tea_Party_videos.


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Resources

Online News Organization Pajamas TV (pjtv.com) estimates that at least 524,000 (this number updated 4/17) (and counting – check the link for updated numbers as they are reported) people took part in Tax Day Tea Parties across the country. View photos from individual towns and cities by state at:
pjtv.com/page/Pajamas_TV_Tea_Party_Coverage_/83/.

OR try the direct link at
pjtv.com/?cmd=view-events&type=1&sort=date&reverse=false&category=2&state=.