Anyway I decided to cover the Tea Party in Columbus today, and filed this report:
Columbus, Georgia’s third largest city, didn’t have the problems Atlanta had when it came to scheduling its Independence Day Tea Party. Although Atlanta’s was canceled, the Tea Party in Columbus went off as scheduled on July 4th.
The local event did not get a lot of publicity. Only one reporter from the local TV media, covering for the Fox and ABC affiliates, was seen covering the event.
Still, between 250 and 300 people, most from Columbus, but some from across the river in Alabama, braved the hot Georgia sun and temperatures in the 90s, and showed up in front of the Government Center from 4:00 to 6:00 PM to protest taxes and government spending, particularly focusing on health care, but also taking shots at cap and trade legislation.
Local pastor Dan Gates used his platform to call for continuance of the things that made this country great.
The spirit of Liberty that has burned in America for 233 years. In liberty's true meaning, we see no reason for change! ... Bless the strength of America's people unpon which a nation unparalleled has been built. In those Americans, who echo the cry of free men, duty, and honor and country, we see no reason for change.
Speaker Josh McKoon, a Columbus attorney who is running for the Georgia State Senate, issued a warning to the Congress that the people have had enough regulation and taxes.
If you continue to allow more regulations and more taxes, then, by God, the people of this country are going to rise up in the elections that are coming next year and take this country back!
The two-hour event concluded with a march around the Government Center.
The Columbus Tax Party is planning a protest on the 17th of July at the office of Democratic 2nd District Congressman Sanford Bishop, who represents Columbus and voted for the Cap and Trade legislation.
Afterwards, Columbus Tea Party organizer Sandy Toth said she became involved in a political cause for the first time, protesting the spending of former president George W. Bush’s administration.
Going back to where the bailouts started last fall, under Bush, I was protesting all the spending, you know, and nobody's listening. ... After we had the change of administration, I continued to protest. And what really got me upset was that they, when they rammed the stimulus bill through, there was a bunch of health care provisions nobody discussed, nobody knew about.
Toth said that, besides the larger events, her organization is planning many small events around the area, trying to raise awareness.
We're having mini-protests on street corners. Because for a rally like this, we have to get a police permit and everything, but if we just have a few of us on a street corner, we don't need a permit, so we're thinking about going out two days a week on a street corner with our signs. ... We're doing everything we can to try to spread the word to people to start learning the issues and fighting back.