Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tea Party Tax Day Rallies On April 15th, 2010 In Alaska: Anchorage, Fairbanks, And Wasilla

According to the TeaPartyPatriots website, Tea Party Tax Day rallies were scheduled for Anchorage, Wasilla, Fairbanks, and Ketchikan on April 15th, 2010; the Alaska media has now reported on three of those events.

Anchorage: Covered by Alaska Dispatch, the Anchorage Daily News, and KTUU Channel 2 (with two videos). At least 200 people showed up at the Federal Building in downtown Anchorage to register their discontent with the Federal government. Participants hailed from across the partisan political spectrum, united by their desire for smaller, less expensive, more efficient and more responsible government. KTUU primary news video embedded below:

Typical participants included Sherry Sears, who said government has grown too intrusive and shouldn’t be involved at health care at all. Julie Cheverton, a retired Anchorage nurse held a sign reading, “My neighbor is not entitled to my success.” A Republican, she supports Medicare but opposes mandatory health insurance which she says will lead to a doctor shortage as well as rationed, more expensive care. Participants also had mixed opinions about Sarah Palin. Travis Cox thinks Palin is a good "Number Two", but not ready to be the leader of the free world. Tammy Wells identifies with Palin's message, but agrees Palin may experience more heckling than she can effectively handle. Still, Wells is convinced Palin's intent is pure and her political influence has staying power. But Wells will wait until 2012 to see who else is running.

A handful of antiwar protesters showed up, but they blended in with the rest of the crowd and caused little to no trouble, although one verbal confrontation was recorded on this KTUU video. Anchorage organizers were on guard for possible infiltrators because of the efforts of Jason Levin and his CrashTheTeaParty website. On his site, since reorganized, Levin called for people to infiltrate and misrepresent the Tea Party at their gatherings. There was some extensive information about Levin posted on Free Republic; on his Intelius page, Levin describes himself as a "black lesbian trapped in the body of a straight white man, I am able to pass as a member of the establishment wile still maintaining my oneness with the spirit of the Earf Muvah. I'm currently being sued by my inner child for molestation...but trust me, the charges are baseless". What a piece of work.

Additional video from Alaska Dispatch embedded below:

Fairbanks: The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that as many as 75 people showed up for two separate rallies at the corner of the Johansen Expressway and the Old Steese Highway, the first around noontime and the second from 4:30-6:30 P.M. The event was advertised as non-partisan, and none of the participants interviewed expressed a party preference.

Typical participants included Rich Doran, who pointed to the health care bill and billion-dollar bailouts as examples of how the federal government is overstepping its bounds. Jim Bennett also expressed displeasure with the newly approved health care system and the current $12.8 trillion national debt. Several called upon Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young to set the example by reducing the amount of pork flowing to Alaska, and Maureen Meeks said the highest priority of the Alaska congressional delegation should be to get our people back to work; health care, financial reform and nuclear disarmament should take a back seat to job recovery. Meeks also criticized the EPA for "coming in and taking over everything"; the EPA has told the Fairbanks-North Star Borough to comply with federal air-quality standards or face sanctions, triggering a local ordinance which proposes restrictions on wood stove emissions, a primary cause of the air-quality issues.

Wasilla: The Mat-Su Frontiersman reported that at least 250 people (ADN says 400 at its peak) showed up for the Tea Party event there, held along the Parks Highway and Crusey Street near Harold J. Newcomb Park. The official name of the event was the Conservative Patriots Group’s tax day rally, and they claim as many as 800 showed up. Event organizer Amy Thomas had a stronger incentive to get involved than most - because she was born in Canada, she saw where big government could lead when she lived in British Columbia. Now, worried this country is headed in a similar direction, she finally applied for citizenship after 45 years of living in the U.S.

“TEA stands for ‘Taxed Enough Already,’...The purpose is to share with America that we the people have been taxed enough”, said Thomas. She also said the government could cut taxes if it returned to only providing the services outlined in the Constitution. Those services do not include heath care, education or other entitlement programs.

Jim Plumley is particularly upset about Washington spending the country into oblivion. Asked how he would reduce spending, he said members of Congress should only be allowed to serve two terms and not receive any retirement benefits. In regards to health care, Plumley said it should have been reformed in parts, not through the 2,000-page bill recently passed by Congress. He conceded there are some good parts to the bill, but maintains the country doesn’t have enough doctors to cover the 30 million additional people expected to get insurance under the new bill.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for covering this. ADN also has a video posted.