For Immediate Release
Contact: Colleen Owens – 804-335-5966
April 18, 2011
About 1,100 concerned Richmond-area Tea Party supporters attended the Richmond Tea Party’s third annual Tax Day rally tonight in downtown Richmond at Kanawha Plaza. The theme for this year’s rally was “Stop the In$anity!!”
The warm April evening saw opening ceremonies that included Boy Scouts from Troop 1087 presenting the colors and a spectacular performance by Jewell Booker, who sang the national anthem. In his opening remarks, emcee Doc Thompson of WRVA 1140-AM recalled the first Tax Day rally in Richmond two years ago, when hordes of frustrated Virginians showed up in a cold rain to express their frustration with a government that was spinning out of control. Doc said he counts that rally as one of the best experiences in his life and that he was thrilled and proud to again be a part of the annual event.
Speakers from the Richmond Tea Party discussed the organization’s efforts to effect change in this year’s General Assembly, as well as the Richmond Tea Party’s intense community outreach activities, and the impact that continued federal overspending is having on the U.S. and Virginia economies. Sonnie Johnson of the Fredrick Douglas Foundation gave a heartfelt speech about teaching her daughter the values and history of what makes our country great.
Former President of the Richmond Tea Party Jamie Radtke spoke about the lack of serious leadership in Washington, D.C. on the issue of debt and deficit reduction. To cheers from the crowd, Radtke called out the current Republican leadership who had promised $100 billion in cuts before November’s elections, but who then dropped that amount down to $61 billion and then $38 billion and now, according to the CBO, had actually delivered cuts of only $353 million dollars. “We don’t need politicians that don’t have the backbone to make the hard decisions,” Radtke told the cheering crowd.
The keynote speaker for the evening was Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Attorney General Cuccinelli spoke about the status of Virginia’s lawsuit challenging the individual mandate in the Obamacare Healthcare law. Saying that he avoids making predictions, the Attorney General did note that President Obama clearly stated before the law was passed that the mandate was not a tax; but now in court, the federal government is claiming that it is definitely a tax. The Attorney General noted that this contradiction should not strike confidence in the government case.
The rally finished with the current president of the Richmond Tea Party, Eric McGrane, who thanked everyone for attending and thanked all the volunteers for another successful Tax Day rally.
“I am excited to see so many people here tonight, along with the hundreds of others who are putting in so many hours every week on our nearly two-dozen Richmond Tea Party committees,” McGrane said. “When you add up the hundreds of Richmond Tea Party volunteers who every day are working on legislation, reaching out to the communities of Richmond, organizing monthly meetings attended by hundreds of additional supporters, tracking the performance of our elected leaders and countless other activities, and then consider the thousand-plus people here tonight, it is clear that the Richmond Tea Party and the Tea Party movement is more focused, energized and determined than ever!”