Richmond Tea Party Fires Up Supporters with Speakers and Action Items

RICHMOND – Culminating a year of dramatic growth, driven by skyrocketing deficits and brazen Constitutional overreach by the federal government, the Richmond Tea Party hosted a spirited Tax Day Rally attended by thousands of concerned Virginians.

Tax Day Rally Draws Huge Crowd

Virginians jammed Kanawha Plaza in Downtown Richmond on Thursday night, demanding fiscal responsibility, Constitutional adherence, limited government, free markets and virtue & accountability in government. The crowd of approximately 3,500+ was boisterous and peaceful, and the event was accented by humorous and pointed protest signs, chanting, cheering and a string of speakers, including Charles Payne, Fox Business News analyst.

Despite threats to disrupt the rally by members of various left-wing activist groups, the event was marked by a family-friendly feel, with many children accompanying parents and grandparents in the crowd.

Charles Payne was the keynote speaker for the evening, and he exhorted the crowd to stand up and make a difference. “There is a lack of political courage today,” Payne said. “But looking out across this crowd tonight, I see tremendous political courage and a determination to change the direction of our government and our nation!’

Richmond Tea Party experiences dramatic growth

Jamie Radtke, the Richmond Tea Party president, noted in her remarks that twelve months ago the organization consisted of six people who had found each other on the Internet. “Today the Richmond Tea Party has more than 7,000 members and more than 150 volunteers,” Radtke said. “You are making a huge difference! During the past General Assembly session we were able to pass legislation that has enabled Virginia to sue the federal government over the Heath Care Law. And in November, we will really make our presence felt, in the voting booth and in Washington, D.C.!”

Speaker after speaker pounded on the Richmond Tea Party’s five planks of Constitutional Adherence, Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility, Free Markets and Virtue & Accountability.

Several of the speakers took both the Democrats and the Republicans to task for their lack of financial discipline and ignoring the principles of limited government spelled out in the US Constitution. It was noted that recent polls have shown that about 40 percent of Tea Party membership nationally are self-identified Democrats and Independents. Across the political spectrum, Americans who care about limited government and Constitutional adherence have flocked to the growing movement.

Enthusiastic attendees

People in the crowd expressed excitement and support for the goals of the rally and of the Tea Party movement.

 “This means everything,” said rally attendee Mary Lou Dickens, speaking of the rally and the goals of the Tea Party movement. “I have children and I have grandchildren! This is about making sure their future is secure.”

 “It gives me hope to see so many people come together to defend the Constitution and to right the wrongs that are going on in Washington,” said Joe Nowlin, another attendee at the event. “We are in jeopardy of losing our freedom. But this movement has begun to make a difference. The media said the Tea Party movement was a flash in the pan, that we would fizzle out. But this is clearly a sustainable movement.”

“God bless America and God bless the Tea Party,” said another rally attendee, who wore a shirt commemorating the sacrifices of the Union army during the Civil War. “My wife’s great-grandfather died fighting for this nation during the Civil War. I am proud of that and I’m proud to be here.”

Action Items for 2010

Radtke closed the event by thanking the volunteers and especially the attendees who came out, and she gave them some action items to help keep the momentum going:

  • Come out and volunteer for the Richmond Tea Party
  • Register to vote, and make sure your friends, family and neighbors are registered
  • Keep calling and emailing your members of Congress
  • Find out who your delegate and state senator is for upcoming RTP legislation
  • And be ready to come out and vote in November

 Tax Day Rally Speakers

The slate of speakers included:

  • Charles Payne, Fox Business News Analyst and Author
  • Doc Thompson, WRVA Radio
  • Matt Whitworth, College Student at VCU
  • Donna Holt, Virginia 10th Amendment Revolution
  • Joe Guarino, Chairman of Richmond Tea Party Legislative Committee
  • Patrick McSweeney, Constitutional Lawyer
  • Karen Cooper, Richmond Tea Party Activist
  • Chris Kinsel, American Family Radio
  • Chuck Hansen, Tea Party Volunteer and Humor Columnist
  • Colleen Owens, Chairman of Richmond Tea Party Action/Events Committee
  • Jamie Radtke, Richmond Tea Party