Tea party prepares for upcoming rally in Craig

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If you go …

What: Tax Day Freedom Rally

When: 5:30 p.m., April 15

Where: Moffat County Courthouse lawn, 221 W. Victory Way

• The political event will include speeches such as a keynote address by Michael Holler, author of “The Constitution Made Easy.” Heller will also be teaching a class on the U.S. Constitution from 9 a.m. to noon April 16 at American Legion Post 62, 1055 Moffat County Road 7. The entry fee is $25.

When Moffat County resident Rick Barnes began getting his colleagues together in 2009 to talk about their political beliefs, the result was an April 15 gathering with 150 participants.

The next year, the numbers grew to 250, and this year he hopes attendance will climb to 350.

The Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots will host a Tax Day Freedom Rally on April 15 on the Moffat County Courthouse lawn, 221 W. Victory Way.

The event, which begins at 5:30 p.m., is a political assembly for locals to discuss and protest elements of government they disagree with.

This is the third year such an event has been hosted in Craig, following the tea party’s beginnings at the national level in 2009.

Barnes was one of the organizers of the 2009 event in Craig.

“I think the turnout will be a lot better this year,” Barnes said. “It’s evolved quite well, and we’re just a lot more organized. We’re getting recognized by the country and within the state, and we’ll probably see more people since they’re not having rallies in Steamboat (Springs) and Meeker this year.”

This year’s event will include refreshments provided by Bear River Young Life; music by Rich Norman and Wanda Brown; and speeches from Chuck McConnell, chairman of the Steamboat Springs Republican Party, Gregg Pulsner, of the Young Conservatives Organization, and Moffat County High School Student Council President Slade Gurr, who also attended the U.S. Senate Youth Program in March in Washington, D.C.

Also making an appearance will be Rob Douglas, co-host of the Steamboat Springs radio program, “The Cari and Rob Show.”

Douglas, who has worked in public radio for more than 10 years, is an independent conservative and discusses conservative issues on his show. His broadcast partner, Cari Hermacinski, spoke at the rally last year.

“I haven’t put together what all I’m going to say yet, but I mostly want to talk about the liberty movement and where we need to go as a country in 2012,” he said. “Events like this keep people energized and makes their voices heard in Washington.”

Douglas said he is not strictly affiliated with the tea party, but he believes in the movement.

“They had a real impact in the 2010 election bringing in true fiscal conservatives,” he said.

Douglas said he is a proponent of fighting unnecessary government spending, a platform in which he believes the tea party has been “instrumental.”

“The left are saying that the tea party is extremist and racist, and that’s not what I’ve observed,” he said. “It’s made up of average, everyday citizens doing what they feel is important for their children.”

The keynote speaker at the rally will be Michael Holler, author of “The Constitution Made Easy.”

Holler will also teach a U.S. Constitution class April 16 at American Legion Post 62, 1055 Moffat County Road 7.

Barnes said anyone who is “concerned about the direction the country’s going” is welcome.

“If they’re tired of representatives who aren’t listening to them, they need to come down,” he said.

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