County tea party plans protest
April 14, 2010
Matt Winey, a Moffat County tea party member, said the current Tea party movement follows in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers' ideals.
"The tea party people of today are much like the tea party people back in 1773," Winey said. "They, in a sense, were protesting taxation without representation. … They were tired of an oppressive government."
On Thursday, the day Amer-
icans across the nation traditionally have to file their income taxes, the tea party will be filling the Moffat County Courthouse lawn to echo the voices of the original Tea party, Winey said.
From 5 to 6 p.m., protestors will carry the message of the national Tea party movement — one of limiting taxes, government size and bureaucracy, Winey said.
Rick Barnes, also a Moffat County tea party member, said the message of the party is simple.
"We are already taxed to the point of extinction," he said. "We are not getting representation."
Barnes, Winey and other tea party members will attempt to voice their beliefs to local officials and to the community — such as being "tired of excess spending," "lying to get bills passed," and legislators "not reading the bills," Barnes said.
He said lawmakers aren't listening to constituents.
"They don't care what the people are saying, they are going to vote however they want," he said. "They think they're in charge.
"Right now, in our state and federal government, even our local government, the power is reversed that they have the power to do the thinking for us and they're smarter than we are."
Barnes said protests are a way to get power back into the hands of the people.
"The fact of the matter is that last year, there was a little over a million people protesting nationwide, this year they're expecting that number to double," he said. "These protests are actually waking the American people up and they're starting to look at what exactly they are losing and what the federal government is taking."
Winey said members of the party are concerned their ideas are being ignored.
"It seems like no matter what the American people say, I mean we get somebody elected in, but they do their own thing," he said. "It's not just Democrats or Republicans, but it is all of them, so many it seems like they are bought out instead of having a sense that they have to serve us.
"They seem to have a sense now that they are to rule over us."
Barnes said the "bottom up" movement of the tea party is exercising the right to "peacefully protest our government."
But the problem with the tea party, he said, lies in the public's perception of the movement.
He said the mainstream media has "made us look like we are uncivil or that we are a bunch of backwoods hillbillies and that we don't know anything."
Party members are trying to support the notion that they are educated and promoting a civil message, Barnes said.
Winey said another public misnomer is in the affiliation of the party.
"We are not the Republican Party; we are not the Democratic Party," he said. "I don't think the tea party is looking to be a third party, but what they are trying to do is put people who govern this land, make the law of the land, go by certain guidelines."
And while party members are fighting public perception of incivility and disorganization, Winey said the kind of people who constitute the party is clear.
"I mean there are nuts in every group, but I think you'll find that 99 percent of the tea party are common, everyday working people that have paid their taxes and are just tired of not be represented by our government," he said.