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Candidates lend voices to Augusta tea party event

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A year after they first gathered downtown, several thousand tea partiers -- even angrier since the passage of health care reform -- are expected on Augusta Common tonight.

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Nearly 150 shirts that say "Join the Revolution" were printed.
  RAINIER EHRHARDT/STAFF
RAINIER EHRHARDT/STAFF
Nearly 150 shirts that say "Join the Revolution" were printed.

Fired up as they might be, their fervor is expected to take the form of a big pep rally.

"These are Republicans," Col. Gary Powell of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office said. "We're not going to have any trouble with these people."

Deputies will number only six at the event, where more than 30 speakers and two musical acts will rally the crowd from 5 to 9 p.m.

Organizers, however, argue that Augusta's second annual "Tax Day Tea Party" is not a Republican event.

"Basically, we're independents trying to force the Republicans' hand," said Tony Powers, a radio announcer who has promoted the event for weeks on his daily broadcast.

"They should answer to us," Powers said.

The Tea Party movement, which is holding rallies across the U.S. today, does pose a risk for some incumbent Republicans, pulling them toward the right "and making them less appealing to swing voters," said University of Georgia Political Science Professor Charles Bullock.

"Republican candidates probably hope that they can co-opt the enthusiasm of the tea party folks," said Bullock, an expert on Georgia politics.

A dozen candidates, most of them Republican, will ply Georgia and South Carolina voters at the rally.

Two Republican candidates squaring off to face 12th District Congressman John Barrow, recently one of a handful of Democrats to oppose health care reform, will rally the Augusta crowd.

"I'm one of the original organizers of the Savannah Tea Party," proclaimed 12th District Republican hopeful Jeanne Seaver, a Savannah, Ga., businesswoman.

A working "soccer mom" from the "school of hard knocks," Seaver said she'd be proud to be Georgia's first elected Republican congresswoman from a district she says is 52 percent female.

Also seeking the Republican nomination, Thunderbolt, Ga., firefighter Carl Smith said the tea party protests are important because for many participants, they are a first involvement in the political process.

"No matter who or where you are, you have to be somewhat engaged," Smith said.

Tonight's event is expected to be wholly "family friendly," Powers said, and neither alcohol nor weapons will be permitted.

Lining the commons with about 33 speakers present will be booths rented by candidates and other conservative-leaning organizations such as Fair Tax.

"It's taxation without representation," fair tax advocate Jim Bible said of the tea party's issues with the Obama administration, which "continues to give the wrong people a free ride on taxes, while making the rest of us pay the way," he said.

Others, even politicians who consider themselves conservative, opted not to join the tea partiers.

Augusta Commissioner Joe Jackson will not attend, despite being "a conservative Republican.

"National health care, I think it's a crock. I've paid my health insurance out of my pocket for the past 18 years."

The event, coinciding with many others across the nation, did not start off as a platform for candidates, but became so "late in the game," according to organizer Megan Seda, the founder of Columbia County Young Republicans.

"We didn't invite anybody who wasn't a conservative," Seda said.

Co-emcee Powers will introduce speakers Nikki Haley, a Republican candidate for the governor of South Carolina; Georgia Republican candidates for governor Ray McBerry and John Oxendine; South Carolina Republican congressional candidate Jeff Duncan; author Chad Connelly; candidate for Georgia Republican party chair Sue Everhart; and keynote speaker Bob McEwen, a six-term U.S. representative from Ohio.

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, a Republican from Athens, might or might not make the event, depending on a House vote, his press secretary said, while Nathan Deal, another Republican candidate for Georgia governor from Gainesville, will send a spokesperson.

With a message spread by conservative media and Internet social networking, tea partiers will show, Powers said.

"They're mad as hell, and they're not going to take it any more," he said.

Around Augusta, others took issue with the tea partiers, although none said a counter-protest was planned.

John Fillop, a participant in recent "Coffee Parties" at a Martinez coffee shop, said his group won't be present tonight.

"We're not going to tangle with them," Fillop said. "I'd love to tangle with one of them one on one, but we'll leave them alone Thursday to litter up downtown and have fun among themselves."

If you go

WHAT: Tax Day Tea Party

WHEN: 5 to 9 p.m. today

WHERE: Augusta Common, between Eighth and Ninth streets

WHO: Speakers include political candidates and office holders John Oxendine, Jeff Duncan, Melvin Everson, Nikki Haley, Paul Broun, Jeanne Seaver, Ray McBerry, Taylor Bryant, Gerry Purcell and others

ENTERTAINMENT: Ed Turner and Friends, Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold

COST: Free; refreshments and souvenirs will be available; bring something to sit on

CONTACT: RSVP on Facebook or visit www.augustateaparty.org

Comments (77) Add comment
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IMRIGHTYOUREWRONG
76
Points
IMRIGHTYOUREWRONG 04/15/10 - 03:36 am
0
0
"These are Republicans," Col.

"These are Republicans," Col. Gary Powell of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office said. "We're not going to have any trouble with these people." And just what exactly is this comment supposed to mean? Weren’t these the same people who stood on Capitol Hill and shouted derogatory and slanderous words towards Representatives Barney Frank, John Lewis, and James Clyburn? I guess trouble is just how you perceive it.

ReformedRepub
0
Points
ReformedRepub 04/15/10 - 05:19 am
0
0
There should be a counter

There should be a counter protest at this "rally".

ReformedRepub
0
Points
ReformedRepub 04/15/10 - 05:23 am
0
0
And let us not forget, these

And let us not forget, these are the same people who voted for an administration that presided over TWO recessions in 8 years....boy they are sure the ones we want governing US!

ConcernedTaxpayer
28
Points
ConcernedTaxpayer 04/15/10 - 06:31 am
0
0
It is obvious what side the

It is obvious what side the two previous posters are on. I am sure the Col. meant it is less likely that there will disorderly conduct from conservatives than there would be if they were liberals. Of course, it liberal protesters were to show up, you could be sure there would be disorderly conduct.

Whyisit
0
Points
Whyisit 04/15/10 - 07:17 am
0
0
I'm coming with my Avatar

I'm coming with my Avatar sign I want to see how I will be treated.

crackerjack
145
Points
crackerjack 04/15/10 - 07:32 am
0
0
To President Obama and all

To President Obama and all 535 (Democrat and Republican) members of the Legislature,

It is now official you are ALL corrupt:

* The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
* Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
* Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.

* War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.
* Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.

* Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.

* The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars

AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM??

VOTE THE INCUMBENTS OUT!
Oh and for your information ReformedRepub.....

The Democrats have been in power for the last four years. The President has no power to enact laws, only Congress.

crackerjack
145
Points
crackerjack 04/15/10 - 07:38 am
0
0
And to

And to IMRIGHTYOUREWRONG.....
Isn't it amazing that in this day and time where everyone has a cellphone, camera, microphone, and media present everywhere, that nobody has come up with a picture, soundbite, or any evidence that this happened. But, of course their sheep will believe anything, especially if a lawyer says it, then it must be true.

Please show me the proof.

truthteller
0
Points
truthteller 04/15/10 - 08:04 am
0
0
So if truth and transparency

So if truth and transparency are important to these people why do the organizers of this rally continue to lie and insist that this event is not a Republican Party campaign rally?

InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 04/15/10 - 08:26 am
0
0
Because you can be a

Because you can be a conservative and not part of the Rebublican Party. "Basically, we're independents trying to force the Republicans' hand," Powers said. "We didn't invite anybody who wasn't a conservative," Seda said. "booths rented by candidates and other conservative-leaning organizations" Sounds like it's more than Republicans, sounds like anyone who is concerned about the direction this country is going not any particular party.

InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 04/15/10 - 08:30 am
0
0
IMRIGHTYOURWRONG, this time

IMRIGHTYOURWRONG, this time you're wrong and I'm right. There has been no proof that anyone shouted slanderous or derogatory remarks. I agree with crackerjack, with as many people that were there, surely someone got this recorded or on photo. I have no proof but feel this was reported just to make the group look like hate filled racists and to discredit what these individuals are standing for. All political game playing.

Dudeness
1543
Points
Dudeness 04/15/10 - 08:32 am
0
0
I don't believe John Barrow

I don't believe John Barrow is a Republican. I'm not sure I can make it tonight since I have class, but I really want one of those t-shirts.

crackerjack
145
Points
crackerjack 04/15/10 - 08:34 am
0
0
To the Independent

To the Independent Conservatives who ARE the Tea Party. I say Vote Them All Out! Dems or Repubs

usafvet
3
Points
usafvet 04/15/10 - 08:33 am
0
0
Reformedrepub, I don't know

Reformedrepub, I don't know about the validity of your statement.
During the 8 years of The Honorable George W. Bush unemployment was at no time the level it is under dumbobama. The Dow was at an all time high under Bush's leadership. It turned down at about the same time that the dems took congress. It continued down even more after dumbobama won the dims nomination. Now that it has risen to a point of 10000, the dims are praising their messiah. It is still more than 4000 points from the high. It is a widely accepted that media as a whole is very liberal and effectively turned a lot of unknowing, unsuspecting people against a President that was doing what was and is best for this country until the dims put every thing in limbo. That was their purpose so as to discredit the Republican party. As an old saying goes, "bad day at black rock".

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 04/15/10 - 08:34 am
0
0
ICL If you are a liberal,

ICL If you are a liberal, all you have to do is make the accusation and the media & bloggers will run with it. Barney Frank & John Lewis know this all too well. They have no proof -other than their "word" and we all know how much that is worth. A liar and a race baiter. Please.

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 04/15/10 - 08:56 am
0
0
As for the comment that this

As for the comment that this is a repub event, that's not entirely true. The Libertarian party will also be there in full force, and I will be one of the speakers. I would like to invite anyone with an open mind to the commons today.

Boston93
117
Points
Boston93 04/15/10 - 09:15 am
0
0
I'm a Tea Party supporter,

I'm a Tea Party supporter, taxpayer, Republican, Conservative, Democrat, Independent, American,but not a liar like POTUS and his ball team. Get prepared for January 1, 2011 when CHANGE goes into effect.
I say many people get up, but never wake up. It's coming if we don't pay attention and take action NOW.

TonydeMedici
0
Points
TonydeMedici 04/15/10 - 10:04 am
0
0
I find it amusing that the

I find it amusing that the so-called "Coffee Party" guy had to end his comments with a slap that the Tea Partiers would "litter" downtown. In fact last year after our event there wasn't as much as a straw sleeve left at the Amphitheater. These folks clean up after themselves and don't "trash" the place like the "trash" that liberals always leave. By the way, it's not a "Republican" event. It's for everybody who's concerned about the wrong direction our country is taking which if you just check any poll you'll find it's about 3/4 of ALL Americans. We are the "mainstream" the lefties and socialist are the minority.

cleanup
0
Points
cleanup 04/15/10 - 10:35 am
0
0
Col. Gary Powell obviously

Col. Gary Powell obviously doesn't read the news much. The tea party nuts have been linked to the Klan, militias, and domestic terrorists. I hope police precautions have been put in place to protect citizens from this band of tin-foil hatted anti-Americans.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 04/15/10 - 10:39 am
0
0
I think the good colonel

I think the good colonel should be fired for his partisan remarks period. I am sure if you are there and voice a dissenting opinion, he will be glad to help "his" political party in removing you. Get rid of him now.

DaddyFrog
46
Points
DaddyFrog 04/15/10 - 10:49 am
0
0
Who's the biggest "Porker" of

Who's the biggest "Porker" of them all according to the "Pig Book"?
Ans: Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Miss. "for $490 million in pork"
And there's Rep.Harold "Hal" Rogers (R-Ky.)"for $10 million for the National Institute for Hometown Security". Which goes to show you,you can't trust any of them. And I'll bet you a dollar the people in their respective states won't turn down any of the money. Read conservative Cal Thomas' article in today's paper right below the Tea Party editorial.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 04/15/10 - 10:50 am
0
0
Just 6 police for thousands

Just 6 police for thousands of protestors? Are you being serious colonel or just trying to save your party the expense of providing security that everyone else has to have. Now we know what the political affiliation of the sheriffs office is. Can't wait for November and the 20-20-60 percent split that will leave the Democrats in better control than they are now. BTW Sarah is available if anyone can come up with the $100K a day, first class hotel and Lear jet. Of course she only makes one appearance for that price.

TonydeMedici
0
Points
TonydeMedici 04/15/10 - 11:16 am
0
0
LOL, It's amusing to see who

LOL, It's amusing to see who the "hate-mongers" are on here. It’s clearly NOT coming from the Tea Party crowd. We don't burn presidents in effigy like the liberals, we don't "trash" the place like liberals, and we don't need a lot of "adult supervision" either. We are the grown-ups who actually believe in American "exceptionalalism" and act accordingly. Why those who scream loudest for "free speech" want to muzzle any other opinion just shows how much they respect the "freedoms" we are trying to preserve. This is the beginning of a tidal wave that will sweep across America culminating in a tsunami in November that will wash the progressive/socialist out of our government and return to "We the People" the rights and freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. November 2010 will be the beginning of the end of out of control deficit spending and government intrusion into our lives and businesses. In 2012 we will finish the job we begin today.

cleanup
0
Points
cleanup 04/15/10 - 11:40 am
0
0
Whyvisit, violence has

Whyvisit, violence has already occurred from among the ranks of these traitors. We all know it really isn't about taxes, health care, or anything else other than dyed-in-the-wool racism, the trademark of "conservative" nutjobs, tea party or GOP, doesn't matter. They just can't stand having a black president, so they hide under these smoke screens. Tonight's soiree is just a Klan rally to me.

cleanup
0
Points
cleanup 04/15/10 - 11:40 am
0
0
Whyvisit, violence has

Whyvisit, violence has already occurred from among the ranks of these traitors. We all know it really isn't about taxes, health care, or anything else other than dyed-in-the-wool racism, the trademark of "conservative" nutjobs, tea party or GOP, doesn't matter. They just can't stand having a black president, so they hide under these smoke screens. Tonight's soiree is just a Klan rally to me.

chipshirley
0
Points
chipshirley 04/15/10 - 11:52 am
0
0
TonydeMedici Do you believe

TonydeMedici

Do you believe in the same 'exceptionalism' for Americans that the Germans did for Germany before WWII?

Sean Hannity has repeatedly said that the only nuclear arms deal he wants is one where we have all the nukes and call all the shots. That's a perfect recipe for WWIII.

chipshirley
0
Points
chipshirley 04/15/10 - 11:54 am
0
0
All of the right wing talkers

All of the right wing talkers who want America to pull out of the UN and kick them out of NYC have a Pre-WWII Mentality.

Conservatives have a Pre-WWII Mentality.

willie7
920
Points
willie7 04/15/10 - 12:28 pm
0
0
Sheriff Strength---Powell is
Unpublished

Sheriff Strength---Powell is a public servant and I think he is off base to make the remark , "He didn't expect trouble from these people".
His statement implies that trouble would be expected from other groups.
So much can be read from his statement. Is it because the group is all white or nearly? Older people? Working People? Or Republicans behave better than Democrats?
Come Sheriff, I want an anwer.

Many Arrows
-1
Points
Many Arrows 04/15/10 - 12:49 pm
0
0
To "Vote them out" you have

To "Vote them out" you have to have opposition candidates.

I cannot help but note that the sell-out and traitor to conservatism, Johnny Isakson has not opposition. This for a man who voted for TARP, huge social spending, increases in debt of $trillions, gutting financial rules for his contributors, and supporting Teddy Kennedy on Amnesty.

The Tea Partiers will go out and put him right back in the U.S. Senate.

The last TP event was hijacked by Nathan Deal, one of the most corrupt members of Congress. That was like King George III speaking at the real 1776 Tea party.

Tea party, HA!

mikeelliott
73
Points
mikeelliott 04/15/10 - 12:53 pm
0
0
I wonder why all the fuss

I wonder why all the fuss when the Tea Party appears to be desiring a better America? Personal responsibility, less government in my home life, strong military, secure borders, fair tax, etc......I really do not understand all of the STRONG attacking aimed at such ideals.

Whyisit
0
Points
Whyisit 04/15/10 - 12:56 pm
0
0
Butler123 but I'm coming in

Butler123 but I'm coming in the name of PEACE. I can attend with my sign just like everybody else right? I mean I'm MAD at Obama for messing up history for being the first NON white president. I'm Angry and have been since Nov 08 and Jan 09.

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