Tea Party serves seconds

Tax day rally attracts its own protest to Common

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Augustans discontented with high taxes, health care reform and the Obama administration numbered about 1,200 to 1,500 at the Tax Day Tea Party on Thursday evening at Augusta Common.

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Tea Party attendees at Augusta Common listen to speakers discuss the Obama administration. More than a thousand people came out for the Tea Party. Major topics were federal spending, the budget deficit and the federal health care overhaul.   Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
Tea Party attendees at Augusta Common listen to speakers discuss the Obama administration. More than a thousand people came out for the Tea Party. Major topics were federal spending, the budget deficit and the federal health care overhaul.

Many carried handmade posters, bearing wordy messages such as "A village in Kenya is missing an idiot," at the second annual event.

Among those present was Chal Challenger, who said President Obama is anti-military and is turning the United States into a socialist nation.

"It makes me sick to think of all the people that fought and died for our country," said Challenger, who retired from a military career. "It's a slap in the face to throw around what they stood for and what they believed."

Challenger and his wife, Pat, of Augusta, brought a novel and a Sarah Palin biography to read during the event.

"We'd rather be out here with the group than sitting at home, screaming at the TV," Pat Challenger said.

Louis Hutt of North Augusta wore a three-pointed hat with the numbers "1776" and carried a wooden musket.

"I'm just tired of everything that's going on with nationalized health care, spending -- the usual conservative twist on things," Hutt said.

Speakers came and went at the event to applause, but the group never grew rowdy.

The rally speakers included Nikki Haley, a Republican campaigning to become governor of South Carolina; Gerry Purcell and Melvin Everson, Republican candidates for Georgia insurance and labor commissioner, respectively; and Georgia's current insurance commissioner, John Oxendine, a Republican candidate for governor.

Participants, among them a group from Augusta's Alleluia community carrying wooden crosses, listened to Ed Turner perform Imagine before the speeches began.

The rally was peaceful, but there was a chest-bumping shouting match on the edge of the common.

David Dillard-Wright said he was driving home from work in Aiken and didn't plan to stop at the rally.

But when he saw a sign that read, "Green is the new Red," he had to speak his mind. It bothered him that a pro-environment movement was associated with communism.

Dillard-Wright said he was listening to Oxendine, and had to speak out when Oxendine blamed Obama's health care bill for America's deficit.

Dillard-Wright's shouted retort that Obama inherited a deficit caused by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was met by boos and shouts of "go to your own rally." A man began bumping Dillard-Wright with his chest as Dillard-Wright protested that he had just as much right to free speech. Deputies quickly broke up the shouting match.

Sgt. J.R. Compton of the Richmond County sheriff's office was in charge of security at the event, and said it had been a peaceful one. His deputies had escorted just a few out, including two women observed handing out papers asking for visitors' names.

"We didn't tell them they had to leave," Compton said. "We just made sure they got where they wanted to go, safely."

The women, Mary Schorsch, of Beech Island, and Dianne L'heureux, said they'd started a tradition of disrupting the Tax Day Tea Party last year.

"Last year I asked 'Who would Jesus bomb,' " Schorsch said. "I found out that Jesus would bomb a lot of people."

Dale Beal, 59, who was attending his second tea party rally, said he is deeply concerned with the direction the country is headed.

He said this is a "heartfelt" movement and that most people involved are sincere. The media picks out the "crazy" people and portrays them as the majority of the movement, which isn't accurate, Beal said.

James Demedici, 39, was peddling T-shirts with phrases such as "Stop Obamacare." Demedici said he began his activism when President George W. Bush passed the Patriot Act. His concern ramped up when Obama took office. Demedici said people of all political leanings should work together to fight the oppression of civil rights.

"Let's save America first, then worry about our differences," he said.

Staff Writer Kyle Martin contributed to this report.

See More

SPOTTED: See more than 150 photos from the Tea Party at spotted.augusta.com.

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wyochuck
0
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wyochuck 04/16/10 - 01:18 am
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watching tea party rallys

watching tea party rallys around the country on fox news--nice to see people who care about our future. you guys have it easy--i have to go hang out with hard core liberal nutcases--try to tell them that the tea party guys are "normal"--facts--polls mean nothing to the far left--"will of the people"-forget it--i just got into a huge commotion with socialists--communists at the s.f. chronicle--the editors finally shut it down--too many people trying to hammer on me

orgpsych
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orgpsych 04/16/10 - 02:13 am
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Wyochuck, if you believe that

Wyochuck, if you believe that you should be able to live your life according to your standards, to your beliefs, why are you constantly going to other newspapers to try and tell them how to live THEIR lives? If the will of the people there does not match what uou think and feel, then that IS the will of the people and you just have to live with that.

Going into someone else's house, someone else's community, and causing trouble just to make trouble only makes you a troublemaker. It doesn't make you right. Physician, heal thyself.

wizzardx1
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wizzardx1 04/16/10 - 04:33 am
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orgpsych,since you say you

orgpsych,since you say you have read and understand the new health care law,please explain what health care has to do with the student loan program.

wizzardx1
0
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wizzardx1 04/16/10 - 04:54 am
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can any of the hussein

can any of the hussein supporters explain what health care has to do with student loans?

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 04/16/10 - 05:03 am
0
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wizzardx1, have YOU read and

wizzardx1, have YOU read and understood any bill passed by Congress and signed into law by a President? wizzardx1, are you aware of the myriad "catch all" spending bills passed by Congress on a routine basis?

All bills are written in legalese that virtually nobody outside of legal experts understand no matter how long they pore over the text. Get a clue and stop asking this question repeatedly as if answering yes or no means anything. Do you have OCD, wizzardx1?

wizzardx1
0
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wizzardx1 04/16/10 - 05:02 am
0
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why does a health care law

why does a health care law cover immigration?

wizzardx1
0
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wizzardx1 04/16/10 - 05:08 am
0
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so,cain,you are saying i

so,cain,you are saying i don't need to know what is actually in this new law?have you taken my right to ask questions too?i don't see a connection between health care and student loans.enlighten me

leawords
84
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leawords 04/16/10 - 05:13 am
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And here is yet another

And here is yet another example of a liberal shooting off his mouth when he doesn't know what he's talking about. I was at the Tea Party rally when David Dillard-Wright began shouting about Iraq and Afghanistan. He told the reporter he interrupted "Oxendine when he blamed Obama's health care bill for America's deficit." Wrong. He interrupted S.C. Republican Senatorial Candidate Jeff Duncan who was explaining how Obama's health care would cause the deficit to soar. (Which is a fact.) So I don't believe Mr. Dillard-Wright's claim that he hadn't intended to go to the rally. Sounds to me more like he was an infiltrating Liberal mouthpiece - one who doesn't know what he's talking about. No surprise there, eh?

corgimom
38712
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corgimom 04/16/10 - 05:16 am
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I thought "thousands" were

I thought "thousands" were expected to come. I wonder what happened to them.

wizzardx1
0
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wizzardx1 04/16/10 - 05:18 am
0
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now,their answer is "NOBODY

now,their answer is "NOBODY understands it"

wizzardx1
0
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wizzardx1 04/16/10 - 05:19 am
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corgimom,please connect

corgimom,please connect health care and student loans

wizzardx1
0
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wizzardx1 04/16/10 - 05:26 am
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if you folks don't understand

if you folks don't understand this new law,how do you justify supporting it?

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 04/16/10 - 05:58 am
0
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The Chronicle did an

The Chronicle did an excellent job of updating in near real-time its coverage of what turned out to be a Tea Party nonevent that The Chronicle had trumpeted for days in advance. With each update The Chronicle buried previous Reader Comments. That worked to The Chronicle's advantage in this instance because most people posting in Reader Comments took exception to the motivations and veracity of the Tea Party movement. Reader Comments made for good reading.

Lobosolo
5
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Lobosolo 04/16/10 - 05:30 am
0
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This rally HAD to be a

This rally HAD to be a disappointment for Mr. Ryan, who used his bully pulpit to repeat his half-truths and reactionary rhetoric with the usual aplomb and repetition from Drudge that he squeezes out daily on these pages. The absolute best part of it all was the beginning, when Ed Turner shocked the crowd with a heartfelt rendition of "Imagine". One woman seated with her husband looked at him and said "He's singing a song about communism and atheism!" LOL! I looked at her and said, "Listen to the words... that's not what the song is about". I'll bet Ryan was scratching his head and wondering how he would address it in one of his future screeds. The follow up of "The Times They Are A-Changin" further befuddled the masses, who were totally lost on the irony. 1500 is a generous estimation of the number in attendance (Those who keep repeating that there were 3200 at the rally last year are suffering from delusion as well... 800 was more like it). Do the math, Mr. Ryan. 1500 out of a quarter million in the area is far from the "ever-growing crowds of the greatest grass-roots movement since Civil Rights". Your tea party crowds haven't gotten that much bigger, only louder, thanks to folks like you that use the community's daily paper for their personal pulpit. When will you realize that Augusta doesn't agree with you on most fronts? A third win in a row for the Dems in the forthcoming elections? Another hysterically-hyped and poorly attended tea party? This was supposed to be the big one, wasn't it? Move the paper to Columbia County where it belongs. Those folks who filled up the parkway on their way back home after this pitiful turnout really like you out there. Advocate for the next tea party to be on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans. Most of us here within the city limits just plain don't agree with you...

wizzardx1
0
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wizzardx1 04/16/10 - 05:35 am
0
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lobosolo,can you connect

lobosolo,can you connect health care and student loans?

Fish Out of Water
0
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Fish Out of Water 04/16/10 - 05:41 am
0
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So much for the 10,000 to

So much for the 10,000 to 15,000 they said would be there. Apparently, people are getting bored of holding poorly spelled, half-clever signs over their heads for hours on end. Or maybe they were at the mall spending Obama's tax credit they spend so much effort trying to deny the existence of (I doubt it).

justus4
113
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justus4 04/16/10 - 05:52 am
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Of course the minority
Unpublished

Of course the minority population wasn't there, which bring into question whether these people have a "secret" agenda. For over one hundred yrs, certain individuals hid their faces behind sheets and shouted at their rallies that: "We will burn down houses and hang those who - (U fill in the blank) and we will take back our country." For example, fifty four minority citizens were hung in 1921 alone, so there is a history and there appears to be a pattern. These rallies are NOT about higher taxes but about U know what. Want proof? No AWM operation or nat'l polling operation, local or national, conservative or liberal, left or right, left center or extreme right, high-minded or uneducated, Northern or Southern, red or blue, rich or poor, will EVER conduct a so-called POLL of only African-Americans citizens and ask: What motivates the Tea Party? And the reason it won't be done is that those particular Americans know what racism is - not in theory, not in books, not in polite conservation, not in examples - but in REALITY. So again, until this bunch can become more diverse (not just seven minorities) this movement present images of American history that my father & mother would like to forget.

wizzardx1
0
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wizzardx1 04/16/10 - 05:46 am
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isn't asking ONLY

isn't asking ONLY african/Americans racist?

deekster
24
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deekster 04/16/10 - 05:51 am
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While I agree with the "basic

While I agree with the "basic elements" of the Tea Party Movement, namely less government, I cannot help but believe the "Tea Party" is just another "Christian Coalition Movement". Sincere patriotic people are moved to defend their rights. What did we gain with Newt? Newt's marital indiscretions? Moral Majority? Silent Majority? Christian Right? March on Washington? RNC attempts at "block voting". These same "block votes" will be bartered and sold by TV Evangelists. Same "power game played" by the DNC with minorities." When and where have we heard this before. We know we are all "sheeple", so who is the "shepherd" in this organization. I for one believe it is the RNC. The RNC is using this "group" as it did "Christians who wanted to get involved in government". Look at the motives of these "so called leaders". Reelection for most. TV rating for many. Money, power and influence for all. The "king gains land and power and the peasants starve and die." All government of man is evil by nature. "The scorpion stings because it is his nature. Human government uses citizens to gain power over those same citizens. Ultimately we all lose freedom as Washington moves to control the world with American tax dollars..

robaroo
884
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robaroo 04/16/10 - 06:00 am
0
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I could almost get excited

I could almost get excited about the Tea Party movement, but then I hear some of their contradictory goals. When they talk about cutting government spending and balancing the budget, I start to stand up. But then, in the same breath, they talk about cutting taxes. By definition, the budget isn't balanced if you don't have enough revenue to match spending.

Most of government spending is for entitlements and the military. So if you are serious about balancing the budget, you have to do something about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Army, Navy, etc. I don't hear anybody even talking about cuts to those programs.

If the Tea Party doesn't touch those programs, they are just blowing smoke like the Republicans and Democrats.

wizzardx1
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wizzardx1 04/16/10 - 05:58 am
0
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it's the hard questions that

it's the hard questions that stumps the left.

floridasun
381
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floridasun 04/16/10 - 06:28 am
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Wow, this just looks like a

Wow, this just looks like a buncn of really old white people at a Sears fashion show. Just days ago, I thought the AC said they anticipated 10,000 people at this event ...what happened?

Whyisit01
2
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Whyisit01 04/16/10 - 06:29 am
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Wow I clicked on all the were

Wow I clicked on all the were you spotted pics of the tea party crowd and only saw two african americans, one in a cook/chef outfit and one black lady. *SHRUGS*.

john
1212
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john 04/16/10 - 06:40 am
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notreally, did you go with

notreally, did you go with your sign?

Whyisit01
2
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Whyisit01 04/16/10 - 06:45 am
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No LOL most would have

No LOL most would have thought I was provoking.

john
1212
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john 04/16/10 - 06:48 am
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Hey, As much as many disagree

Hey, As much as many disagree with you, you have your rights. Now assuming you are black, if you had gone, there would have been three. LOL Have a good day.

Ayetidiosi
2
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Ayetidiosi 04/16/10 - 07:11 am
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Dear Mr Turner, might Aye

Dear Mr Turner, might Aye suggest this for the tune next year? If there is still an America next year?

Let me tell you how it will be (unless you are poor)
There's one for you, nineteen for me (19 for you if you are poor)
'Cos I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman
Should five percent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all (and give it to the poor)
'Cos I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman
If you drive a car, I'll tax the street (unless you are poor)
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat (unless you are poor)
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat (unless you are poor)
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet (poor don't walk, dey got buses.)
Taxman
'Cos I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman
Don't ask me what I want it for (it goes to the poor)
(taxman mr. Wilson)
If you don't want to pay some more (unless you are poor)
(Taxman mr. Heath)
'Cos I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman
Now my advice for those who die (unless you are poor)
Declare the pennies on your eyes (diamond studded grilles if you are poor?)
'Cos I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but the welfare bum.
Taxman.

Austin Rhodes
3002
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Austin Rhodes 04/16/10 - 07:38 am
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I am getting email from folks

I am getting email from folks wanting to know why WGAC (and Beasley Broadcasting) did not promote this event and push attendance. Simple answer...it was not ours to promote and push. We actually discussed the possibility of staging a simultaneous event in Columbia County, but ultimately decided against it...we didn't want to be seen as a last minute distraction from the main event downtown.

My market manager was approached by some of the private citizens helping to organize the gathering. There were discussions with the other broadcasters sponsoring the event to determine if they wanted our company to co-host it, and we were turned down. Fair enough...we don't go where we are not wanted.

Kapa18
0
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Kapa18 04/16/10 - 07:39 am
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Well, well, well...the

Well, well, well...the prelude to Armageddon has passed and we are still alive? Let me pinch myself again...as reported in the Augusta Chronicle "Organizers expect from 5,000 to 10,000 protestors from Georgia and South Carolina to attend Augusta's second-annual Tax Day Tea Party, going on from 5-9 p.m. Thursday at the Augusta Common. And now you say there was between 1,200 and 1,500, which probably means it was more like 600 if that!! They want change, but make comments like ""A village in Kenya is missing an idiot", sounds to me like the same old same old to me...White folks shouting I'm mad, listen to me, but we have been listening!! We listened when you had slaves work your fields and your babies suck on our breast, the Hispanics listened while you had them work your fields for room and board, the Asians listened when you put them in internment camps after Pearl Harbor...but now you listen...Sit down and be quite (notice I didn't say shut-up). We will have rights for all citizens, burn the confederate flag (the loosing flag) when we see it, this will truly be a country of the brave and the free. We are Free and will have all the rights we deserve and the wonderful thing is we don't need your permission. We are through listening we are taking what we deserve, get on board or get out the way!!

AWyld1
3
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AWyld1 04/16/10 - 07:48 am
0
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You might wanna go back and

You might wanna go back and proofread your post.....it will make more sense if you do..and for the record...in the Civil War most soldiers did not own slaves. They were poor people that didn't want the federal government telling them how to live their lives and taxing them without cause.....history seems to be repeating itself....

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