Tea Party members pledge to take back control of government

Jackie Ricciardi/staff
A crowd gathers at the Augusta Common to welcome the Tea Party Express II tour bus, an organization that criticizes President Obama, health care reform and government bailouts, on Tuesday, November 10, 2009. The event featured speakers and entertainment

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Highlights from the Tea Party event.

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Several hundred people gathered today in Augusta Common to protest government policies and pledge to take back Congress from Democratic control in 2010 as the Tea Party Express II bus tour rolled through town.

Signs dotting the green and speeches spoke out against taxes, proposed health care reform and government bailouts.

“I do not believe in all the government intrusion that’s taking place now,” said Patrick Tolton, 64, of Aiken. He added the next generation of Americans was being handed a boatload of debt and bad government policies.

Speakers urged the crowd against complacency and to work in their communities to elect new leadership during next year’s Congressional elections.

The bus tour was part of a nationwide blitz that began Oct. 25 in San Diego and ends Thursday in Orlando. The bus made a stop in Atlanta on Monday night and has appearances scheduled for today in Beaufort, S.C., and Brunswick, Ga.

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Photo Gallery: See photos from Tea Party Express II.

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