"KSGF" and Vincent David Jericho sponsored a tea party at Fassnight Park in Springfield on Saturday.
Mark "Stormy" Davis, a co-chair of the event, was asked by the Young Conservatives of America to organize the tea party.
"The last one we had here in town, we had at noon on a Friday in 28 degree weather and in a part of the parks that nobody could find on a map, and we still had 300 people show up," Davis said.
One of the objects of the event was to collect tea bags which will be sent on to Washington D.C., if not to land on the floor of the Senate then, at least, the group hopes they'll make it to the rotunda floor.
"This is something we wanted to bring people together on, to say that we're done with all the spending, we're done with all the taxes," Davis said.
Jericho hopes that the Young Conservatives of America group will work together to make an impact in the future for conservative ideas and values.
"I really believe that through things like Young Conservatives, through things like some of the leaders that we are raising up in our community here, in Southwest Missouri, I really do believe we are going to touch the nation," Jericho said.
JackeHammer asked some of the tea party attendees (there were between 750 and 1,000 estimated to be in attendance) what brought them to the gathering. Following are their responses, in their own words, and excerpts from speeches made at the event.
Alice Rainbolt: "I came out today because I want my government back."
Dan Dunaway: "To support the effort to restore our government to the people."
Joel LeBoida: "I want the country back that I grew up with."
Hans Stickel: "I would like to see our taxes reduced."
Bruce Holcomb: "I came here today to spread the gospel message that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we're passing out gospel tracts and asking people to repent of their sins and turn to Christ."
Laura (declined providing her last name): "Our individual liberties and freedoms are being taken away, and the ridiculous spending, the large government, everything, it needs to be pared back down to the people, for the people, by the people."
Jerry McAdams: "I'm tired of all the waste of my money, pretty much, and spending it on things I'd never spend it on."
Faith Stilts: "I think the main reason I wanted to come was because I was very dismayed about conservative people and Christian people being listed as "terrorists," possible terrorists, and things like that, and I think because we have a right to peacefully assemble. We need to show them that we're here and remind them that they had plenty of protests when President Bush was in (office) and we have that right too.
"If you don't 100 percent back what the federal government is doing, that makes you an enemy, and that's just not American."
Benjamin Plunk: "I'm here because of my son. He's 8 years old. The President and the Congress are the real pirates, not the people off Somalia. They're spending money he hasn't even earned yet and he's not old enough to have a voter say in this discussion. I don't care what party you're from, it's morally wrong, and as a father, over my dead body. You can take that any way you want, over my dead body."
Terry Klock: "I'm here because government is out of control in their spending of our tax dollars and they're choking out our freedom, and that scares me and concerns me. I've had my head in the sand too long, and I think everybody else has too, and we're out here to try to make a difference and to bring our country back to its first principles."
John Putnam: "I'm the Missouri State FairTax Director, with Bill Phelps, and we're really excited about the fact that Missouri has become the first state in the nation to pass the FairTax bill that reflects the prebate of the national bill. It passed the House this week, 90 to 65, it's going to the Senate, and we need people to call their State Senators and tell them to support HJR36, starting Tuesday morning, when the Senators show back up in Jefferson City. So, that's the message I'm trying to get out."
Brad Mayberry: "I came out today because I believe in liberty, freedom and small government, and I think it's everybody's job to preserve it."
Jim Jenkins: "I'm here because I'm sick and tired of the government digging into my pockets when I didn't invite them to."
Charles Coates: "I came out here today because I believe that the people that founded the constitution had the right idea, and I really, truly do believe that bigger government, and higher taxes does equal destruction."
Kelly Tuder, with daughter Kenna: "We came out because we're opposed to all the taxes that they are putting upon us, and I don't want my daughter to have to pay them when I'm old and gray."
Vicky King (Kelly's mother, Kenna's grandmother): "Kenna is why we're here. We're tired of paying the taxes. We don't want to pay back the stimulus. We don't want to pay for people who don't want to work. You know, we all have to get up and work, no matter what's wrong with us and we can make it if we do, and then, I don't mind helping people if they're trying to make it on their own, that's why."
The speakers at the tea party were: Andrea Lord, Councilman Nick Ibarra, State Representative Bob Dixon, Nixa Councilman Mike Durbin, State Representative Eric Burlison, Darin Chappell, Ozark City Councilwoman Melissa Wagner, Vincent David Jericho, and Mel Hancock.
Following are excerpts from their speeches.
Andrea Lord: "The values of family, marriage, life, and God, these are the values that built this country, these are the values that have sustained this country."
Councilman Nick Ibarra: "I'm not here today to tell you of all of our nation's shortcomings without telling you that there is a bright side. The bright side is that we're all here together, having our voices be heard. The bright side is that all across this nation, people had their voices heard this week. The bright side is that we have some pretty level-headed representatives up in Jefferson City who, just this week, decided that we should be taxed on our consumption rather than our production. There is a bright side."
State Representative Bob Dixon: "Under our constitution, our government was not created to break the American spirit or to silence us but, it was sent forth to be a wall and a shield built around government in order to protect our liberties.... By rededicating ourselves to the principles of liberty, by renewing our commitment to constitutional principles, and by remaining energized in our efforts, we can, as Ronald Reagan so eloquently said, win again for our generation the blessings of liberty, and that we will do."
Nixa Councilman Mike Durbin: "Even in colonial America, not everyone was willing to stand up and speak out. It was few who realized government is only what we allow it to be, and they were willing to say, 'don't tread on me.'"
State Representative Eric Burlison: "I've read articles from the media, their interpretation of what we're doing here, and I don't think they quite get it but, I want to give them a hint. To me, this is not a Democrat party event because, quite frankly, the Democrat party has been failures, and this isn't a Republican party event because, quite frankly, the Republican party has been a bunch of failures. This is an event to remind ourselves that there are still people in this world who believe that government should belong to the people, and not the other way around."
Darin Chappell: "Liberty is the absence of governmental control. We are in liberty to do as we please in those areas wherein government has no say. Therefore, any time government expands its area of control, we need to be clear it is, by definition, the death of liberty.
"We have a responsibility to withstand the temptation of relying on government to care for us so that we can be free from the burden of caring for ourselves. Unfortunately, there are too many of our fellow countrymen who have determined that it is, by far easier and more palatable, to care for the government so that the government can care for them. I believe that we are, by far better, by far better served, if we tell the government, 'you take care of those things that we established you to take care of, we'll handle the rest the way we see fit.'"
Ozark Councilwoman Melissa Wagner: "We, as Americans, have a huge stresser, and it's called Washington D.C. They continually cause situations that make us, as Americans, very nervous, and we have focused in and we are shaking our fist at Washington right now. While we stand here and we shake our fists and we get angry, we need to remember that there are commissioners, and there are mayors, and there are city council people, that while we are shaking our fists, they have their hands out for this money, and I want to encourage you today, that while you're protesting the spending, to remember to also hold your local officials accountable...."
KSGF Radio talk show host Vincent David Jericho: "...how many of us claim to be conservatives but have never read and studied the constitution or the writings of our founding fathers? If you don't know the rules, you can't be an effective player in the game, and how much damage might you do to the cause if all you're seen as doing is breaking the rules and being inconsistent in the values you purport? People, know the rules. Read the writings of our founders and the constitution. Understand the sacrifice and the honor that went into writing our Declaration of Independence.
"The Apostle John said, 'Love one another, by this all men will know you,' as the guardians of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and that shining city on a hill that is a beacon to all mankind of freedom and liberty, bind yourselves to one another with the commitment that you, that we, will do better, that we will continue the fight, you will learn the rules and the tenets and that you will work to spread these truths to all America and Americans so that, once again, they might know and celebrate freedom."
Mel Hancock's speech will be posted in its entirety in a separate entry.