Tea Party heads to the DECC for Tax DayThe fourth annual Tea Party Rally begins at noon in the Amsoil Arena on Sunday, April 15. More than a dozen Tea Party groups from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan will participate.
By: Thomas Vaughn, For the Budgeteer News
Organizing a pep rally on April 15, the traditional tax deadline day, in any year might be a difficult task, except for Becky Hall. As president of the Northern Liberty Alliance, Hall is now coordinating the fourth annual Tea Party Rally. The event begins at noon in the Amsoil Arena Sunday, April 15. More than a dozen Tea Party groups from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan will participate.
“It will be a lively, patriotic and family-oriented event. We are people of integrity and this is a family event. Anything disrespectful, and the mic gets shut off,” said Hall, who will circulate with a roving microphone during the scheduled give-and-take session between invited speakers and gathered citizens. Local radio personality Brad Bennett will emcee this part of the rally which begins at 1 p.m.
Citizens who wish to speak about political issues will be given some microphone time.
Many local residents are planning to attend the event, which will offer face-painting and a political sign-making contest for children, host issue information booths, and offer attendees a chance to talk with any political candidates or current officeholders who may be present.
Kari Landgren is a Duluth resident and homemaker who will attend the event with her husband and five children. Landgren is most concerned with fiscal issues.
“I personally think the bottom line for everything right now, even locally, is the spending. Being a one-income family, we have to budget everything. If we don’t have the money, we don’t spend it. I think our city government needs to do the same, especially with things like the $90,000 worth of furniture.”
Lee Conradi, a longtime income property owner and real estate agent with Duluth’s Edmunds Company, is concerned about how rising local taxes affect the housing market in the region. He has attended every Tea Party Rally held in Duluth. Conradi sent an announcement about this year’s Tea Party Rally to all his tenants.
“A high percentage of the transactions we’re doing right now involve some aspect of foreclosure, and that certainly drives values down. Just because values go down, that doesn’t mean taxes go down,” said Conradi who cited a $911 property tax increase on one of his rental properties as one example of how he sees government decisions impeding a housing recovery.
Neill Atkins, a former Duluth city councilor, practicing financial advisor and morning radio talk show host on WDSM 710, is planning to attend the rally.
“It’s average everyday people that are coming to these Tea Party events. I think the Tea Party has gotten some really bad press nationally. I don’t think the makeup of these groups is what those stories purport. I know a lot of people that go to these rallies, and have friends that go as well,” said Atkins, who believes that the rally will be a good place to exchange ideas about political issues such as the ongoing permit process for Northeastern Minnesota mining operations.
“People are concerned about taxes and the way government is spending. I don’t think you need to be a Republican or Democrat, or any political party member, to be concerned about what’s going on in our economy.”
Jennifer Wilson, who lives in Hermantown, supports the grassroots nature of Tea Party rallies. For Wilson, this rally is about the future.
“The younger generations are going to have to pay that debt and I think that’s immoral, really,” said Wilson, who supports limited government.
“Our Tea Party movement has never been about one party. Our movement is a wonderful opportunity for the average person who has never been involved in politics before to have their say about politics,” added Hall, about the upcoming Tea Party Rally. The rally is free and open to the public.
The Northern Liberty Alliance website is www.northernlibertyalliance.org.