Congressman Sullivan speaks at Tulsa Tea Party rally
BY DEON HAMPTON World Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
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U.S. Rep. John Sullivan blasted President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a rally Wednesday and criticized the economic stimulus package.
“I’m going to go back to Washington and tell Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama to their face that you’re fed up. That you’re not going to take this anymore. That you’re sick of it,” Sullivan told a crowd gathered at the Tulsa Tea Party, one of many held in Oklahoma and across the nation Wednesday.
The rallies were held to protest increased taxes, the federal stimulus plan and related issues.
At least 10 rallies where held across Oklahoma, with three being in Tulsa.
Sullivan, speaking at LaFortune Park, said he’s in favor of a flat tax and “that the tax structure needs to be fundamentally changed.”
Following Sullivan’s speech, the crowd repeatedly chanted “USA.”
Organizers say increased taxes will leave their grandchildren a huge debt and that they want to restore what they call the basic free market principle on which the country was founded.
Joe Kelley, host of KRMG radio’s morning news show and emcee of the event, said Tulsa police estimated more than 3,200 people attended the rally.
James Robins, 50, of Tulsa, said former President George W. Bush started increasing taxes and that President Barack Obama is continuing it.
“We want transparency and accountability,” said Robins, who attended the rally.
Robins then offered what he called a radical solution to the country’s economic woes: abandon the Federal Reserve, eliminate the income tax and limit the government to its constitutional authority.
Calvin Johnston, 33, of Tulsa took off work to attend the rally.
“We’ve been taxed enough,” said Johnston, who moved to Tulsa from Kansas in January. “I didn’t agree with the banking or auto industry bailouts.”
Darlene Massad, 55, of Tulsa, said she also doesn’t agree with more taxes.
“I’ve been sick and tired of unfair tax increases,” she said.
Obama’s economic plan isn’t good, there’s no incentive to work anymore and someone has pay for this stimulus package, she said.
Later in the day, nearly 500 protestors filled Veterans Park as speakers including Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, and Tulsa County Republican Chairwoman Sally Bell called for financial conservatism and an end to “government-controlled economics.”
The crowd interrupted several speeches with cheers and applause while speakers urged protestors to get involved in upcoming political races.
“Our republic is under attack and our constitution is at stake,” Bell said. “We are the Paul Reveres of modern times and it is our duty to wake the town and tell the people.”
Rep. John Sullivan speaks Wednesday at the Tulsa Tea Party in protest of high taxes. MIKE SIMONS/ Tulsa World
A crowd gathered Wednesday in Tulsa to participate in the Tulsa Tea Party. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
Valerie Berry takes part in the Tulsa Tea Party on Wednesday. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
Colleen Rinehart holds a sign Wednesday at the Tulsa Tea Party. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World