A TEE Party activist displays his T-shirt
Around 80 citizens attended AFP’s TEE Party in the capital. Activists stood outside the House chambers to greet legislators as they entered and then moved to the viewing balcony to see our government at work. One activist had a campaign flyer from her Senator stating that she had worked to remove the franchise tax, eliminate the estate tax and make Kansas a more tax friendly state. She planned to remind her Senator what she said on the campaign trail.
At noon activist regrouped for a quick lunch. A few legislators joined the group including Sens. Susan Wagle, Dick Kelsey, Mike Petersen and Rep. Steve Brunk. A few organizers quickly addressed the group, including FairTax from Kansas City, Sedgwick County Commissioner Karl Peterjohn and grassroots activist and TEA Party organizer Amanda Grosserode.
FairTax activists have plan in place to bring the FairTax to Kansas. A bill is currently working its way through the Missouri Senate. Advocates noted the devastating effects that could happen here in Kansas if Missouri becomes much more business and tax friendly than Kansas.
Karl Peterjohn gave some tips on effective lobbying. He spoke about the important impact citizens can have on their government.
Amanda Grosserode mention another protest for Congressman Dennis Moore. Details will be announced on their website soon.
Participants were encouraged to visit legislators in the Docking State Office building and in the capital. Some plan to stay and hear the Governor’s address at 4pm if possible. Buses leaving for Johnson County and Wichita will still leave on time at 4pm however.
Reactions from citizens vary. A common theme seems to be the amount of taxpayer funded lobbying that is occuring under the dome. A group from invisiblekansas.com was also under the dome urging no cuts to their taxpayer funded activities. There seems to be every constituency imaginable under the dome lobbying legislators right now except taxpayer citizens.
My camera doesn’t take the best video and my editing skills are even more lacking than my photography skills, but I hope you find this video of the Topeka TEA Party inspirational. My apologies to the other speakers that aren’t featured here (and there are many), my memory card only holds so much video and I couldn’t get it onto my laptop fast enough to film everyone.
Thank you to Ed Kearn and Helen Van Etten for the additional photos used in my previous photo essay and in this video.
Here’s some additional video shot by Ed Kearn.
I’ve uploaded photos of the Topeka TEA Party to Flickr. You can go here to view them or enjoy the slideshow below. A few video clips will be posted later.
An estimated 1,500 Kansans attended the TEA rally in Topeka tonight. Speakers included grassroots activists such as Kim Borchers and Elizabeth Patton as well as community business leaders like Tara Dimick of the Topeka Independent Business Association. The rally was concluded with a short speech by U.S. Senator Sam Brownback.
Todd Novascone spoke for a few minutes on behalf of Rep. Jerry Moran and later Jeff Kahrs addressed the crowd on behalf of Rep. Todd Tiahrt. Local state Reps. Lana Gordon and Joe Patton were also in attendance and got a warm reception from the crowd. Greg Schneider, a professor at Emporia State gave a short talk about health care. Several different books were raffled throughout the rally, including Dr. Schneider’s latest work.
Topeka TEA Rally Protester
Speakers and those attending the rally were quick to point out the improbability that all the rallies held across the nation were organized by Republican leaders. When asked, many in the crowd identified themselves as independents and stated that they were there for their nation, not a political party.
There were many creative signs, with one gentleman bringing a wheel barrel of manure and a sign that read, “Kansas Prolifigate Spending.”
I have video and other photos that I’ll hopefully get up later tonight or early tomorrow.
Liberals have been quick to try and dismiss the TEA parties. From what I saw tonight, folks are mad, and it’s not going away after one protest. Those folks are here to stay.
Let’s get the party started!
If you’re still looking for a party to attend, check out the AFP-Kansas list, or for Kansas City area parties, go here.
Three Kansas bloggers will be trying to report on all the tea parties across the state. The current plan is to somewhat divide up the state between various blogs. Here’s where you can find coverage and email your own on-site reports…
Kansas City area parties will be reported on Kansas Meadowlark. Click here to send an email.
Wichita and South-central Kansas area parties will be reported at the Voice for Wichita Liberty. Click here to send an email.
Western Kansas parites will be reported by Meadowlark on his Salina Journal blog. Click here to send an email.
Topeka and Southeast Kansas parties will be reported here. Click here to send an email.
First hand reports are encouraged! Try to include who the speakers were, how many attended, what the mood of the crowd was or anything else interesting happening. Pictures can be emailed. If you’re handy with video, consider uploading it to YouTube and sending the link to the above email addresses.