MEDINA — Three years after the first Tax Day Taxed Enough Already Party, members of the tea party movement say America has a long way to go to get back to its roots.
Decked out in red, white and blue, some wearing Revolutionary War-era attire, about 200 people attended the third annual rally Friday afternoon on Public Square.
“I’ve talked about the tyranny of government from both parties for years. People told me I was full of baloney, but now a lot of people agree with me,” said Larry Funk, 76, of Brunswick.
The event was sponsored by conservative group Medina County Friends and Neighbors. Featured speakers included 1956 Olympic heavyweight boxing gold medalist Pete Rademacher of Montville Township, former state representative Seth Morgan and Jim Quinn, host of the Quinn and Rose Show on WHLO AM-640.
Despite the success of Republican and tea party candidates in the 2010 elections, many expressed dissatisfaction with Congress in the first four months of 2011.
“The good news is 2010 was a great success. The bad news is they still haven’t gotten the message,” Morgan told the crowd. “They are still not convinced the tea party has the power to overturn Democrats and Republicans.”
A few days away from Monday’s deadline for filing taxes, many said they feared young people would end up paying for the $14.2 trillion national debt.
“I have five kids and I want them to grow up the way I did,” Medina resident Dave Flickinger said.
He said House Speaker John Boehner reached across the aisle too much with the passage of the recent budget bill.
“He’s waffling,” Flickinger said. “He’s not using the power we have and he’s giving Democrats too much control when they’re destroying the country.”
In his speech, Quinn expressed dismay only $352 million will be cut from the budget before the next fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, and said it “will be known as Boehner’s boner.”
But others said they were satisfied with the way Gov. John Kasich is approaching Ohio’s $8 billion deficit, particularly Senate Bill 5, which rewrote collective bargaining law for public employees.
“The bus has started, and as John Kasich said, either get on the bus or get run over,” Morgan said to cheers from the crowd.
Counter-protesters were scant, but Drake Stepp, 21, of Brunswick, said he was frustrated with the tea party. Holding a sign that said “Tax the Rich,” he said he thought the middle class is paying too much and the wealthy too little.
“These tea party people are paid by companies trying to get rid of the middle class,” he said. “It’s sad they’ve got everybody distracted.”
Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.