...kept thousands of Utahns from the Tea Parties in our state. The sleeping giant no longer slumbers.
The noontime Salt Lake Tea Party had about twelve hundred people attending. Provo had more, though I'll wait for the news to suggest a number. There were also Tea Parties in Layton, St. George, Vernal, and a few other Utah towns. Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop, U.S. Congressional Representatives from Utah; Mark Shurtleff, Utah Attorney General, and Chris Herrod, Utah House Representative from the 62nd District, were the few political speakers, and each was limited to just three or four minutes. All stayed on task regarding the economy and governmental intrusion and did not use the platform for campaigning. Provo Tea Party organizer David Kirkham, owner of Provo Motor Sports, included citizen speakers and walked through the crowd asking people why they came. Their replies often drew applause and cheers.
Here's what the Deseret News had to say:
By Arthur Raymond
Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 7:36 p.m. MDT
Linda Nelson would do most anything for her children. On Wednesday, that included driving from Lindon to Salt Lake City and braving freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall to join a loud and large tax-day "tea party."
Nelson joined more than 1,200 other Utahns who called for tax relief and reduced federal spending because she is worried that decisions now being made by the federal government will unfairly burden her five children.
"As my kids come out of college, I can't imagine the taxes that they'll be responsible for," Nelson said. Government leaders "are not asking our generation to pay for this. They're going into debt that will take decades to pay off."
Nelson also was bothered by government involvement in private business, citing the forced resignation of General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner as a move that should "never be allowed to happen."
The sign she held over her head at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building — "Debt is the problem, More debt is not the solution" — was popular, eliciting honks and waves from passing cars.
Speeches by Utah Republican congressmen Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop and state Attorney General Mark Shurtleff were popular, too, as they roundly criticized the federal stimulus package, financial bailouts and the growing budget deficit as missteps by the Obama administration and members of Congress — sentiments greeted with loud cheers by a crowd Salt Lake City police estimated at 1,200 to 1,500.
Salt Lake Tea Party held at noon at the Federal Building.
Provo Tea Party pictures
Click on this link to read what the Herald had to say about the Tea Parties.
The hours I spent at the Salt Lake City and Provo Tea Parties was time well spent. Since before the election I have been concerned about the direction our country has been heading, and the recent economic and other policy decisions by our current President and Congress have deepened that concern. The scriptures and the Church that I belong to teach us to live providently, and we do not run up massive debt to leave to our children. It is incomprehensible to me that the government has no qualms about conducting its business this way. It isn't a single administration or one party who is at fault, but rather the Federal Government in general. For example, not a single member of Congress read the huge omnibus spending bill which they recently passed. Who among us would vote for something that would impact so many people without reading it?
If we connect the dots, we can't help seeing what is coming if the direction of government doesn't make a sharp turn very soon. Government spending is just the tip of the iceberg. It is a means to an end, the mechanism for completely transforming our country into something which will not come close to what was envisioned by our Founding Fathers and laid securely in place by our Constitution.
I have been sending emails to my elected officials for some time. Attending these Tea Parties was just the next logical step to helping my voice be heard. It was comforting to know that I'm not alone in my concern for our country. I was surrounded by a thousand people at each of these events who feels much like I do, and I know there are thousands more in our neighborhoods. The theme of both of these Tea Parties was the need for each of us to be vigilant and to get actively involved in the political process. I will. Will you?