CUYAHOGA FALLS: April 15 came on a Sunday this year, giving taxpayers more time to pay up and tea party members a good reason to gather in the sunshine for political speeches, petition signing and pledges to be more involved in their communities.
Tea party organizations from Akron and Stark, Portage and Medina counties sponsored the event that pledges to be nonpartisan, but the speakers mostly included Republican candidates and Democrats took several verbal beatings.
“We don’t want your Obamacare and that’s why we intend to vote you out,” said Theodore Wilson II, a military veteran and activist.
His emotional speech was blasted over loudspeakers at Falls River Square to thousands who enjoyed a sunny day at the plaza and entertainment venue.
Introductions were made by television weatherman Brad Sussman, who implored his conservative audience to get more active promoting their causes.
“Go to those booths behind you and get involved,” he said.
Sitting under tents and behind tables were representatives for Standing Up for America, the Abigail Adams Education Project, Patriots of Liberty, the John Birch Society, the National Rifle Association, the Summit County Republican Party, the We the People Convention, FreedomWorks, Rescue America and the Ohioans for Workplace Freedom. VoteValues.org even drove up a bus and powered up computers to help people register to vote and read information.
Also present were a handful of sign-carrying representatives from GetEqual, which promotes marriage rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transvestites. They stayed on a sidewalk near one of the entrances. GetEqual state director Tom Morgan said the group was treated respectfully by event organizers and the public.
“We are here, standing up for ourselves and signing petitions for freedom to marry,” Morgan said. About 30 people signed up for a state referendum on gay marriage with a 2013 target date.
Jim Woods is founder of Medina County Friends and Neighbors (MCFAN) and was tending a table. The organization’s promotional material says it is “building the conservative grass-roots coalition. Identify, interest, inform, involve and enable your friends and neighbors.”
Woods also had harsh words for President Barack Obama: “If you look at the last four years, it has been probably the most damaging since Jimmy Carter.”
Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher also got a big response from the crowd. He is also known as Joe the Plumber, the man who engaged President Obama in a lengthy debate when then-candidate Obama was visiting a Toledo neighborhood.
Now Wurzelbacher is running for Congress and blaming government regulations for hurting the domestic auto industry.
“I don’t know about you, but I drive a Dodge 4-by-4 pickup truck and I love leaving a carbon footprint wherever I go,” he said.
He later mocked Obama’s attempts at green technologies, saying, “You better believe me, you will never see me behind the wheel of a Volt.”
State Rep. Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson, criticized liberals’ positions on abortion.
“We passed a bill and governor signed into law a bill that says after that baby is viable, after 20 weeks, no more abortions, and it’s saving babies in Ohio,” she said.
State Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Copley Township, summed up the Republican agenda: “Those of us that you sent to run your government in the last few years have heard you loud and clear. We worked, as Kristina said, to pass a budget that was balanced, we eliminated an $8 billion budget deficit. We were able to allow the income tax reduction that was programmed to go into place and we eliminated the death tax in the state of Ohio.”
Dave Scott can be reached at 330-996-3577 or firstname.lastname@example.org.