March 20, 2010
Chants of 'NO!' kept tea party crowd warm
It seemed like a good idea at the time -- when the event was planned during Friday's relatively balmy weather -- but Saturday's "instant Tea Party" in front of City Hall was notable mostly for its 20-degree wind chill.
A smaller than usual crowd -- there were about 125 people present, many bearing hand-made signs -- was bundled in winter coats, but did their best to keep warm by chanting their opposition to the health care bill scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives Sunday.
Speakers came at the issue from various directions. Lou D'Abbraccio started the rally by reminding participants "we are the last great hope for the world. If our healthcare system is destroyed, where will they go?" And then, holding his bullhorn high, he led the crowd in a spirited chant of "We said no! We said no!"
Organizer Lora Halberstadt complimented those present for coming out in the cold weather, and urged them to "keep saying no."
Dave Westlake, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate, called the health care bill "a threat to our liberty and to our freedoms," and "the third wave of socialism." Brett Davis, who is running for lieutenant governor, asked, "Are you ready to elect conservatives?" The crowd shouted back, "Yes!" Van Wanggaard, who is running for the State Senate, asked: "Why are we here? To say no!" When he mentioned President Obama's name, the crowd erupted in boos.
Milwaukee Pastor David King compared the current debate to a football game. "Just because we get to say no to this health care bill doesn't mean the game is over. This year, November will be the half-time, when we'll get all the garbage out of office. The end of the game is 2012," he said.
Halberstadt wound up the rally 30 minutes after it began by saying, "the only people who are going to stop this thing are 'we the people.' "
The Racine Tea Party's next event is a transportation forum Tuesday at the South Hills Country Club. The topic then will be KRM.