Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Temecula Valley First Anniversary Tea Party

Via Political Pistachio, and from the Escondido Californian, "TEMECULA: Local Tea Party Activists Celebrate One-Year Anniversary Saturday":

For the second straight year, Southwest County conservatives will kick off their political year with a February "tea party" protest at Ynez and Rancho California roads.

While many of the causes uniting the group will be similar ---- calls for lower taxes and more accountability from government ---- the context of this year's protest, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, will be different.

Last year, the protesters were dismissed and derided by liberal commentators as "tea baggers" and some pundits chalked up the February rally as an outlet for disgruntled election year losers to let off steam. Then people came out for a follow-up tax day rally in April. Then there was a patriotic rally on July 4 and one more in September that was tied to the Sept. 12 project, a Glen Beck-inspired push to focus on the national unity of the day after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Instead of fizzling out as some people expected, the tea party movement has gained strength and clout.

This year, as evidenced by the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, the tea partiers are an increasingly viable force in politics and they are being wooed and seduced by Republican Party leadership: a group that includes presidential hopefuls, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

"We're feeling really good about how it's progressed and how far it's come," said Ramona Lott, a member of the Temecula Valley Tea Party Patriots and one of the organizers of Saturday's rally.

Lott, a retired social worker, said she is expecting a minimum of 1,000 people to attend at least some portion of Saturday's event, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"People are more energized, more positive and optimistic," she said. "When we started it last year ... at the time you could feel the energy, the vibe, the frustration ... but there was no knowing where it was going to go."

Lott said the fuel for the movement is conservative independents who are frustrated and disillusioned with both Republicans and Democrats and "politics as usual."

"The Republicans fell into the same trap as the Democrats, they couldn't say no to spending," she said.

One of the featured guests at the rally will be Doug Gibbs, a conservative blogger who also broadcasts a radio show.

Gibbs, Lott said, will have a booth at the Duck Pond's gazebo and he will be fielding questions about the Constitution, which, Lott said, is the cornerstone of the tea party movement.
Image Credit (and more information): Free Republic, "Temecula Tea Party & Anti-Tax Rally on Saturday, February 27, 2010 in Temecula, California."