STAR: “Tea Party leaders to mark anniversary with T.O. Rally”

THE STAR – page A-5
Tues., Feb. 16, 2010
by Mike Harris

Leaders in the Tea Party political movement plan to hold a rally Feb. 27 in Thousand Oaks to mark the anniversary of a series of gatherings it staged across the nation.

The rally will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at Lynn Road and Hillcrest Drive, said organizer Carolyn Guillot

Tea Party groups, taking their name from the anti-tax Boston Tea Party of the American Revolution, have attracted national attention while criticizing American political leaders.  The first National Tea Party Convention was held this month in Tennessee.

“We are a nonpartisan group representing constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility and free markets,” Guillot…said Monday.  “We oppose corruption, wasteful spending, raising taxes and the undue influence of special interests in the government designed by our founders to be ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people.’ ”

She said it was hard to say how many followers the Conejo Valley group has.  “I guess I’m going to say over 1,000” based on the group’s mailing list, she said.  She estimated 500 people attended the group’s rally April 15.

She said the group opposes “government-run” healthcare, cap-and-trade environmental legislation and further stimulus packages.  She said President Barack Obama, a Democrat, is doing an “abominable job,” and she hopes “a good person will bubble up through the Tea Party movement” to run against Obama in 2010.

Guillot does not think former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican who is popular in the Tea Party movement, is that person.

Guillot noted that Palin, who addressed the National Tea Party convention, “said she hopes the Republican Party will absorb most or a lot of the Tea Party members.  Well, I hope the opposite — that the Republican Party will realize the folly of its ways and move to be more like the Tea Party.”

Sensitive to criticism by some political observes that Tea Party groups seem like little more than partisan Obama-bashing organizations, Guillot said the first Tea Party rally she attended was in 2007 when Republican George W. Bush was still president.  “And I criticized the big spending Bush was doing,” she said.


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