Billed as the Westminster Tax Day Tea Party, the parking lot at Legends Café, on Route 140 just outside the city limits was the scene of a sea of American and Gadsden, “Don’t Tread on Me,” yellow flags, protest and campaign signs, and political candidates.
The event, organized by “We the People,” was loud and animated, however there were no problems as folks with shirts marked “security” patrolled the crowds and the Carroll County Sheriff’s deputies observed carefully from afar.
As people mingled to music and conversation there were plenty of homemade signs extolling discontent over taxes, President Barack Obama, health care reform, government spending, the national debt and voting incumbents out of office.
At the same time, a line of about 50 Tea Partiers lined Route 140 and waved flags and signs as motorists drive by and added to the cacophony by honking their horns and shouting words of encouragement.
The chair of We the People, Joe Kirby, began warming-up the crowd just after Former-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. arrived and spoke at some length about the purpose and intent of the rally and the Tea Party movement.
Michelle Jefferson, a Carroll County Commissioner candidate (R-District 3) introduced Ehrlich at 7 p.m.
“It drives me crazy how we are characterized,” lamented Ehrlich after greeting the crowd as he criticized how the Tea Party movement has been treated by the media.
Boos were heard as he noted comments by U.S. Senate President Harry Reid (D-NV) that the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) is from Maryland.
“This (movement) is about workers, taxpayers… It is not a populist movement,” said Ehrlich as he lapsed briefly into a history lesson of the 18th Century Populist movement in the U.S.
“This is organic. There is no leader of this movement. It just rose-up. This is about pro-wealth… I want to leave this country a better place… Government can be excellent. We’re not anti-government. We’re for appropriate government,” Ehrlich extolled.
“This is not about any particular party. This needs to be independent and it shouldn’t be connected to either party,” he continued as talked about the tea Party movement crossing party lines.
“There is a lot of anger out there…,” Ehrlich continued as he asked for a show of hands of the folks in the audience who had never been to a political function before. “We don’t call people names.”
As Ehrlich transitioned from exhorting the virtues of the Tea Parties, into campaigning for the Maryland governor’s office, he advised the crowd that “an Ehrlich bumper sticker increases the value of your car…”
After Ehrlich spoke for 20 minutes, it came time for a number of local candidates to take to the podium to talk with crowd.
One-by-one, folks such as Jefferson, Hampstead Mayor Haven Shoemaker, a newly announced Carroll Commissioner candidate (R-District 2,) Carroll Commissioner candidate, David Jones (R-District 4,) Maryland Delegate Tanya Shewell (R-District 5A,) Justin Ready, a candidate for Maryland delegate (R-District 5A,) took turns at the microphone.
Back in the crowd was also former Maryland Delegate (R-District 5A,) Carmen Amedori sporting her newly minted “Murphy – Amedori for Maryland (Governor)” signs.
It was earlier in the day that word got out that Amedori, who most recently served on the Maryland parole commission member until January, is abandoning her bid for the Republican nomination to oppose U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D) of Baltimore.
She had announced in February that she was going to run to unseat the four-term incumbent, Mikulski, by participating in a crowded Republican primary but recently changed her mind to join the ticket of Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy, as his lieutenant governor.
That latest development is certain to make the summer political season that much more interesting and will be announced in Annapolis on Friday, April 16, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. on Lawyers’ Mall in Annapolis.
After all the speakers had their moment at the podium, the crowd moved-out to join the line of sign and flag wavers along Route 140.
As the shadows grew long and the sun began to set on another April 15 tax filing deadline, the crowd slowly drifted way and began looking forward to a long political summer of discontent.
Westminster Tea Party in steeped in discontent ... and candidates Ehrlich is among 300 to attend event http://tinyurl.com/y3k53js
Posted 4/16/10 by Carroll Eagle, Eldersburg Eagle, Westminster Eagle
By Kevin Dayhoff
Former-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. came to Westminster Thursday evening and spoke for twenty-minutes to a spirited crowd of about 300. Photo by Kevin Dayhoff
PARTY ON -Former Governor Ehrlich headlines Westminster Tax Day Tea Party in Westminster (Top Stories/The Project)
... Murphy, as his lieutenant governor running mate. 15 April 2010 By Kevin Dayhoff Billed as the Westminster Tax Day Tea Party, the parking lot at Legends Café, on Route 140 just outside the city limits was ...