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California Tea Partiers rally on Tax Day

April 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
In Washington, D.C., thousands turned out to protest tax increases and big government. Many carried signs railing against health care reform and the federal stimulus package.They promised to vote out politicians who supported either one. There were several local Tea Party rallies Thursday.

The Yorba Linda rally has been organized by the North Orange County Conservative Coalition. The Tea Partiers have started a federation. The federation estimates that there were some 2,000 rallies held around the country Thursday. And there is a coalition also of religious leaders who say that these Tea Parties have become racist.

The racial and ethnic makeup of the crowds mirrored the findings of a New York Times poll released Thursday. It found that the party supporters tend to be white, very conservative, and wealthier than most Americans.

At a Tea Party gathering in Santa Ana, Walter Myers III was the only non-white in the audience.

"Obama may have been carried into the White House on a wave of sentiment partly based on the color of his skin, but I can say as surely that the current opposition is about the content of his character or the lack thereof," said Myers.

President Obama is a favorite target. So is the healthcare reform plan, as well as government spending.

John Eastman is a Republican candidate for California attorney general.

"If we lose this battle, ladies and gentlemen, what is our exit option? Are we going to go to Tahiti to get our healthcare?" said Eastman.

It was a good day for politicians to be out. Republican candidate for California governor Steve Poizner was in Orange. He's running way behind in the race.

"We need to secure our border and if I have to, I will send the National Guard to the border," said Poizner.

The Republican frontrunner by a wide margin, Meg Whitman was not at a Tea Party Thursday. She was in Palm Springs campaigning at a Republican event and extending her lead.

Back in Santa Ana, Huntington Beach resident James Trent addressed a crowd full of signs, with one spelling out the word "racist," others with anti-abortion, and illegal immigration slogans.

"A lot of terrible things being said about us. We're just the common folk. We're out here to supportthe freedom of America," said Trent.

Earlier in Pasadena a group of faith leaders launched an anti-Tea Party protest group. They call themselves A Moral Compass to Justice and think the Tea Parties have turned racist.

"We come together to say your hate speech of division, of rhetoric that really is about racism, about classism, will not solve America's problems," said Rabbi Denise Eger, Los Angeles Jewish Federation.

The new Tea Party Federation is trying to separate what it calls extremists and those who present extremist views. So far it's been having security personnel trying to keep these people out of their rallies.


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