OCEANSIDE — An estimated 3,000 Tea Party supporters gathered for the third annual Tea Party rally hosted by Stop Taxing Us at the Pier Amphitheater on April 15.
In past years the rally has attracted between 2,000 to 5,000 participants who packed the amphitheater with signs, flags and painted faces. This year most of the participants sat quietly on the bleachers and cheered on event speakers.
Stop Taxing Us Oceanside Regional Director Ronda Deniston described rally supporters as people who believe in conservative and responsible government. “The real true matter of the fact is that they are from all backgrounds, all ethnicities, they are all taxpayers,” Deniston said. “They don’t have a race, gender or income bracket. They are Republicans, Independents and Democrats.”
Less government spending was a shared concern among supporters.
“I am very concerned with the way our country is falling into a lack of leadership,” Michael Yeakle of Vista said. “We have to have responsibility through our Congress representatives to cut handouts.”
Deniston said the value of the Tea Party has been to start the dialogue about citizens’ dissatisfaction with our government. She said Tea Party supporters want politicians to fairly represent their views and practice fiscal conservancy in government spending.
“It’s about fiscal conservatism and the end of wasteful spending,” Deniston said.
Deniston added that there has been an overwhelming interest from minority groups in the Tea Party movement. She said all citizens are concerned with government spending.
She described the protest to city salaries in Bell, Calif., as a “Mexican Tea Party,” due to the 80 percent Hispanic population.
Deniston said that for most Americans it comes down to a question of “What am I getting for my taxes?”
Councilman Gary Felien reiterated her point. “Taxpayers aren’t getting their money’s worth from government,” Felien said. “There’s no accountability.”
Felien pointed to green mandates and no growth movements making it exceedingly difficult to get sufficient low-priced electricity and water.
Tom Tooker, a member of the Vista Tea Party, summed up what he said is most Americans’ sentiments about the government in one word — “disenchanted.”