APPLETON - From the nation's capital, to the state's capital, to our area.Members of the Tea Party movement targeted tax day to show theirdispleasure with their government.
In Appleton, several hundred gathered in a downtown parking lot.It was the second year tea-partiers rallied there.
Under flags, shirts and signs that spoke their mind, the crowdof all ages stood against a federal government they call out ofcontrol.
"We can't have nationalized health care, we cannot have taxes atthe rate they are, the economy is really, really bad," Tea Partyparticipant Ethan Hollenberger said. "You put so many things intothe kettle and eventually it's going to overflow and I think that'swhat's happening in this movement."
Amid speeches that called for a return to the principals of ourfounding fathers, tea party activists stressed the need forlegitimate change. They say they're frustrated, motivated and sickof empty promises.
"People realized after a few months in office it was just thesame old Washington politics, so this is grassroots, this isAmericana at it's finest," Jake Jacobs of Appleton said pointingtowards the large crowd.
John Lipinski of Appleton also checked out the event. He's gladpeople are getting involved but feels they aren't fullyinformed.
"I would hope they would perhaps spend a little more timestudying the issues I mean they're objecting to high taxes but theyprobably don't realize that 95 percent of Americans got a tax cutunder Obama.," Lipinski said.
Political Scientist Arnold Shober with Lawrence University saysthe Tea Party movement is tough to define, but has successfullytapped into a feeling of widespread unease.
"I think it's a mistake to write them off as a fringe group,"Shober said. "Certainly we've seen that they can generate interestto come out to rallies across the country multiple times."
Shober says the Tea Party leans conservatively, but polls shownearly half the country identifies with some of its issues,including opposition to the new health reform law.
If the Tea Party continues to draw crowds, Shobers says it couldalso draw change come November.
He says it's tough to predict the Tea Party's local impact, butsays it could be a major factor in swing districts the the 8thcongressional. Congressman Steve Kagen is up for re-election inthat district. Kagen voted in favor of the health reform law.
"The fact is most Americans are profoundly dissatisfied withhaving the government take over a sixth of the economy," Jacobssaid.
And at gatherings like the one in Appleton, they're not afraidto show it.
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