Tea Party revisited

Tri-parish residents are joining a nationwide grassroots effort today to protest massive federal government spending.

Over 2,000 Tax Day TEA (Taxed Enough Already) parties will take place around the country. Three such events will be held in the Tri-parish area: in Houma, Morgan City and Cut Off.

Local organizers of the TEA party events say the $2 trillion in government bailouts provided the motivation for getting involved.

“These events are to get politicians in Washington to listen,” said Randolph Bazet, co-organizer of the Houma TEA Party. “The Stimulus Plan was a slap in the face to the responsible taxpayer.”

“We feel the government is incompetent. We don’t want them taxing our grandchildren,” said Regis Adams, co-organizer of the Cut Off TEA Party. “We’re having this on tax day because that’s when they’re taking our money and wasting it.”

The Houma TEA party will be held at the City Club, formerly the Post Office Club, across from the Terrebonne Parish Courthouse Square from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The Cut Off event takes place at the Cut Off Youth Center, 205 West 79th St., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. And in Morgan City, the TEA party is at Lawrence Park from 6 to 8 p.m. Also, there will be a live Web cast of the event at http://morgancity.teapartynexus.com/.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La) has authored a resolution to make April 15th National TEA Party Day.

“Many Americans are outraged by the bailout mania and runaway spending that’s the trend in Washington these days,” said Vitter spokesperson Joel DiGrado. “Sen. Vitter feels it’s important for the Senate to recognize National TEA Party day and the efforts of the citizens across the country who are voicing their opposition to these policies.”

Nationally, the TEA parties are sponsored the nonprofit Christian organization American Family Association and Renewing American Leadership, organization founded by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich dedicated to defending religion in the public square.

But local organizers said their events are non-partisan and are for anyone who is concerned that politicians in Washington, D.C., have put America on the wrong track.

“This is not an event along party lines,” Bazet said. “This is dealing with what’s fair, ethical and moral when it comes to being elected into office to represent the people of the United States of America.”

“Myself and those who organized this event, we are Republicans, we are Democrats and we are Independents,” Adams said. “This is true bipartisanship.”

While Bazet and Adams are first timers to political activism, Tammy Martin, co-organizer of the Morgan City TEA Party, began getting into politics with 2008 presidential campaign.

“Since the beginning of the last presidential election cycle, I have gotten very educated about politics,” Martin said. “I’ve tried to be active in any way that I can, such as contacting my representatives, and I have also attended a couple of other rallies and protests.”

Each Tea Party will do its best to imitate the original 1773 Boston Tea Party, where colonialists dumped three shiploads of British tea into Boston Harbor to protest taxation without representation.

Organizers said the issues they are protesting are not exclusive to the current administration or Congress. However, they fear if they don’t stand up now, the future of America will be in great peril.

In preparation for today’s TEA Party, Adams has her protest sign ready: “Recycle Gitmo, Send Congress There.”