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Eye On Olympia

Posts tagged: July 4

Another serving of “TEA”…

From the print paper:

OLYMPIA – Encouraged by the large turnout this spring at anti-tax rallies, critics of government spending are planning a new round of demonstrations July 4.

Events are planned in more than 20 Washington cities, including Spokane Valley, as well as in Sandpoint and Boise. One rally in Olympia – the first of two – took place Saturday.

“It’s gotten to a point, with the out-of-control spending and the government nationalizing the auto industry, banking and things like that, that it’s woken the silent majority up,” said Dan Rehling, of Olympia, who’s organizing the July 4 demonstration at the Washington state Capitol. “This is my prediction: It’s going to be the biggest rally the Capitol has ever seen.”

The demonstrations are modeled on April 15’s anti-tax demonstrations, which drew thousands of people to the Statehouse and other sites across the state.

“We’re not against taxes. We’re against unreasonable taxation beyond the scope of the Constitution,” said Dann Selle, a spokesman for a group that is organizing the Spokane-area rally July 4. It’s tentatively slated for Plantes Ferry Park in Spokane Valley.

Much of organizers’ ire is directed at the Obama administration’s moves to try to right the economy, including federal stimulus spending.

“All these people are saying it’s just a bunch of right-wing extremists living on the fringe,” Rehling said. “I am not that person. I’m just an average Joe that is fired up.”

State Rep. Brendan Williams said the demonstrators’ passions are misplaced.

“It would have been nice if they were protesting the excesses of the Bush administration that got us into this economic calamity,” said Williams, D-Olympia. “Now they seem to be faulting Obama for trying to dig us out.”

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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