Sunday, November 8, 2009

Corydon Tea Party

Patriot Paul reads the Declaration of Independence at the Corydon Tea Party.
Corydon played host on Saturday to a Tea Party, held on the square on the grounds of the First State Capitol. It was a beautiful day and between 550 and 600 people turned out to hear a variety of speakers talk about issues facing America, including the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the right-to-life, health care, cap-and-trade, bailouts, and other topics.

Some photos of the Tea Party are available here.

Speakers included State Treasurer Richard Mourdock and former Congressman Mike Sodrel. Both of them gave speeches (on bailouts and cap-and-trade, respectively). Patriot Paul, of Indianapolis Tea Party fame, read the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Dan Eichenberger of Floyd County spoke about health care. Jason Higdon of New Albany spoke about the First Amendment. Norman Dennison, who also organized the event, spoke about the Second Amendment. Dr. Frank G. Simon spoke about the right to life. A brief open forum at the end allowed several other speakers the chance to address the crowd before the event ended.

Several local county candidates were also present, including Marion Wallace (a candidate for county council), Michael Gregory (a candidate for county sheriff), and Rod Seelye (also a candidate for county sheriff).

A variety of local media covered the event.

The Courier-Journal:
About 500 people rallied in downtown Corydon Saturday night to express their displeasure with the government.

The event was sponsored by the Corydon Tea Party, which bills itself on its Web site as "a concerned citizens group of patriots from Southern Indiana's 9th Congressional district."

“I’ve never been so frightened and appalled by what our government has done,” said one of the protesters, Gary Massard of Corydon.

He carried a U.S. flag, while his wife Tracy carried a sign that said “For the first time in my adult life I am afraid of my government!”

“I’m a pragmatic, independent person,” he said. “It’s time for people like us to stand up.”

A notice promoting the event said Tea stands for “Taxed enough already.”

The Corydon Tea Party was organized by Norman Dennison, an electrician from Mauckport. He and a group of volunteers put together a slate of speakers and organized volunteers to host the event.

The organization is similar to many others that have formed across the country to protest the country’s current political direction.

According to its literature, the Corydon Tea Party favors limited government, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, the rule of law and national sovereignty.

The event’s speakers included Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock; Jason Higdon, president of Citizens for Constitutionality Now; former 9th district congressman Mike Sodrel; and conservative activist Dr. Frank G. Simon.

“People in D.C. are hearing us and they do not like what we have to say,” Higdon told the crowd.

“We are so tired of our government running roughshod over us,” said Kristine Roy of New Albany. “They don’t care.”

Georgetown’s David Kunnecke agreed. “The government is out of control. They are spending like a bunch of five year olds in a candy store,” he said.

“These are good people,” said Dennison about the enthusiastic crowd gathered around the gazebo on the square. “They want responsibility in government. They see a tremendous amount of corruption in government.”

Many of those present had traveled to Washington D.C. on September 12 for a national Tea Party protest.

Keith Chew, a school teacher from Brazil, Indiana drove three hours to attend the Corydon rally.

“I’m going to every one of them I can,” he said.

He carried a sign that said "Hitler gave great speeches too" on one side.

“I took this sign to Washington D.C. on 9/12.”

The Corydon Tea Party is not disbanding after Saturday’s event. “This group is going to stay together,” said Bryan Robertson, the assistant event organizer.

The group gathered names and e-mail addresses at the event of those interested in staying involved with the group. A Web site has been set up at to provide additional information.

“We anticipate having a good number of members after today,” Robertson said.
“This snowball is getting bigger and bigger and bigger and it’s all across the nation,” Dennison said.

Fox 41 (which also had a segment on their nightly news):

There was another grassroots gathering in the name of patriotism Saturday. It was the 2009 Corydon Tea party in Harrison County, Indiana.

The participants have concerns about the direction the country is heading. Members say they were compelled to start the group after the September 12 Tea Party in Washington, DC.

"I was basically thinking there might be 1,000 people out here, but 500 would be fine, 200 would be fine, 100 would be fine. It's just people that have a concern and a desire that this nation stands and doesn't falter under the pressure of what looks like to be the financial abyss that is coming," said Norman Dennison, host.

Dennison says he was in D.C. this week, with others from Southern Indiana to oppose the President Obama's health-care proposal.

And WAVE 3 (which also had video on their nightly news, though I can't find the segment online):

CORYDON, IN (WAVE) - Healthcare reform would fulfill the biggest promise of President Obama's campaign, but hundreds who gathered in Corydon, Indiana Saturday evening said it's the biggest mistake lawmakers could make.

With protest signs in hand and patriotism on display southern Indiana residents stretching from New Albany to Indianapolis let their voices be heard in the Capitol Square.

Regarding healthcare reform, Tea Party organizer, Norman Dennison, told the crowd, "There are guys up there in Washington D.C. that want this so bad because they desire power over the people more than they desire to do good."

While members of Congress debate the $1.2 trillion bill, Steve Boehman said he couldn't sit on the sidelines anymore. "I'm kinda a newbie at all this, this is my first protest ever," he said. "Who knows the answer? I know I don't want bureaucrats deciding on whether I need an operation or healthcare."

Tracy Massard held a sign saying for the first time in her life she was afraid of her government. "We have the best healthcare system in the world," she said. "People from other countries come her for our healthcare and we're destroying it. And the money that's going to be spent on this healthcare bill I believe will lead to the economic collapse of our country."

Nancy Richardson says government cutbacks have already hit her in the pocketbook costing her $2000. "I have already lost my Medicare supplement plan that I had because of the cutbacks in Medicare and it just scares me."

Former 9th District Indiana Congressman and Republican Mike Sodrel still wants his voice heard. He says there is another way to affordable healthcare for all. "Let it be sold across state lines like we sell car insurance so you have more competition in each market. Let small business ban together across state lines."

Despite the overall disgruntled nature of the crowd towards the Obama administration, Sodrel sees a bright spot. "I'm just really encouraged to see this many people take an interest in their government and what it's doing. This is a good thing."

Sodrel says he sees the country shifting back towards conservative values, and says this about a fifth square off with Congressman Baron Hill: "I have not made a decision either way yet. Sure I'm considering it, but I'm not ready to make any announcement yet either."

All in all, it was a great and very successful event.

Thanks to all of the patriots of all political stripes (Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or independent) that came out to let their voices be heard.