Cass County Tea Party rallies against taxesPublished 8:51am Friday, April 16, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS – The dozens of signs people held at the Cass County Tea Party rally on Thursday night said it all.
“Born free. Taxed to death.”
“More government is less freedom.”
“Congress: Your employer called. You’re fired.”
The Cass County chapter of the Southwest Michigan Tea Party Patriots certainly didn’t hold any punches in criticizing the government during their first rally at the old Cassopolis Courthouse.
Several members of the group addressed more than 100 supporters with complaints of being overtaxed, the mounting national debt, big government and the new health care reform law.
Scott Davis, the chairman of the Cass County Tea Party, also organized a march around the courthouse building with the group waving American flags and chanting “U.S.A.”
Shirley Duis, a resident of Cass County and a member of the group, was one of the speakers.
Duis, who has been working in health care for 34 years, said she and many of her colleagues are scared about the new health care legislation.
“I want to show you how big the Constitution is,” she said, holding up a pocket-sized Constitution booklet. “And there are over 3,500 pages to the bill. With all the other additions, it’s closer to 7,000 pages. I’ve tried to read that thing. I just can’t. How can our Congress people say that they have?”
Davis addressed taxes and the national debt.
“Today is tax day. How many of you wrote a check today? Was it fun? Did you pay more than 15 percent?” he said, rallying the crowd. “There are road taxes, taxes on cigarettes, taxes on alcohol. They even want to tax our breath. It’s insane.”
Davis also complained the national debt has risen above $11 trillion since President Barack Obama, who he compared to both a Marxist and King George, took over office.
“Let’s throw these bums out of office,” Davis said, referencing not only U.S. lawmakers but also local politicians.
Martin Mullinax, another group member, called for a return to the standards of the Founding Fathers.
“Character does matter,” he said. “We forgot that it’s morals and character that should be deciding our votes.”
Cass County police were at the site, but outside of a few boos from cars passing by, the event was peaceful.
Not everyone was too excited about the tea party rally.
“I find it ironic that a group that is so anti-government is meeting at a government building,” Cathy LaPointe, chairwoman of the Cass County Democrat Party said in her only comment over the phone.
The tea party group has grown from nine to more than 30 in its two months in existence.