Tea Party organizers seek local support

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bo Weed gives pause each month as he pays the tax bills at his DogHouse restaurant.

“You know, I’ve been here 21 months and I’ve not been able to pay myself a single dime,” he said. “But every month, on the 15th and 30th, I pay $2,000 to $4,000 in taxes and I think about all these taxes I have to pay when I can’t even afford to pay myself.”

That frustration is part of the reason Weed, a Baptist pastor, became interested in the Tea Party movement a few years ago.

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Now, he’s taking an active role in creating a formal Tea Party group in Pike County. An organizational meeting begins at 7 p.m. today at the American Legion Building, 212 E. Walnut Street, in downtown Troy. It is open to anyone who wants more information about the Tea Party and its ideals.

“Elaine McLeod contacted me about this and asked if I’d be willing to help,” Weed said. “About two years ago I did a little Tea Party rally here in town. There were about five or six of us spearheading that.”

Since then, the economy has worsened; the divide between government and the citizens it serves has widened; and the public discourse has turned virulent – all factors calling for the Tea Party Movement to step forward, Weed said.

“It’s driven by the current state of affairs in our country,” he sad. “Here we have the Tea Party being attacked not just for the far left but from the left … the rhetoric is absolutely unacceptable.”

And government spending has spiraled. “We borrow somewhere around 42 cents of every dollar our government spends or gives away. When you borrow that much of every dollar you spend, it’s a recipe for disaster,” Weed said.

“I know in our house if we’re spending $5,000 every month but only brining in $2,500, we have a problem and we have to adjust our spending habits.”

Speaking out and providing a voice for Americans who want less government involvement and more fiscally responsible leaders is at the core of the Tea Party’s goals. According to the movement’s mission statement, “the impetus for the Tea Party movement is excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets.”

Weed said he hopes anyone with an interest in learning more about the Tea Party’s ideals will attend tonight’s informational meeting. It is free and open to the public.