By Philippe Djegal - email
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Tea Party Patriots traveled more than 1,400 miles from San Diego to Tyler. Organizers say that the government's environmental policies are putting thousands of farmers out of work.
One by one farmers took the stage, warning East Texans of what they call an injustice. Several water pumps in California have been shut down because the government says pollution is killing off a bait fish called the Delta Smelt.
"The farmers are facing very heavy environmental regulations," said Rob Gaudet, a member of the TEA Party Patriots.
No water during the growing season is putting a lot of people of work.
"40,000 farmers and about 100,000 people down stream no longer have the ability to make a living, because somebody wants to protect the minority," said Kevin Jackson, author of the book 'The Big Black Lie.' "[It] makes no sense."
Then, agricultural frustration quickly morphed into a candid discussion of the displeasure the large crowd at the Lakeview Church of the Nazarene have with their government. From topics like, healthcare ...
"If this bill passes the senate that they've just twisted arms in order to get it through the house," said Sharon Guthrie, a liberty activist. "We will not have the right to choose our own health care."
... to the right of religious expression.
"Unfortunately, this administration is really going after that with a lot of these gay rights issues that don't allow religious conscious as a defense," said Kelly Shackelford, chief council of the Liberty Legal Institute.
Former president George W. Bush's speech yesterday at Southern Methodist University in Dallas also stuck a chord with the audience today. He defended the bank bailouts in 2008.
"His statement was he's abandoned free market principles in order to save the free market economy," said Shackelford. "That was his specific quote, and that's just totally false."
Activists said the reckless spending continues with the Obama Administration.
"Stop spending my money," said Shackelford. "Stop spending my children's and my grandchildren's money."
The TEA Party Patriots are leaving Tyler tonight and will make their way to Orlando for the "Million Med March," bringing the medical community and the public together for what they call an honest discussion about healthcare reform.