Crowd speaks up and speaks out at Tyler TEA Party

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Taylor Hemness - bio | email

There were only four speakers on the schedule at the Tyler TEA Party Thursday night, but organizers allowed people in the crowd to get up and speak their minds. Adreona Reagan, a life-long Democrat, was one of them.

"What we are about, is standing up for our God-given right, and what the constitution affords us in this country," Reagan said. "We're the only country like this in the world. And what we are doing is within the constitution. We have the right."

Some people, like Rick McCurley of Tyler, came because they're thinking about the past.

"My father was a disabled veteran all of my life," McCurley said. "And I'd hate for him to be alive today, and to see what this country is all about."

While other crowd members are worried about the future.

"I've got a two-year-old granddaughter, and we're spending her money before she's old enough to earn it," said Barbara Benson of Edom.

More than a hundred sign-carrying, t-shirt wearing, TEA Party members roared their approval as planned and unplanned speakers spoke about the abuse they say is being done to the U.S. Constitution right now.

And one member told KLTV 7, that in a way, it's their own fault.

"I think we let things get beyond the way that we want it to be, and the way we would like for it to be," said Judy Landrum of Noonday.

The crowd saved one of its biggest ovations for David Simpson, the man who recently defeated longtime state representative Tommy Merritt in the Republican primary. He says the TEA Party is a good thing, because it guarantees politicians will be kept in check.

"I have the temptations, I have the sinful nature to make me a corrupt politician, except for the Grace of God," Simpson said. "Not only with my self-control, but with me holding me accountable, I would be just another corrupt politician. So it gives me hope that things aren't just going to continue as they have been."

KLTV also asked several members tonight about the negative reputation that the TEA Party has received across the country because of some comments and outbursts.  They all said that the TEA Party effort will not work, unless it remains a peaceful form of protest.

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