Monday, March 23, 2009

Tea Party Draws Attention at State Capitol

Pork fried at Capitol protest
Stimulus wrong, protesters say

By Jonathan B. Cox
News & Observer
March 22, 2009

Pork got a lot of attention at the State Capitol on Saturday.

People dined on it. They held signs about it and greeted a pig-suited mascot who wandered the crowd to draw attention to it.

The pork of interest, though, had nothing to do with the tangy treat of North Carolina.

This pork had the unsavory flavor of government waste.

More than 200 people gathered in Raleigh to protest taxes, corporate bailouts and all manner of federal and state spending.

"Don't tread on me," the assemblage chanted above a cacophony of bagpipes, marching bands and the toot-toot of antique car horns as Raleigh's delayed St. Patrick's Day parade passed nearby. ...

"Pork is for BBQ. It is not a stimulant," another sign stated.

The event, billed as a modern-day tea party, captured a sentiment of frustration with the government's efforts to aid banks, automakers and homeowners.

Those in attendance said the government, by intervening in the markets, is rewarding the irresponsible behavior of executives and homebuyers who made bad bets. And, protesters said, government leaders are burdening taxpayers with their actions.

"I'm just concerned about the amount of spending our government is doing," said Donna Jenkins, 32, of Creedmoor, a stay-at-home mother of two.

"We're indebting our children and our grandchildren," she said.

Similar tea parties have taken place across the country in recent weeks, and more are planned into April when income taxes are due. ...