Crowd, including George Washington, gathers for third tea party
April 15, 2010 at 10 p.m.
Updated April 15, 2010 at 11:16 p.m.
Riding in on a white horse, George Washington arrived at the Victoria Tea Party with the Constitution in hand.
"I am here to remind a forgetful nation," said Washington, portrayed by Mark Collins.
Collins was one of many speakers at the third annual Victoria Tea Party in Riverside Park.
"The problem is that our government can't give to one without taking from another," said Michael Cloud, newly elected Victoria County Republican Party chair.
Lawn chairs and signs displaying discontent with government dotted the park's special events area for the gathering.
"I've lost my military health benefits," said Walter Dupuy of Inez as he held a sign, "Barack Obama: a new chapter in America history, chapter 13."
Between 800 and 900 people attended the gathering, a crowd similar to last year's event, said Sarah Zeller, vice president of the Victoria County Young Republicans Party.
Cloud emphasized the importance of gathering for a common goal.
"'We the people' are three significant words," Cloud said.
"It's the land of opportunity not the land of hand out," he said.
Collins also addressed attendees.
"Ladies and gentleman you have been given a Republic, if you can keep it," said Collins, quoting Benjamin Franklin.
Zeller added that misconceptions have been placed on the significance of the tea party movement.
"We are not anti-government, just anti-huge spending, anti-gigantic government," she said.
The crowd applauded in agreement.
"I believe the government should work for us, for we the people and not we the people working for the government," said Jaime Lincke, Victoria Tax Day Tea Party 2010 organizer and Victoria County Young Republicans events director.
State Representative Geanie Morrison agreed, adding that the federal debt would inflate with health care reform.
"The enactment of this bill would result in new taxes," said Morrison, advising the audience to continue to be involved and informed.
Philip Suarez, obstetrician/ gynecologist, agreed with Morrison.
"It doesn't fix Medicare's flaws," Suarez said of the bill.
The doctor said the bill would deter younger generations to pursue medicine.
"We will lose excellence," he said.