TEA’d-off on Sine Die

About 200 people gathered at the Annapolis City Dock on the last night of the General Assembly session. They were demonstrating that they were “Taxed Enough Already” – TEA, and ready to get rid of everybody holding office in Maryland — from the governor on down.

They were mostly focused on Democrats. “Fire Sarbanes, Fire Mikulski” said one sign.

Three men in white judicial wigs and black robes conducted a mock trial of Gov. Martin O’Malley “as well as the leaders and members of the majority party in the Maryland legislature.”

The “bill of indictment” had six charges, among them: “willful and reckless disregard for the economic well-being of the citizens”; “affirmative hostility towards the property rights of Marylanders”; “the creation of a chilled climate, either through negligence or outright hostility, towards Maryland’s small business owners and entrepreneurs”; the failure to fight against “so-called health care reform”; failure to protect individual rights; and failure to defend “the federalist structure of our government [and] to assert the sovereign rights of the state of Maryland.”

Most of the crowd had simpler messages. Clensy Roney of Davidsonville, one of the few African Americans present, held a hand-lettered sign that said: “I’m American, here, black, not racist.”

“I want to make people know that there are black people opposed to the [Obama] administration,” Roney said. “I know what slavery is all about and we don’t have to go back to it.”

Lee and Dale Lewis of Severna Park were at their first TEA party.

“We decided to put our feet to the concrete,” said Lee.

On one side, Dale’s sign said: “I’m a fiscal conservative; I will remember in November.” On the other, it said: “I’m TEA’D, taxed enough already. Vote them out.”

Dave Schwartz, Maryland executive director of Americans For Prosperity, which helped to organize last year’s first TEA-parties, said he was happy with this year’s turnout. He acknowledged the crowd was much smaller than the thousand who turned out in the pouring rain last year.

“We didn’t organize this one,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz said the primary motivation for people was represented by the AFP sign: “November is coming.”

“If you want to change the game, you’ve got to change the players on the field,” Schwartz said.

–Len Lazarick

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