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Local Activists Express Opinions In “Tea Party”

Folks fed up with the direction our country is headed are speaking out across the nation with “tea party” rallies. Here in Calhoun County, local activists are taking the tea party to the people. The Calhoun County tea party group was formed around the coffee table at Connie’s Kitchen in downtown Blountstown after the morning gathering conversations kept turning to politics. The disgruntled gatherers decided to do more than talk and they are now working to send a message to Washington. “A significant number are changing parties in protest,” says Logan Barbee. “They are leaving the democratic party because they no longer feel they are being represented by that party. They’re not saying they’re going to the Republican party, they are just changing affiliation.” One longtime Democrat who recently switched is 76-year-old J.O. Stone who has been with the party since he was old enough to vote and says his family has been Democrat for over 100 years. “I didn’t leave the Democratic party, it left me,” he remarked at the coffee table gathering Monday. “I don’t want to be a part of anything that takes us to socialism.” Tea partiers began a party switching drive September 1 and it will continue through September 11. They remind voters who would like to cast ballots for local Democrats in future elections that they can always change back in time to vote (at least 30 days prior) and the process is extremely quick and simple. “By retaining that [Democratic party] card, we’re endorsing what’s happening,” says Logan Barbee. “We’re not endorsing any other party, we’re just dissatisfied. We feel like our views are not being represented by our present representatives.” The tea partiers are also taking their campaign on the road. A tea party wagon with mailboxes for letters to Congressman Boyd and Senator Nelson will be attached to the wagon along with a bin for tea bags and a message board for voters to sign and express their sentiments. The wagon will tour the county, but folks in every community – Altha, Clarksville, Frink, Abe Springs, Kinard, Scotts Ferry, etc. – are needed to host it. If you’d like the wagon to spend a few days in your area and you’d be willing to set it up on your property to provide a drop off spot for letters and tea bags, please contact Logan Barbee at 447-0131 (day) or 762-1989 (evenings only). “We’re a small county, but we can be bigger than we are,” says Barbee. “Sign the message board and, if you have a lot to say, put it in a letter and we’ll be happy to send it to Washington as part of the protest.”

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