Thousands Gather For 'Tea Party' Rally At Capitol

Denver TEA Party Participants Upset With Taxes

Thousands of people across the country are using April 15, the last day to file income taxes, to voice their distress with state and federal taxes.

Rallies against government spending are scheduled across the nation on Wednesday, more than 235 years after the original Boston Tea Party tax revolt. Organizers say the TEA in "Tea Party" stands for Taxed Enough Already.

Denver police estimated that roughly 5,000 people attended the noon rally at Colorado's State Capitol in Denver. Radio station 630 KHOW set up a soapbox where protesters could take their stand.

"This is why we're here today," said 850 KOA talk show host "Gunny" Bob Newman. "To let people know that the 1st Amendment applies to both sides of the political aisle."

Conservatives had been critical in the summer of 2008 of so called "grass-roots, get out the vote" efforts.

But after strong victories by Democrats in November, they certainly showed an undertanding of how to draw a sizeable crowd.

"Thank you for coming today. Stay involved," said Congressman Mike Coffman (R)- 6th District. "God bless you. God bless Colorado. God bless the United States of America."

"This rally, this statement, this expression of our desire to remain a free, prosperous country is but the starting point," said state Senator Mike Kopp (R)-Littleton.

Many of the groups involved in Wednesday's protest are upset with government spending under President Barack Obama's administration. They say that Americans are being overtaxed and Obama's stimulus plans will bankrupt the country and future generations.

"This isn't Republican or Democrat. This is about the ideals that bring us here today," said Univeristy of Colorado Regent Tom Lucero. "Isn't it time we stand up to the governance and tell them got out of the business of deciding who owns a home and at what interest rate?"

"I would like to point out that these tea parties are not about conservatism vs. liberalism. They are about the people of the United States of America letting our governing body (as a whole) know that we are paying attention and will not stand idly by while the 'governing elite' sell out this, and all future generations," wrote Cama Patterson, of Fort Collins.

They held signs that say "Obama, just because you met the queen doesn't mean you're king" and "Send in the Navy SEALS, there's plenty of pirates in Washington."

One mom from Highlands Ranch said she was there to show her distrust with the way the government was spending her money. "Quit mortgaging my child's future," her sign said.

"I heard about it on Facebook, " said Kristina Heller. "It tells me that there are more conservatives and more people who are concerned about this than people think."

Heller brought tow of ther three kids.

"I also think it's a good lesson for them to see that they can speak out and make their voices heard," Heller said.

It was one of the largest rallies at the state Capitol this year, and organizers credited the Internet and social networking Web sites which helped them expand their reach.

One of the organizers, Brian Campbell also used a sign up sheet to collect e-mail and residential addresses.

"Just going out and voting isn't going to work anymore. We need to let them know that we're here and we will vote against them if they don't listen to us," Campbell said.

Members of ACORN, Colorado Progressive Action, Environment Colorado, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, New Era Colorado and ProgressNow Colorado are held a 10 a.m. press conference in support of Obama's budget.

"The budget resolution presented by President Obama not only prioritizes fairness and accountability in the tax code, it also represents a clear and transformative road-map for prioritizing the concerns of American families over those of Washington's entrenched special interest," said Ben Hanna, Colorado director of ACORN.

"It's the first time in recent history that I can remember, a time for celebration around the investment that we make in public structures that we all use," said Jessie Ulibarri, with Colorado Progressive Action.