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Morals, smaller government take center stage at Brandon tea party

BRANDON — After the Brandon Fourth of July parade, about 200 people gathered at a Little League park, some holding signs declaring "D.C. = District of Corruption" and "Impeach Obama."

They said they're worried about the nation's path and government spending, so they organized Brandon's "tea party" event, which featured speakers urging Americans to bring the country back to its Judeo-Christian roots.

Some talk was about morals and religion but much focused on eliminating big government and reducing taxes.

"Do you want socialized medicine?" Terry Kemple asked at the microphone.

"No!" the crowd yelled.

Kemple, president of the Community Issues Council, asked attendees to add their contact information to a growing list so they can be involved in future events. The council often gets involved in what it considers issues of morality. During November's election, it promoted the state constitutional amendment that defines marriage.

Cheers greeted Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, as she took the stage — decked out in red, white and blue.

"You don't want (the government) to run your banks," she said. "You just want to go to the bank."

More cheers.

Kemple said it wasn't a Republican or Democratic gathering but an American one. Still, the crowd booed whenever a Democratic leader's name was mentioned.

Polk County Commissioner Randy Wilkinson, a Republican who said he plans to run in the 12th Congressional District, touted his part in bringing the 10 Commandments to the county administration building.

"We are a Christian nation," he said. "Let nobody fool you of that."

State Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Brandon, told audience members to always remember that they live in the greatest country in the world. And she urged participants to write their elected officials because it makes a difference.

"We have to take America back," she said.

Morals, smaller government take center stage at Brandon tea party 07/04/09 [Last modified: Saturday, July 4, 2009 10:28pm]
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