Connecticut Tea Party members rallied across the street from the Stamford Marriott Thursday afternoon in protest of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal’s fundraiser featuring President Barack Obama.
They posted signs, blared music, passed out buttons, erected a sound system and waved Gasden flags reading “Don’t Tread on Me” to project their message as guests arrived for the $1,000 per plate dinner.
“We have a new voice,” said Gail Jarvis of Trumbull. “Protestors have a new voice. With this sound system, we’re going to amplify our voice.”
“We’re here to make a statement that there are conservatives in Connecticut,” said Ronald Wilcox, an organizer and speaker for the Newtown Tea Party.
Wilcox said the Tea Party promotes the preservation and protection of constitutional rights, limited government and promotion and of new markets.
Many protestors felt their elected officials and the federal government ignored their voices and requests, especially with federal health care reform and the federal stimulus bill.
“We’re here because it seems like a deaf ear has been turned toward the concerns we’ve been raising over two years,” said Jerri MacMillian of Essex. “I read the health care bill and it’s the last one I ever plan to read. Obama is emblematic of someone who has let us down.”
Other protestors feared their generation had only one chance to help future generations.
“I have three grandchildren and one on the way,” said Deb Cooney of Southington. “We’re a generation that’s going to leave the country in a worse shape than when we found it.”
“We’re the only generation that can save us now,” said Kathi Higley of Naugatuck.
Despite dark skies and possible rain, both Cooney and Higley said they will stay outside in protest for “as long as it takes!”
Tea Party members also rang cowbells, blew horns and performed a parody mocking Blumenthal’s controversy over his service in the Vietnam War.
One sign detailed a “Midterm Report” for Obama, giving him an “F” in jobs, healthcare and economics but an “A+” for “vacations.”
Bob MacGuffie of Right Principles, who is best known for his “Rocking the Town Hall” memo, said he will protest President Obama anytime he comes to the state.
He also warned against politicians like Blumenthal and some of the Democratic Congressional candidates, like U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, who are “starting to run like they’re conservatives.”
He said the Tea Party is supporting a handful of candidates, such as Martha Dean, the Republican running for attorney general, and against all five Democratic Congressmen from the state and Blumenthal.
Those attending the fundraiser like Rep. William Tong of Stamford weren’t bothered one bit by the rally. “We celebrate their right to protest,” Tong said as he headed to the hotel.