Group voices concerns about government spending at rally

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Clockwise from top, Karolyn Sailer, Chris Dudley and Louis Moore sign oversized cards addressed to legislators during Wednesdays Taxed Enough Already party on Main Street.

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Walter Bradley asked the crowd if they were being taxed enough already, and 400 voices shouted back, “Yes.”

The citizens, who descended on Main Street of Clovis from across eastern New Mexico and west Texas, lined the brick-paved street between Seventh and Eighth streets to hear and deliver the message they didn’t like the direction the country was going at the Clovis Taxed Enough Already rally.

The one-hour event, organized by the High Plains Patriots, implored citizens to contact their elected leaders over spending they feel is unnecessary and burdening to future generations.

“We’re not out here to point fingers,” said Tim Ashley, one of seven to address the crowd from a trailer adorned with hay bales holding American flags. “We’re here to say we don’t like what’s going on, we want to stop it and we want to point it in the other direction.

“We must choose between liberty and tyranny. We must choose between socialism and capitalism.”

Citizens filled the cordorned city block to have free tea with signs protesting government spending, signed oversized cards addressed to legislators, and exchanged T-shirts and informative flyers — with demand outweighing supply, as organizer Greg Southard admitted.

“I didn’t dream big enough,” Southard said. “I only printed off 100 sheets with (elected officials’) contact information.”

Speakers stressed that although they disagreed with many policies of President Barack Obama, the protest was not partisan in nature because bailouts have come from Republican and Democratic presidents, with Congress approving them.

“This did not start with President Obama,” said speaker Kent Zeiser. “This is a bipartisan push that started before he was a senator.”

Bradley, a former lieutenant governor, said the rally reminded him of coffee shop meetings he has with friends where they solve all the world’s problems. The citizens at the rally, he said, have to recognize they can’t repeat the mistakes of Bradley and his friends and just forget everything once they leave the coffee shop.

“ If you don’t do anything,” Bradley said, “all this went for naught.”

Southard said citizens needed to call their elected representatives, and be polite in discussing their grievances. When they’re polite, Southard said, they’ll establish a rapport for when they call the following week, and the week after that, and so on, regarding what they want.

“And we will not be standing here waving signs,” Southard said. “We’ll be helping affect policies that (will impact) generations to come.”

Ron Dickson, a Clovis business owner, told the crowd it’s frustrating to run a business when government can spend money beyond the ability of any calculator he owns.

“Our government is the only organization that can operate in the red and expect no recourse,” Dickson said. “We’re the recourse, if we stand up and tell them enough is enough.”