Tea Party rallies set for Tax Day

April 14, 2010 9:39:00 AM

Tim Pratt -

 

While citizens across the country file last-minute tax returns Thursday, members of the nation''s Tea Party organizations, including those in Columbus and Starkville, will rally to voice their displeasure with the federal government.  

 

The Starkville Tea Party will hold a rally Thursday at noon in front of the Oktibbeha County Courthouse. The Columbus Tea Party will hold a rally Thursday at 5:15 p.m. on the Lowndes County Courthouse steps.  

 

Russ Latino, a conservative commentator, writer and attorney from Jackson, will be the featured speaker at the Starkville rally. Robert Allen, a conservative author and speaker, also will address the group.  

 

In Columbus, Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, is one of three scheduled speakers. The American Family Association "represents and stands for traditional family values and exists to motivate and equip citizens to reform our culture to reflect Biblical truth on which it was founded," according to the group''s Web site. 

 

Henry Ross, who, in the past, has served as mayor of Eupora, assistant district attorney and circuit court judge, also will speak at the Columbus rally. Ross is running for Congress in Mississippi''s First Congressional District as a Republican.  

 

Dr. John Whitecar, a medical oncologist at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, is scheduled to speak at the Columbus rally. 

 

The topics planned for discussion in Starkville and Columbus range from health care reform and excess taxes to fiscal responsibility, free enterprise and constitutionality, said Randolph Lipscomb, vice chairman of the Columbus Tea Party. Lipscomb is encouraging Golden Triangle residents to attend either of the local rallies.  

 

"We just had the health care bill pass and it''s not a threat to liberty, it''s a taking of liberty," Lipscomb said. "If people have any interest in retaining their liberties as American citizens and not becoming American subjects, they should be at these rallies." 

 

When asked how health care takes away citizens'' liberties, Lipscomb said the federal government is "forcing" the policy on tax payers.  

 

"You''re compelled to purchase a product ... and it''s a product you may not even want," he said. "If the government can tell you what you have to buy and what it has to look like and mandate what goes into it, is there anything they can''t force you to do?" 

 

The rallies in Columbus and Starkville are expected to last about an hour, but they could last longer, Lipscomb said. Citizens will have the opportunity to speak and ask questions at both rallies.  

 

"We''re just giving people a chance to come out and stand up as patriots and speak out," said Gary Chesser, one of the organizers of the Starkville Tea Party. "A lot of voters are really energized by this (movement). There''s a lot of anger out there. We just want to make sure people are fully equipped to make the right decision when it comes time to vote." 

 

Chesser said the Tea Party movement isn''t designed to overthrow the government.  

 

"None of our people advocate any sort of violence or government overthrow," he said. "This is just a grassroots movement to try to educate and inform the public." chairman of the Columbus Tea Party. Lipscomb is encouraging Golden Triangle residents to attend either of the local rallies.  

 

"We just had the health care bill pass and it''s not a threat to liberty, it''s a taking of liberty," Lipscomb said. "If people have any interest in retaining their liberties as American citizens and not becoming American subjects, they should be at these rallies." 

 

When asked how health care takes away citizens'' liberties, Lipscomb said the federal government is "forcing" the policy on tax payers.  

 

"You''re compelled to purchase a product ... and it''s a product you may not even want," he said. "If the government can tell you what you have to buy and what it has to look like and mandate what goes into it, is there anything they can''t force you to do?" 

 

The rallies in Columbus and Starkville are expected to last about an hour, but they could last longer, Lipscomb said. Citizens will have the opportunity to speak and ask questions at both rallies.  

 

"We''re just giving people a chance to come out and stand up as patriots and speak out," said Gary Chesser, one of the organizers of the Starkville Tea Party. "A lot of voters are really energized by this (movement). There''s a lot of anger out there. We just want to make sure people are fully equipped to make the right decision when it comes time to vote."