MANATEE -- Jim Fasetti was among those who attended the Tea Party Manatee Tax Day Rally Friday evening.
He wore a navy blue shirt that say “freedom czar” on it and held up a flag with the iconic phrase “Don’t Tread on Me” written below an image of a snake.
The messages he heard from guest speakers at the rally included Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, County Commissioner Robin DiSabatino and Manatee County School Board Member Julie Aranibar, was one of limiting government intervention and the importance of the tea party movement,
Steve Vernon, the vice president of Tea Party Manatee, said he wanted the rally, which drew in more than 100 people to Mixon Fruit Farms, to be learning experience to reflect on issues such as jobs, taxes and “Obamacare.”
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We want people to “get educated and drive people to act,” Vernon said. “Go out there and do something to take back our country. We want people to educate themselves on the bills, call your congressmen, representative and even the president and tell them if you support or don’t support an issue.”
Keynote speaker Atwater spoke at large to the audience about the importance of the tea party movement and the direction the country should be taking.
He reminded them that tea party members are not extremist as some may say, rather he said they are following in the footsteps of the country’s founding fathers.
“When you gather and someone says, ‘are you with those tea party people? You’re the extremes,’ ask how am I the extreme?” Atwater said.
Tea Party members have aligned their thoughts with what the founders said Americans are meant to be, Atwater said.
“I’m not extreme,” he said.
The message heard at the rally was one that resonated with Don Raglin.
“It gave me chills, the thought of being in that company,” said Raglin.
And Fasetti agreed.
He said the message of the night was clear that the Tea Party is a political force that will remain.
“We have an impact,” he said.