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Apr-15-2010 23:11printcomments

Eugene Tea Party: If it's Got Tax in the Title Vote No

It could have just been the beautiful weather, but everybody seemed pretty happy, even if they were carrying around signs heralding impending bankruptcy, slavery, and doom.

Photos of Eugene teabaggers and counter protesters, by Ersun Warncke
Photos of Eugene teabaggers and counter protesters, by Ersun Warncke

(EUGENE, Ore.) - In politics the simplest messages are the best. If any single message could be elucidated from the Tea Party event held in Eugene, it was one of generalized discontent with government.

Tea Party photos: Ersun Warncke

Strangely, this generalized discontent with government did not extend to the point of keeping local Republican flunkies off the stage.

Dave Ralston gave a speech that was truly indicative of why he has spent 10 years on the Springfield City Council.

Aside from deriding “big government schemers” and a few flubbed lines that would not have been clever even if they had been delivered correctly, he had little of interest to say.

The major accomplishment he cited from his long career was the opening of a new city jail.

Kelly Lovelace, of Pleasant Hill Oregon, seemed slightly more appealing, at least on a personal level.

At least I appreciate living in a State where it is still perfectly acceptable to wear a sport coat over jeans while on the campaign trail.

Lovelace, who is running as a Republican for House District 11, boasts that his family has lived in Oregon since 1843.

He didn’t mention whether or not his ancestors voted in favor of making this an “all white” State, but I didn’t really expect him to. [We were informed by a reader: "The answer is a clear NO. Kelly's great, great, great grandfather was Jesse Applegate and he was strongly opposed to slavery and advocated for the right of the black and the Indians to vote and own property."

His message of “less taxes, less regulation, more jobs for the average man, and no more jobs for state employees” was pretty much standard Republican boiler plate.

I couldn’t stay to hear Art Robinson, but I did grab his flyer. He seems like a mildly psychotic fascist, but other than that, an ok guy.

Eugene tea party images by Ersun Warncke

One of the gems from his flyer is the statement that “Free enterprise is a far more productive economic system than government control. Even if it were not, we would be obliged to use it.”

Flawless logic.

Aside from the Tea Partiers, the Eugene/Springfield Solidarity Network had a few members out working separate pickets.

One group was picketing in front of a bank, while a few lone souls were spreading their anti-war message across from the Tea Party rally.

They had all come from an earlier action held at the Post Office in the morning. Even on tax day, there does not appear to be any deeply passionate anti-government sentiment at work here.

It could have just been the beautiful weather, but everybody seemed pretty happy, even if they were carrying around signs heralding impending bankruptcy, slavery, and doom.

All in all, the Tea Party seemed more like a platform for local Republican flunkies than it did a gathering of people executing a planned political action.

I am sure that there were people there who are seriously concerned about government and social reform, but they did not seem to be dominating the microphone.

=================================== Business/Economy Reporter Ersun Warncke is a native Oregonian. He has a degree in Economics from Portland State University and studied Law at University of Oregon. At a young age, his career spans a wide variety of fields, from fast food, to union labor, to computer programming. He has published works concerning economics, business, government, and media on blogs for several years. He currently works as an independent software designer specializing in web based applications, open source software, and peer-to-peer (P2P) applications.

Ersun describes his writing as being "in the language of the boardroom from the perspective of the shop floor." He adds that "he has no education in journalism other than reading Hunter S. Thompson." But along with life comes the real experience that indeed creates quality writers. Right now, every detail that can help the general public get ahead in life financially, is of paramount importance.

You can write to Ersun at:

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Jane Orient April 18, 2010 6:22 pm (Pacific time)

"Freedom is morally right – and slavery, even when claimed to be well-intentioned and benevolent, is morally wrong." Do you have a problem with that, Ersun? Why did you cut it off your quotation from Art Robinson's campaign literature, which gives it as the reason we would have to prefer free enterprise even if were not much more efficient than the alternatives? You can't make intelligent comments about logic if you don't even read to the end of a sentence.

Hank Ruark April 16, 2010 3:00 pm (Pacific time)

So far,there seems to be as many varieties in the Tea Party as in the more natural version --and they share the same insipidity when immersed in boiling waters of current realities, too. Then there's the generalized confusion of those simply now seeking another site for their ongoing "Denialism"...see my current Op Eds for details.

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