ByÂ Jason Bartolone | Bradenton Patch
Gordon Yaghjian’s reason for attending Saturday’s Tea Party rally wasn’t hard to figure out.
The Bradenton resident and Vietnam veteran carried a neon yellow sign affixed to a 10-foot pole that spelled out exactly what TEA stands for: “Taxed Enough Already.”
“The more money you lose, the more freedom you lose,” said Yaghjian. “You don’t have the choices anymore. You’re not as free as you were.”
Freedom was a central theme at Saturday’s Tax Day Rally, sponsored by Tea Party Manatee and hosted byÂ Mixon Fruit Farms. The event drew a crowd of more than 100 as well as some big names in local and state politics, including Manatee County School Board member Julie Aranibar, District 4 County Commissioner Robin DiSabatino, former State Rep. Bill Galvano and keynote speaker Jeff Atwater, the state’s chief financial officer.
Speakers hammered President Barack Obama for what they said was a failure to create jobs and railed against the nation’s runaway debt, which they see as a trampling of individual liberties.
“Fiscal responsibility is just as much a part of freedom as anything else I know,” said Galvano, a Bradenton Republican who is seeking Mike Bennett’s Florida Senate seat in 2012.
Atwater said the rising debt has ramifications beyond just what America owes to other nations.
“This is a matter of not just an interest rate rising or a debt ceiling pushed further up,” Atwater said. “It is in fact the falling of America’s moral, political and economic strength on this planet. That is real. That’s why we gather this evening.”
To read more, visit:Â http://bradenton.patch.com/articles/local-tea-partiers-call-for-freedom-from-debt
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