Grassroots Group Grabs Attention

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

Government spending has become a major issue nationwide over the last several months.

Congressmen have faces tough questions from constituents at town hall meetings discussing proposed health care reform and its potential cost and scope.

A group in the Meridian area is as frustrated as anyone. It sponsored a pair of 'TEA Party' demonstrations this year, 'TEA' standing for 'Taxed Enough Already'. Another event is being planned for September.

Eight weeks ago, MeridianTeaParty.com was unknown.

"It has come to a point where we feel like voting alone isn't enough anymore," said Paul Tarver, one of a handful of locals who started the grassroots organization through a Web site he designed.

Tarver said it actually started from a group of friends passing around an e-mail that had been written to vent some frustrations with recent actions of the federal government.

"I'm not sure yelling and screaming and causing some of the problems is the way to go, but I will tell you, I understand the frustration," said Tarver of some meetings held in other parts of the country.

Now, it has more followers on Facebook and at community meetings than Tarver ever thought possible.

"MeridianTeaParty.com.com got started, at best, by six people staring in two different directions, who ended up joining forces," said Tarver, who owns Quality PC.

"There are three things that we think are primary things we need to focus on," said Tarver. "That's Constitutional fidelity, fiscal responsibility on the part of our leaders, and personal responsibility, meaning we need to take our own action to live up to the duties and expectations that our founding fathers had of us. That's what MeridianTeaParty.com is all about."

It seems like MeridianTeaParty.com is a protest group, but Tarver says that is far from the truth. He says it's a group supporting a cause, and that cause is the United States Constitution.

"There is a firm belief by a lot of people that our elected officials are not reading the Constitution," said Tarver. "There are a lot of people in America who have never read the Constitution."

According to the group, Tea Party Patriots, there are at least 150 yea Party groups in the nation right now.

Tea Parties have been held in no fewer than 750 cities. Some estimates put the total number of people taking part in these efforts at half a million.


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