Event to spread grassroots message

50,000 people could attend Tea Party Patriots rally
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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This Sunday a Sacramento event will give members of the Tea Party Patriots a chance to network and express their opinions about government. The Tea Party Patriots are one branch of the national Tea Party organization. The Tea Party Patriots are a nonprofit, non-partisan group that believes in small government, fiscal responsibility and free markets, or capitalism, according to Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots. The Patriots division of the Tea Party was founded in March 2009, Meckler said. A group rally is scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at McClellan Park on Peacekeeper Drive in Sacramento. According to a press release, between 25,000 and 50,000 people are expected to attend. Steve Cavolt, an Auburn resident and member of the Norcal Tea Party Patriots chapter, said there are concrete reasons for Sunday’s event. “The purpose of Sunday’s rally is the rejection of socialism, out of control government spending and a rejection of more government control and regulations,” Cavolt said. Cavolt also said he thinks the meeting has a special significance being on Sept. 12, the day all Americans were united after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Cavolt said he wants people to understand the difference of the Tea Party Patriots from the Tea Party Nation and Tea Party Express in that Tea Party Patriots are nonprofit groups that don’t back any particular political party. “We are the only grassroots Tea Party in that we don’t accept any political action money,” he said. There will be three Tea Party Patriot rallies in the United States on Sunday, but the Sacramento event is the only one on the West Coast, Cavolt said. There are currently 2,800 chapters of Tea Party Patriots nationwide, Cavolt said. Notable people speaking at or attending the event include former Sen. HL Richardson of Gun Owners of America, Congressman Tom McClintock, Assemblyman Ted Gaines, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore and more, according to the press release. Cavolt said although politicians will be in attendance, they are not allowed to promote themselves through campaign speeches. Meckler said although the Tea Party Patriots don’t show support for any particular candidates, he hopes whoever is voted into office can keep the country’s budget under control. “One of the things I hope comes out of the November election … is as a nation we start being as responsible with our budget as we expect individual families to be (with theirs),” Meckler said. Meckler said he also thinks the country needs to return to the ideals created by our founding fathers in our Constitution, and have less interference from the government. “I think people need to begin to realize everywhere the government sticks its fingers ends up being an absolute mess,” he said. Meckler said the Tea Party Patriots don’t get involved in controversial subjects such as gay marriage or abortion. “We believe for decades the politicians have used those issues as wedge issues to draw Americans apart,” he said. Meckler said he encourages people to attend the rally if they haven’t been involved with a Tea Party Patriots event before. Brian Washman, chairman of the Placer County Democratic Party, said he thinks the Tea Party Patriot’s message of small government can sometimes go too far, because government is here to protect citizens. “If we completely unregulate, we are just going to have complete chaos,” Washman said. Washman said he understands why people would be angry at the current state of our country, but believes there might be some information floating around. “Misinformation can cause people to direct their anger in the wrong direction,” he said. Mark Rosen, president of the Auburn Area Democratic Club, said he would like to have a dialogue about some of the values of the Tea Party Patriots. “We are all for limited government, especially where it comes to intrusions to our privacy like unchecked wiretaps,” Rosen said. “On the other hand, most of us want certain services like education, police, fire and military security, roads, etc. We all love the idea of the free market, and totally free markets would be great if it weren’t for greed, which is the reality we are now experiencing. And as for fiscal responsibility, would it be responsible for the government to just let our financial system collapse? Would we be better off now? There is plenty of room for a real and productive conversation, and I hope we get that instead of angry shouting.” Reach Bridget Jones at