St. Paul Tax Day Tea Party features Bachmann, smaller crowd

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Hundreds gathered at the Minnesota Capitol on Thursday for a Tax Day Tea Party to express their displeasure with President Obama and the economic policies of Democrats. While no politicians were invited to speak, Rep. Michele Bachmann was allowed to phone in a message to attendees in which she called Democrats “piggies” who look at Tea Partiers as “chumps.”

The rally marked the second year of April 15 Tea Party protests on the Capitol lawn (non-Tea Party tax protests have been ongoing for a number of years), and this year’s crowd paled in comparison to last year’s large number.

Minnesota Public Radio put the number at “hundreds,” the Minnesota Daily counted “more than 500,” and the Associated Press guessed it could have been “several hundred.”

By contrast, last year’s event drew 8,000 people, according to the Minnesota Daily, and 2,000, according to the Strib, while KARE 11 put the number near 10,000.

Many bloggers, concerned citizens and leaders of nonprofits and government watchdog groups took the the stage to express their anger over the passage of health care reform, decry higher taxes and vow to defeat the Democrats in November.

The highest-profile Tea Party figure to speak was Bachmann, who phoned in a speech between votes in Washington, DC.

“The tea party patriots of today are exhibiting the exact same spirit as the tea party patriots of Boston Harbor,” she said. “You are not chumps. You are not going to be played as fools by this government.”

She advocated for constitutional conservatives in government. “We need replacements in St. Paul, Minnesota, in our state house, in our state legislature, but we desperately need to pull that gavel out of Nancy Pelosi’s hand. And she will be done as speaker of the house.”

She continued, “And so what we have to do now is to take matters into our own hands, which we are doing, and this November we will peel back their numbers. And so we are going to say, ‘All you little piggies, you need to leave. You need to leave Washington D.C.’”

According to the Pioneer Press, Bachmann asked to address the crowd even though politicians were excluded from the speaking list. Emcee Toni Backdahl said they agreed to honor her request because “she stands up for our core values.”

Hand-made signs were prevalent at the event. Here are a few examples:

Photos: Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent