Politicians not welcome at Bakersfield tax protests

Politicians not welcome at Bakersfield tax protests »Play Video
Protestors in Bakersfield participate Wednesday in a nationwide demonstration against taxes. Organizers are calling the demonstrations tea parties, in a reference to the Boston Tea Party.
The speakers at the Bakersfield tea parties — protests against taxes — included a student, teacher and businessman.

But the crowd of 2,500 gathered at the Liberty Bell outside the downtown courthouse never heard from, or cared to hear from, local politicians.

"We don't need to hear from the politicians, we hear from them every day," said Jimmy Davis, who showed up with sign in hand.

Speakers railed against rising taxes, government bailouts for corporations and homeowners facing foreclosures, and against what they said was excessive government spending.

Two protests were held in Bakersfield as part of a nationwide series of protests against taxes held on the deadline day for filing income tax returns.

A noon protest occurred in front of city hall, and a 4:30 p.m. protest occurred at the Liberty Bell.

"Enough is enough," said Vanna Tate, who was at the Liberty Bell event cheering on the speakers. "Politicians, spend it wisely."

The organizer of the event was Julie Demos a teacher in the Bakersfield City school district. Organizers wanted to keep the event out of the hands of the politicians.

"She was brave enough to tell two congressmen they couldn't speak," said KERN radio talk show host Inga Barks. "I thought that was pretty spectacular, because that was the rule that we had set."

By coincidence, Congressman John Boehner of Ohio, who is also the House Republican Leader, was in town to attend a fund raiser for
Congressman Kevin McCarthy.

Boehner and McCarthy were present at the Bakersfield tea party but were not invited to speak.

"We wanted to go to show support, we wanted to go listen, and that's exactly what we did," said McCarthy.

Boehner praised the event and said Congress will listen to what the voters have to say.

"Trust me, we heard a lot from a lot of people that were there," Boehner said. "And, frankly, it was very helpful."