Hundreds from Triangle head to Washington

August 27, 2010 10:03:58 AM PDT
Hundreds of Tea Party supporters headed to Washington from the Triangle Friday to participate in the Americans for Prosperity rally this weekend.

Members of Americans of Prosperity boarded eight buses in North Carolina and four of those buses departed from the Triangle.

The organization has participated in rallies before, but Tea Partiers hope this weekend's rally will be the biggest and th last before November's election.

"You and I could not possibly manage our finances, our home, the way government is doing and have the least hope that we would fix things up," Tea Party member and Cary resident Bob Price told ABC11 Eyewitness News.

Organizers say when they return, they plan to campaign to get politicians' attention.

"The government needs to be held accountable for what they're doing and they're not," Price said. "We are not astro-turf. We are grass roots, red blooded American people. You are going to listen to us."

Before the rally kicks off, the group will hold its own summit, which is called Defending the American Dream.

Dave and Meg Smith were among the hundreds of Triangle residents who left from Raleigh.

"We feel the government has gotten far too big for far too long, and we hope meetings like this will change that," Dave Smith said.

The Smiths and Americans for Prosperity hope to educate members of the group how to be better activists. Also, they hope to further educate the public as to what the group is about.

"I think there are a lot of people who certainly misportray us with negative connotations and it's unfortunate," Meg Smith said.

Tea Partiers typically take their trip in the fall, but they moved the event up this year to coincide with Glen Beck's Restoring Honor Rally. That rally takes place on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

The choice to chose that date is causing controversy, although Beck and Americans for Prosperity say the choice of the date is unintentional.

"All of us have a right to express our views, and there's a lot of us who have a dream now, and the dream is to get the government off our backs," said Dallas Woodhouse, Americans for Prosperity state director.

The political season usually does not start until after Labor Day, but Conservatives say they are trying to get a head start.

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