NC Tea Partiers gear up for campaign season

RALEIGH The traditional campaign season does not usually start until after Labor Day, but conservatives are trying to get a head start with another big bus rally in Washington this weekend.

Partiers say they are extremely motivated this year.

"I expect very shortly that we are going to have an economic collapse," Cary resident Bob Price said.

Brier Creek resident Dee Smith says her home value has already collapsed. She's trying to sell her house for $200,000 less than what she was first asking 18 months ago.

"I'm a retired person now," Smith said. "I've got my house up for sale. And I don't see any change in what's happening."

In the meantime, Tea Partiers hope this weekend will be the biggest and last bus rally before November's election, which they hope will shake up the federal government.

"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," Price said.

Immigration is another hot button for conservatives.

"All four of my grandparents came here on the boat from Hungary and they didn't ask anybody if they could speak Hungarian. And they were proud to be here," Smith said.

Organizers say the weekend rallies are billed not just for Republicans, but conservatives and independents. But when they come back, they plan to campaign to get the 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," Smith said. "We are grass roots, red blooded American people. You are going to listen to us."

Beginning early Friday morning, Americans for Prosperity will drive eight buses from North Carolina, and four of those are from the Triangle area. They say their seats are all sold out.

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