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Apr 15 / Elizabeth DiNovella

Mad Tea Party

The Tea Partiers held a Tax Day demo at the Wisconsin state capital today. The local organizers said the crowd totaled 12,000. Seemed like a stretch. Much closer to 3000.

Tommy Thompson took the stage late in the rally. His face was as red as his tie. He was so fired up, I was worried he’d have a heart attack and we would see “ObamaCare” in action.

Rumors have been flying about the possibility of Tommy running against Russ Feingold this year. Much to the dismay of the people who chanted “Run, Tommy, Run,” he has decided not to. Like just about everyone else who spoke, he had a very pro-God ending.

I did speak to Terrence Wall, a local Madison developer, who is running against Feingold. He criticized Feingold, saying he’s been in office since 1982 and is now a career politician. “He hasn’t accomplished anything,” said Wall.

Wall said that his top priority is to get jobs started and rebuild confidence in the state, and “get government out of the way.”

I asked him, given what he said about the government being in the way, where he came down on civil liberties. Would he have voted for the Patriot Act? (Feingold was the only Senator to vote against it.)

Wall said he would have voted for the Patriot Act. It’s about “striking a balance” between security and rights. “I’m for civil liberties,” he said. “And they’re going after terrorists; they aren’t going after you and me.”

Well what about the No Fly Lists? “I had a friend who was on one of the those by mistake.”

Wall should be an easy target for Dems. Wall says he’s against taxes, and oh, is he ever. According to the Capital Times, “Wall has not paid personal state income taxes in nine of the past 10 years, according to the state Department of Revenue. That’s quite remarkable, as Wall is a son of privilege who has always enjoyed great wealth and whose real estate empire has, according to his own campaign spokesman, incurred tens of millions of dollars in tax obligations over the past five years.”

The Capital Times continues: “Let’s consider Feingold’s record. According to Department of Revenue figures, the senator paid net taxes between $6,000 and $9,400 each year from 1999 to 2008. So how come Russ Feingold pays more net taxes than Terrence Wall? That’s easy. Feingold’s one of the great mass of Americans who work hard, pay their taxes and try to abide by the rules. Wall’s one of the elite few who think that their money and position give them the privilege to write a special set of rules for themselves. Feingold thinks everyone should pay their fair share. Wall thinks that working Americans should pay their fair share — and his.”

Top Ten Signs at the Mad Tea Party:

“One Nation Under God, not Obama”
“Your dog has birth papers Do You Mr. President”
“First they ignore you . . . Then they laugh at you . . .then they try to fight you . . . then you win. –Gandhi”
“Cap your income and Trade your freedom”
“Chris Matthews needs a diaper change”
“Teach a man to fish and you lose a Democrat voter”
“On the eighth day, God created capitalism”
“Free markets not Free loaders”
“I will not grab my ankles”
“Social Justice sucks if you work hard”

There were some non-Tea Party people around too. A group of young women with glasses and short hair had signs that read “Giving tea a bad name.”

But the most ironic moment was hearing the organizers blaring Rage Against the Machine. Huh?

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