Small, Determined Tea Party Crowd at Mission Viejo Tax Day Protest 2012

Conservatives rallied for lower taxes and smaller government Monday night. But there were fewer protesters than in the past.

Has the Mission Viejo Tea Party movement lost some steam?

Certainly that's not the case for the 38 or so protesters Monday night riling up passing cars at La Paz and Marguerite to support smaller government and lower taxes.

But since the first tax day rally in 2009, the number of protesters has dropped each year. Organizers estimated a crowd of 700 in 2010. In 2011 .

Attendants gave different reasons for the shrinking attendance. Tea Party patriot Lamar Kelsoe said not enough time was spent organizing the protest. Participants were told about two weeks before the event, he said.

Protester Karl Heft had other reasons. He pointed out the county Republican meeting was being held at the same time, which could have siphoned off some protesters. Monday is also a tough day for protests, he said.

He said election fatigue from the long Republican nomination may be wearing on some of the party faithful.

Heft also said some of the missing protesters might have been trying to figure out their taxes--"and how to pay for them."

Those that attended wore red, white and blue. There were depictions of eagles and lots of American flags were waved. Signs with clever phrases encouraged passers-by to vote against President Barack Obama in the November election.

Heft and his wife Janine brought their two young children to the protest. As "God Bless the USA" played on the loudspeaker, Heft and his son waved at passing cars.

"I love this song," he said as it started.

Janine and Karl Heft work together in mortgage brokerage. Karl is vice president of the California Republican Assembly, a volunteer wing of the Republican party founded by Ronald Reagan.

Karl said the Tea Party has drawn independents and some conservative Democrats into the Republican party.

"The government seems to be the only one without a recession," he said, adding that while other costs drop, taxes remain steady.

During the protest Todd Spitzer held up a package of traditional light bulbs. Spitzer, who is running for Orange County supervisor, said it was unfair of the government to phase out the standard lightbulb in favor of more efficient and more expensive alternatives.

Spitzer served as emcee for the evening protest, as he had last year.

When asked , 53 percent of readers said no, while 46 percent said yes.

Danean Here April 18, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Are you really a representative of Spitzer's campaign? I love Spitzer. The tone of this post doesn't sound like something he'd endorse.
Matt Corrigan April 19, 2012 at 02:39 AM
How interesting that everyone claiming to be the "real tea party" was NOT there, or may I add, ANYWHERE else that I know of on the patriot protest on tax day. And while excessive taxation and the U.S. economy are headed the way of Greece all they can do is demean and condemn long time leaders of Conservatism. I noticed the grass roots conservative Republican CRA endorsed Todd Sptizer. Now the vocal anarchist, libertarian, attack crowd is ready to tear it all down.What a shame this group still weighs in on matters they have only been involved in in the last 2 or 3 years. All the hard work to walk the precincts, call voters, enlist others to fight corruption, and support conservative candidates and all the cost in time, resources and energy to get out the voters and get out the message and the vote and all they can do is tell us (many of us have been in the fight for years), who is an who is not conservative. This is not productive or even wise. But the election of a lifetime is coming this fall and a Constitutional Republic stands in the balance. If you really believe in Conservative values and Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness then go to work on whatever constructive path you want but please don't obstruct what you claim to believe in. If you think that becoming an instant candidate or conservative leader overnight is something you should do fine, go do it. No one is standing in your way... but you. God bless the U.S.A.
Cathy April 19, 2012 at 07:26 AM
Ron Paulers use the same argument you do, "we were the first tea party!" If MV Tea Party is a real tea party then Scott Baugh and Spitzer would not have been invited because they don't reflect the tea party views. The tea party is trying to right the Republican party because it has fallen so far short over the years. Aren't we Republicans still losing voters to Decline to State, Undecided and American Independent. I saw those stats; it doesn't look good for all the "tea party" work the GOP has been doing. There has always been talk around the country of the tea party movement being hijacked by the GOP for their advantage. I just think that's what Baugh is trying to do and union supported Spitzer wants to take advantage of the tea party name. I wouldn't be so adamant if we were so close to tyranny. If you compare union supported Spitzer to patriot Pauly, if you really love your country versus the R-party, then the vote should go to Pauly. Pauly has always, always voted for WE THE PEOPLE and has had the courage to tackle the controversial issues. We need more politicians like her!
Cathy April 19, 2012 at 07:34 AM
Let's see union supported Todd Spitzer or Deborah Pauly who stood up for Arizona, who spoke out against ObamaCare, who had the courage to speak out against radical Islam and desires to protect American citizens. Didn't I hear Todd got fired from one of his positions and didn't he get scolded for telling a lie? By the way pulling out the light bulb issue at the tea party was really funny, as if that was going to resonate with the tea partiers, ha, ha! It's union money corruption, payback that will resonate with the tea partiers, but I guess that's not an issue you can rightfully tackle. Voters, pay attention: it's insanity to expect something different if you do the same thing over and over again like put Todd back into office.
Mary April 19, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Cathy, The OCGOP & Scott or me or whoever has not hijacked the tea party. Like I said before, we were tea partiers before tea party was cool.Scott is more conservative than most. To answer your question, no, we are not losing more Republicans, infact we are regaining the tea partiers. Check the ROV. We have been registering in huge numbers. You know Cathy, you don't have to be so judgemental. You are not in charge of anyone or anything. I am not supporting Deb, but I am certainly not going to beat up on her. We disagree on some things, but that's the way it goes. You feel compelled to be hateful & accuse the OCGOP of things that are simply not true, but how would you know, you never get involved with us to see all the work we do on behalf of conservatives. I am not writing anymore, I have three races to win. In closing, Cathy, try to understand, everyone is not perfect like you and you don't need to always be mean and hateful to others. Go out and do good stuff like the rest of the Tea Partiers do. God Bless this great country!


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