Organizers of tax-day tea parties are preparing for their biggest day of the year Thursday, as thousands of demonstrators participate in local rallies against high taxes and big government spending. But the leaders are striving to keep the rallies from presenting another image: one of fringe groups, extremists or infiltrators obsessed with hateful messages.Maybe they should take a look at this guy in Ohio:
Sensitive that poor public perception could sink their movement, some rally planners have uninvited controversial speakers, beefed up security and urged participants to pack cameras to capture evidence of any disrupters. Organizers want to project a peaceful image of people upset by a growing and burdensome federal government.
"We don't want to be misrepresented, whether it's by someone who is not part of the group and has their own agenda, or whether it's by some fringe extremist who may actually be a racist," said Jim Hoft, a political blogger and tea party activist who is one of the speakers for a rally in suburban St. Louis.
Police are searching for a local Tea Party leader in Ohio who is wanted for violating a temporary protection order. Meanwhile, speakers at a Tea Party rally organized by the man, Brian "Sonny" Thomas, have pulled out after he suggested in a tweet that he wanted to shoot Hispanic immigrants -- then blaming it on a Bee Gees song.For the record Thomas has denied the allegations of domestic abuse:
Thomas is the founder and president of the Springboro Tea Party in southwest Ohio. He faces a misdemeanor charge after recently going to the home of the mother of his son, in violation of a protection order. The woman had previously told police that their son had returned from Thomas's home with bruises.
Thomas had already been in hot water, after he tweeted during a march in support of immigration reform: "Illegals everywhere today! So many spicks makes me feel like a speck. Grr. Where's my gun?"
Thomas's son, and the son's mother, are Hispanic.
In a phone interview, Thomas denied ever bruising his son, as was alleged in a domestic violence child protection order, and emphasized his anger was focused on illegal immigrants and not legal American citizens with mixed heritage, like his son.Here's that BeeGees song. The "Spicks and Specks" line is about a minute or so in (just before the Barry Manilow modulation):
Where are the girls I left all behind, the spicks and the specks of the girls on my mind?