Local, state candidates address Meeker Tea Party

Around 90 concerned citizens attended last Thursday’s Meeker Tea Party meeting with Sam Thiessen presiding. Pat Hughes, candidate for Rio Blanco County commissioner, and Bob McConnell, candidate for Congress, in the 3rd Congressional District, spoke and answered questions. Nominations were then taken for officers and details were discussed concerning the upcoming May 6 Tea Party rally.
Pat Hughes was the first speaker of the evening and was asked what the most pressing issues were for the county. Hughes responded, “County Road 5, the Justice Center, Meeker Airport expansion, and delegates attending county meetings.”
When asked how much time he planned to put in as commissioner he answered,‚Äù “It’s a 24/7 job” and that he believes that commissioners need to spend two to three days a week on state issues and make rounds to all county offices. He said he believes that anyone who is going to be in office needs “to work a month in each entity” to get a feel of what it entails. When asked what incentives would be used to bring in small business, he said that cutting impact taxes in half would help, and bringing in someone for public relations to help bring people to Rio Blanco County.
“We don’t have a very big welcome mat and we need to enlarge that,” said Hughes. He also said that he believes in cutting fees that hinder small business from coming to Meeker. “we have a low tax base and we should be proud of that.”
Bob McConnell began his speech by saying he was proud and excited to be here at “the birth of a new Tea Party.” He began by saying that he believes in setting term limits, the Fair Tax Bill, and blocking amnesty legislation. McConnell thinks though, that “debt is our worst problem,” and that “massive cuts in federal spending” would be his first move. When asked about Cap and Trade, he said, that Cap and Trade would be a disaster. McConnell then was asked about the Veteran Administration, which he replied, being a veteran himself, that “I’m gonna be the vet that takes care of the vets.” He continued on other questions about similar topics, such as the space program. McConnell said that he believes that our country needs to have a national goal for this “because our technology comes from it.” Then the next big question was about abortion and he said, “I believe that life begins at conception and that abortion is a tragedy,.”
In closing, McConnell said that we (citizens) need to get out and vote and that “I will bring transparency and accountability to the office.”
Both candidates addressed a common issue: People’s lack of trust of the government. Their concern seemed to be they believed that the government, whether, local or federal, is arrogant and beyond listening to the people. Both McConnell and Hughes agreed and said if they were elected that they would listen and work for the people.
Everyone is invited to tonight’s Tea Party Rally that will be held at Northwest Auto parking lot on Market Street between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Bring your signs and flags and come and join the cause and let your voice be heard. Lawn chairs are recommended. For more information, call Lois Sampson at 878-3451 or Sheila Purvis at 878-3638.
The Meeker Tea Party will have its next meeting May 13 at the Rio Blanco Fairgrounds at 7 p.m. Officers will be elected and county commissioner candidates Wendy Gutierrez and Shawn Bolton will be speaking as will Jack Segrest, an independent candidate for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.