Chariho School Parents’ Forum

April 15, 2009

Tea Party today 3:00 at the State House

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 11:59 am

If you have not heard about the Tea Party by now, you haven’t been watching TV (Fox, MSNBC, all locals), listening to the radio (all stations), or reading the papers (too many to list).  In the last week alone, the organizers have been in the media on average twice a day. The weather is magnificent – a perfect day for a revolution.  I hope you can make it –

below is the press release with a list of speakers.  Please note to what extent this is a non-partisan event. NO politicians – although I know they asked Senator sitting politician at the State House who has signed the tax pledge (says you won’t raise taxes) – and he is a Democrat.  Also note that both John DePetro and Helen Glover are speaking (competitors in the 6 to 10 radio time slot) and both stations will be running feeds.  This really is an awakening.  OSPRI is honored to be its sponsor.



The Providence Tax Day Tea Party announces its list of speakers for the big day. Twenty people from all walks of life will tell you why they have had enough.
“The most frequent question I am asked is, ‘what’s this all about?,” said Colleen Conley, coordinator for the Tea Party. “This event is all about people saying, “we have had enough”.”
The RI Tea Party website sites “Reduce Spending and Cut Taxes” as its message but that can mean many things to many people.
“This event is about the teacher who sees mediocrity rewarded the same as excellence and he has had enough,” said Conley. “This event is about the business man who has seen taxes that caused him to lay off employees and he has had enough. This event is about a carpenter that works hard to support his family and pay his mortgage but he doesn’t want to be taxed to pay for someone else’s mortgage. He has had enough. All of our speakers will tell their story why they have had enough.”
Pasted below is the list of speakers with a tentative agenda and times.
“We are honored to have all of them,” said Conley. “This could very well be the most diverse group of speakers ever to be at one event. Please come join us and hear every one of their stories.”


Helen Glover – is a radio talk show host on WHJJ who fights the good fight every day. Her dedication is a clear indication that she has had enough. Helen will be the Masters of Ceremony for the event.


Colleen Conley – is a wife, mother and business person who was so outraged about runaway spending and taxation that she decided to hold a rally in Rhode Island. She, obviously, has had enough.


Introduce the crew.  Marina, Kristen, Nan, Cheryl, Rachel, Ron and Bill.  We have all had enough.


We would like to take a moment of silence for our troops and to have an inner reflection as you so choose.


Pledge of Allegiance. 


Back to Helen – MC


Bill Felkner – has been a school committee member fighting for school choice, a town councilor fighting for low taxes and is the president of the Rhode Island Association of Scholars and the Ocean State Policy Research Institute, the primary sponsor of this event. Being that involved, clearly Bill has had enough.


John DePetro – is a radio talk show host on WPRO and rails against the special interest groups on a daily basis. Even though those groups have formally organized against him, he continues to yell, “I have had enough.”


Walter Muzzy – is a descendant of one of the eight militia men killed during the battle of Lexington on April 19th, 1775 and will be reciting the inscription of the shot heard around the world – because he has had enough of a lack of respect for what our founding fathers died for.


Father Giacomo Capoverdi- is a priest and former assistant to the State Legislature and two Providence Mayors who has watched government grow as it takes the place of family, faith and friends.  He has had enough.


Jason Matera- is a former Roger William University student who now works with the Young Americans Foundation and has had enough of the statist movement that is influencing academia.


Brian Buongiovanni – is just a regular guy, he works in a print shop and lives a regular life. As a matter of fact Brian is the “Regular Guy” who writes for Motif magazine and you can read his columns weekly as he rants that he too has had enough.


Justin Katz – is a carpenter who has watched the average working class family fall farther and farther behind. He created an online avenue to influence change called Anchorrising and he travels the state blogging live at town council and school committee meeting so the citizens can become more involved. He has really had enough.


Ellen Kenner – is a clinical psychologist in private practice, and host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show, The Rational Basis of Happiness. She will read a piece from Ayn Rand because she has had enough.


Jeff Deckman – is a business man and consultant who has watched businesses leave Rhode Island faster than our pension dollars. He has had enough.


Bob Cushman – is a business man and has been involved in municipal politics and has had enough of runaway healthcare costs and irresponsible government.


Edward Hathaway – is a teacher who has watched from the inside how throwing more money at education hasn’t gotten the job done – he has had enough.


Jim Beale – is a retired CEO who runs the Rhode Island State Wide coalition that lobbies the State House because they have had enough of our politicians not listening to us.


Brian Bishop – is a property owner in Providence who deals with the onerous regulations present in the state. He has had more than enough.


Stefan Tabak – is a Mechanical Engineer and has worked in defense as a civil servant for 22 years. He is a regional coordinator for because he has had enough of our tax structure.


Bob Healey – is a lawyer and businessman who could have saved the state $4mm if he won his race for Lt. Governor because on his first day on the job he would have abolished the office. He has had enough of wasteful spending.


Chuck Barton – is a businessman who leads Operation Clean Government, a group of individuals that keep an eye on corruption in Rhode Island and they have all had enough.


Jon Scott – used to work with group home kids in Providence and has seen how the statist government nanny state has destroyed our culture.  He has had enough.


Ambassador J. William Middendorf- has served a number of presidential administrations in high-level positions, including Secretary of the Navy and Ambassador to the European Communities, the Organization of American States, and the Netherlands. He has a unique view of both America and the world and he too has had enough (and has for a long time!).


Close with the crew (Colleen, Marina, Nan, Cheryl, Rachel, Ron and Bill) and speak about where we go from here. The “Tea Party” will live on – we must make sure they hear our voice and that they respond.

WHAT: Providence Tax Day Tea Party

WHEN: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 from 3:00 to 6:00pm

WHERE:Rhode Island State House (City Side steps across from the Providence Place Mall)

Please bring a non-perishable food item for the Food Drive
Parking Available at the Providence Place Mall garage.



  1. Have listen to the Tea Party on WRPO Streaming. Sounds like a resounding success. Only one negative caller who apparently is a bag man for what is going on according to those that no him. Congratulation to all involved and Thanks to the Ocean State Policy Research Institute for sponsoring such a successful event. Operation Clean Government has their event on April 25th at the Quonset ‘O’ Club. Http”// for information.

    Bill Felkner you keep doing it. I know you will take a back seat to the organizers of the event and I respect that. You should all be proud.

    Comment by james hirst — April 15, 2009 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

  2. reserve by October 18th, 2009

    Comment by james hirst — April 15, 2009 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

  3. pinging in during the night as I listen to the fall out. Will do so good or bad. Matt Allen show at 6:26 a lot of amped up people.

    Comment by james hirst — April 15, 2009 @ 6:27 pm | Reply

  4. There was quite a crowd there today, estimates were around 3000. The first few hours had many people come and go so the total is probably higher than most estimates. The plaza itself was constantly jammed, people were pushed out onto the lawn.

    Comment by RS — April 15, 2009 @ 6:46 pm | Reply

  5. I’ve been dropped of the streaming and trying to get back on, but have the two day old pod casts going on. Rhode Island garbage in garbage out. on April 25th at Quonset ‘O’ Club in North Kingstown Ri has an event that closes by Saturday the 18th. click on

    Glad to know you witnessed it RS our Man on the Street or Women and your reporting back on the event.

    Comment by james hirst — April 15, 2009 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  6. Make a donation to Ocean State Policy Research Institute see the website,

    Comment by james hirst — April 15, 2009 @ 7:17 pm | Reply

  7. Hi All,
    I went to the Providence tea party with my wife and one of my kids. We had to leave around 5:30 to pick up my son. Listening to the talk shows on the way home they made it sound like the tea party had an undefined intent. My family’s intent was to vocally encourage politicians to stop spending so damn much money. They are well past spending my money and they are now spending my kids money which hasn’t even been earned yet!

    One talking head was acting as if it is no big deal because 95% of us are supposedly going to get a tax cut. I don’t want it. I know if they are spending money eventually we have to pay. If not me then my kids will pay. There shouldn’t be tax cuts when they are spending more. This is a trick to keep us quiet but the joke is on the next generation when the bill comes due.

    The effort to stop the spending has to start in our towns. I will not vote for another school or town budget until the politicians learn to control themselves. I have a good job yet I’m wearing $12 pants bought at TJ Maxx and $10 shoes bought at Bldg. 19. My employer hasn’t given me a raise in over 2 years. I’m not complaining. The economy is bad but why do the towns and schools conduct business as usual while my family in constantly looking for ways to reduce our spending?

    Bill Felkner was prominent at the tea party. His company OSPRI was the main sponsor and we should all be proud to have him as a local citizen! Good job Bill and good job to everyone who showed up at the tea party!

    Comment by Jim L. — April 15, 2009 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

  8. The Tea Parties are nice to see, but like the Chariho situation, until, and unless, we start changing our voting habits no change will come. We are a Republic and I believe this is the way to go, direct democracy will not ensure our liberties and freedoms, the only chance is as a Republic. That said, if we elect politicians who care about special interests and getting re-elected more than anything else, then we see what we get…we get Chariho. We’ve been making the same mistakes for decades…unless voters wake up soon our steady decline continues.

    Kudos to Mr. Felkner for once again being front and center in defense of families. Let’s hope the Tea Parties are the beginning and not the end.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 15, 2009 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

  9. Considering we are in RI, located in the northeast, where the likes of ultra liberal politicians hail from and the unions and corruption are on the daily menu, the turnout was more than I expected considering most people were working at the time of the event.
    There was some activity up on the 2nd floor looking down on the crowd until whomever had the microphone pointed them out and turned the crowd on them, at which point they quickly scurried back indoors….pretty funny.

    Comment by RS — April 15, 2009 @ 9:57 pm | Reply

  10. ProJo estimated the crowd at about 1,000 and reported the organizers were predicting 2,000 to 3,000 protestors.

    WPRO estimated the crowd at 2,000 to 3,000 protestors and reported the organizers were hoping for at least 500.

    So one of the media outlets is lying. So I went back and did a little research and found this excerpt – “RHODE ISLAND: The Providence tea party kicked off at 3:00 today, but the smallest state in the country has lined up over 20 speakers, from average moms to radio talk show hosts. The protest is being held on the State House steps. They expect over 500 attendees.”

    So it would seem that the organizers did use the 500 figure. ProJo is attempting to misrepresent the story.

    NBC 10 reported that cigarettes taxes were a concern of the Tea Party protestors. I’ve watched several videos and I’ve seen numerous pictures from the event, and not once have I seen mention of cigarette taxes.

    While taxes were obviously highlighted, the focus seemed to be more on government spending than government taxes. Maybe what I’ve found on the internet isn’t the complete picture… RS or Jim L. could provide in person accounts of what was protested and what was not?

    Once again the media is in the tank for government spending. Local, state, and national, “journalists” indoctrinated by their socialist college professor remain committed to the cause. As Mrs. Buck recently reminded me, don’t believe everything, or maybe even anything, reported by the media. They play fast and loose wtih the facts.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 15, 2009 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

  11. On the national stage, CNN once again provided shameful coverage. Click on the link below to see the actual video as the CNN journalist decides to defend the government and Obama rather than let the facts speak for themselves. You’ve got to see it to believe it.

    CNN’s Susan Roesgen is dripping with contempt for Chicago’s Tea Party protesters. Here is how she begins her “report”: “This is a Party for Obama bashers.” Here is how her “report” ends: “I think you get the general tenor of this. It’s anti-government, anti-CNN since this is highly promoted by the right-wing conservative network FOX. And since I can’t really hear much more, and I think this is not really family viewing, I’ll toss it back to you Kyra.”

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 15, 2009 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  12. CR, where did you get that quote. I just wrote the paper expressing my displeasure. Not only did they get the number wrong on how many people weere there, but they also got it wrong what we estimated. our goal was 1000 and we had 300+ signed up on facebook – so 500 to 1000 was our hope. what is the link? I will send it to them (I guess we have to do their investigative reporter jobs now too)

    Comment by Bill Felkner — April 15, 2009 @ 10:35 pm | Reply

  13. Here’s the ProJo excerpt – “PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Hundreds gathered Wednesday afternoon in front of the State House to protest the federal government’s spending plan to help weather a global economic recession.

    Similar grassroots campaigns drew thousands of frustrated Americans around the nation Wednesday.

    The rally in front of the Rhode Island State House started at 3 p.m. It broke up shortly before 6 p.m. Although the rally’s promoters had predicted a turnout of 2,000 to 3,000, a headcount by The Journal indicated the figure was closer to 1,000.”

    Here’s the link (while it lasts):

    OSPRI gets mentioned and linked – “At least here in Rhode Island, organizers say the tea parties are not formally connected to any political party or interest group. Many of those expected to attend, however, are supporters of Republican candidates and/or fiscally conservative advocacy groups such as the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition and the Ocean State Policy Research Institute.”

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 15, 2009 @ 10:48 pm | Reply

  14. Funny link CR. Google CNN ratings, and you’ll see a chart similar to the stock market…..tanking. Wonder why.

    Comment by RS — April 15, 2009 @ 10:50 pm | Reply

  15. Her dumbest line was about “family viewing”. Nothing occurred that was offensive or threatening to any child.

    Like most leftist journalists she was simply unable to control her rage at the mere thought that people actually want to keep the money they earn…very funny…very typical of the sad state of journalism.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 15, 2009 @ 11:26 pm | Reply

  16. I wouldn’t even credit her with the title “leftist journalist”. She actually reminded me of my 3 yr old when she’s not getting her way. I did notice a sign not too far in the back slamming republicans, wonder why she didn’t pick that person…..oh yeah…didn’t fit the agenda.

    Comment by RS — April 16, 2009 @ 9:55 am | Reply

  17. Great sign was getting rid of Amy Rice in Portsmouth. Some one who didn’t get enough of Daddies attention at some point. Do the tax payers pay for mental health care or only Amy’s. How and where was that approved if so. God’s gift to only Amy hopefully not portsmouth Taxpayers. That is one mirror with more than a few cracks. Talk about a person who cuts a tragic figure. Will the state be on the hook for that waiting to be played out tragedy to happen?

    Comment by Trevor — April 16, 2009 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  18. Hi!
    Amy Rice can be defeated. She defeated a Republican, incumbent Christine Callahan, a couple of terms back. She has one of the most winnable seats for Republicans. Check out her electoral performance at ,.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — April 17, 2009 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

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