Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Secure Arkansas/Tea Party Health Care Protest In Little Rock

by John Allison III, Tea Party of Lonoke County

Today, outside of Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office, Secure Arkansas held a rally/protest calling on the AG to; 1) join the many other states in filing lawsuits to challenge the constitutionality of the recently passed federal health care legislation; and 2) immediately approve Secure Arkansas' ballot measure concerning Freedom of Choice in Health Care for Arkansans.

Secure Arkansas director Jeannie Burlsworth told the crowd the recently passed health care bill is unconstitutional and a step toward a Socialist America. Now that President Obama has signed the bill into law, our next step must be through the judicial system. McDaniel said Arkansas will not join the dozen or so Attorneys General from other states who filed suit to stop the unconstitutional law. The Arkansas AG says any such suit would be frivolous and has "more to do with politics than the law."

Burlsworth then offered her microphone to any protester who wished to address the crowd. And, as those of us who've been involved in the Tea Parties all along would expect, not one racial slur or derogatory comment toward any minority group was uttered. Though the mainstream media would have you believe these protesters are rabid racists and hate-mongering homophobes, the protest was completely peaceful.

A young Iraq War veteran took the mic and explained to the crowd that he didn't fight "for Socialism, or Communism." Several mothers stood in front of the crowd and said they only want their children to grow up free as they did. A woman who said she was a doctor's wife said her husband wanted to be at the rally, but was busy treating patients in his clinic. She relayed his messages for the crowd via text message, explaining Obamacare would drive patients to government insurance options, raise costs, lower reimbursement rates, and eventually drive doctors from the field, leaving fewer providers to treat more patients. A recipe for disaster.

Several political hopefuls were present as well. Both Republican candidates for Arkansas' 2nd Congressional district seat, Scott Wallace and Tim Griffin, showed up to announce their support for the Secure Arkansas and Tea Party initiatives, as did Republican US Senate candidate Jim Holt. All three spent quite a bit of time visiting with rally-goers, explaining what they would do to relieve protesters' fears for the future of their country.

Scott Wallace greets votersTim Griffin and K. Ryan James

Jim Holt addresses protesters

Lonoke County's own Jack McNally, aspiring to replace double-dipping Tax Assessor Jerry Adams in November, also made the trip to Little Rock. Describing himself as a Tax Assessor who hates taxes, McNally worked the crowd and said he was surprised at the number of Lonoke County voters he met there.

Jack McNally (left front) speaks with votersMcNally (center) holding protest sign

Attendees from Lonoke, Carlisle, Cabot, Conway, Russellville, Benton, and McRae were all present. And of course, there were many from Pulaski County also. All in all, it was a pretty good crowd for the middle of a workday in downtown Little Rock.

Now that I'm through the report, I would like to thank the local media for covering this event.

What a difference a year (and a government takeover of the US health care system) makes!

I've been working with multiple conservative groups since April of last year. Comparable to the national trend, our several events last year were mostly ignored by the local media. Events at the state Capitol, Senator Lincoln's office, Riverfront Ampitheater, and Marion Berry's office here in Cabot went virtually unnoticed last year by all 4 central Arkansas television stations and the only newspaper with statewide circulation. Even the numerous tense interchanges between constituents and legislators at town hall forums last fall were resigned to social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube instead of traditional media.

But today everybody came. All the press I mean.

All four Little Rock television stations showed up. KARK, KATV, KTHV, and KLRT were there. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Associated Press were there.

We held rallies with hundreds and even thousands sometimes last year and could manage little more than a line or two in the local media. Today we had somewhere around 80-100 show up and received all this attention.

In the past, the few reporters who showed up snapped a few photos and maybe asked a question or two. But today they actually stuck around, and did real interviews with protesters.

Suddenly, we're newsworthy, and it's about time.


  1. Jim Holt for US Senate! We got to hear him speak Monday night and visited with him at length after the meeting. He will abide by our Constitution! His record proves it.

  2. I have had the honor of talking with Jim Holt and hearing his views of a variety of issues on several occasions. He is a Christian, Conservative, and dedicated family man and his record speaks for itself. We need him and more people like him in DC.