Politics & Government

Wichita Tea Party leader surprised to be there

There are tea party people in Wichita, hundreds of them, and they are ticked off.

Republican politicians respect them, woo them and fear them because most tea party members are Republicans and conservatives who denounce Republicans in the same breath that they denounce Democrats even more.

They have invigorated the local and national political debate.

Who are these people?

What do they want?

We hold these truths

At the most recent rally in Wichita, Feb. 20 at Century II, tea party organizer Lynda Tyler told 2,500 enthusiastic listeners from the podium that the last time Americans were as upset about government as they are now, they wrote a document called the Declaration of Independence. That document pointed out that it sometimes becomes necessary "for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another."

Organized locally by Tyler, a licensed Wichita financial adviser, tea party members are motivated, energized and ticked off at both mainstream parties.

They are not highly organized or moving in lockstep, and Tyler says that means their opinions are fresh and unrehearsed, unlike many stale mainstream liberal and conservative opinions.

"Tea partiers are honest enough to have open disagreements," said Wichita tea party devotee Jim Gragg. "So organizing tea party people is like herding cats."

Read the complete story at kansas.com