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Batesville Tea Party

In photo at left, Edna Lee (far left) of Grenada talks politics with Hunter Pratt of Batesville at the Batesville Tea Party Saturday on the Downtown Square. The Panolian photos by Billy Davis

Politicians work for us, says Tea Party organizer

By Billy Davis

The purpose of “Tea Party” protests across America is to remind elected officials that they work at the will and pleasure of voters, Mississippi Tea Party founder Don Daniels said Saturday.

Daniels served as keynote speaker at the Batesville Tea Party, held at Memorial Park on the Downtown Square.

“Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” Daniels read from the Declaration of Independence.

“Does anybody know what that means – ‘consent of the governed?’” he asked rhetorically.

About 70 people attended the event, which proceeded without delay despite menacing clouds.

The crowd also heard from Republican state Sen. Alan Nunnelee, who is campaigning for Mississippi’s 1st District congressional seat.

The state senator is pitted against freshman Rep. Travis Childers, a Democrat.

Nunnelee recalled the events of the Boston Tea Party, which occurred 239 years ago when American patriots boarded a ship and dumped tea in the harbor to protest British taxation.

“We don’t come at midnight,” Nunnelee said of the present-day protests. “We come in broad daylight.”

Batesville resident Wally Pang, who is also seeking the 1st District seat, spoke in favor of voter I.D. and term limits for elected officials.

“I will serve only two terms. If you want… two weeks,” Pang said, drawing chuckles from the crowd.

A spokesman for Henry Ross, a third 1st District candidate, also spoke. Ross is the former mayor of Eupora.

The Batesville Tea Party was entertained by bluesman Mark Massey and Harvey Pinkston, his harmonica-playing sidekick.

Batesville Mayor Jerry Autrey welcomed the Tea Party and encouraged the crowd to watch Fox News.

The Tea Party event Saturday is being followed by a second political event today.

Democrat volunteers are encouraged to attend a “Listening Tour” meeting that will be held tonight at 6:30 at the county courthouse in Batesville.

The “Listening Tour,” sponsored by Organizing for America, is seeking grassroots support for President Obama’s healthcare reform, according to a press release.

The cost of healthcare is “astronomical” to middle class families, and healthcare costs need to be lowered, said Mona Pittman of Batesville, who is party chairman for Panola County.

“That needs to be done with bi-partisan support,” she said.

Organizing for America is a project begun by the Democratic National Committee.