There was a Tea Party Saturday afternoon in downtown Lexington, but not of the kind with rich gentry and fancy drinking cups.
It was a throng of people – estimated by organizers at 1,200 – on the lower plaza of the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse to protest government spending and taxation.
It was called a Tea Party in reference to the 1773 Boston Tea Party in which colonists boarded ships and destroyed taxed tea from Britain.
Saturday’s event, sponsored by News Radio 630 WLAP, Kentucky Club for Growth, Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions and ConservativeEdge.com, was one of hundreds of similar conservative, grassroots Tea Parties that have been taking place across the country in recent weeks.
Leland Conway, host of WLAP’s weekday “Pulse of Lexington” radio show, said the Tea Party Saturday was non-partisan.
Only two politicians spoke, he said. They were Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith, who has run for governor and other public offices, and state Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, who voted against tax increases in this year’s legislative session.
The New American Tea Movement is growing in strength across the country, Conway said.
The Lexington event follows others held recently in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Los Angeles and other American cities, he said.
Conway said a Tea Party was held in Frankfort a few weeks ago but it did not attract a large crowd.
A Tea Party is planned for April 15 in Louisville, and a “Bluegrass Tax Liberation Day” free event will be held April 18 at Applebee’s Park in Lexington, Conway said.