Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch told a crowd of 500 tea party activists on Monday that under the leadership of Gov. Scott Walker, the Badger State has shifted from deficits to surpluses and from job losses to job gains.
“We had a $3.6 billion budget deficit,” Kleefisch said at the fourth annual Chicago Tax Day Tea Party Rally. “We did a budget without raising taxes in Wisconsin.”
“We went from the eighth largest per capita deficit in the entire country to no deficit in Wisconsin. We went from five years of 5 percent property tax increases in our state to a true property tax freeze. We went from three years under the previous administration of losing 150,000 jobs to actual job gains … 94 percent of job creators say we’re on the right track.”
Tea party activist Danielle Rowe introduced Kleefisch. “You may have heard that Gov. Walker is being recalled in Wisconsin,” she said. “You know who should be facing a recall? [Illinois Democratic] Gov. Pat Quinn.”
Speaking after Kleefisch, tea party organizer and radio host Dana Loesch described liberal Chicago as the birth place of the tea party movement — a reference to Rick Santelli’s 2009 viral-video rant from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
“I just got back from Wisconsin, and Wisconsin is the birth place of the new revolution,” Loesch said to thunderous applause, “but Chicago is the birth place of the tea party revolution.”
Loesch was followed on stage by Breitbart.com editor Joel Pollak, who channeled his inner Pete Seeger by picking up an acoustic guitar and playing an original ’60s-style protest song about the virtues of small government and the U.S. Constitution.
“Hey, hey, what do we say, American freedom is here to stay,” Pollak sang, “don’t tax our freedom away.”
Singing about the Boston Tea Party, he crooned, “They donned their disguises and climbed all aboard, and the Governor’s tea was soon thrown overboard.”
Addressing what tea partiers see as the aggressive overreach of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law was cardiologist Dr. Kurt Sullivan.
“We got a bill that was ill-conceived, poorly written, and unconstitutional,” Sullivan said. “There’s nothing more ‘local’ than when I look you in the eyes and tell you there’s nothing more I can do for your loved one.”
“That’s a discussion that takes place when I think it’s appropriate. It’s a discussion that takes place when you think it’s appropriate. It’s not a discussion that takes place when Washington thinks it’s appropriate.”
Activist George Blakemore told The Daily Caller that tea party devotees are dedicated to the principles on which the United States was founded.
“They believe in the Constitution,” Blakemore said. “They believe in accountability. They believe in open and free markets.”
Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh was scheduled to speak but was called away for congressional business in Washington, D.C.