About three dozen people turned out for a Tea Party rally in downtown San Marcos Thursday afternoon. Photo by Andy Sevilla.
By ANDY SEVILLA
Dozens of Tea Partiers rallied on the Hays County Courthouse lawn Thursday, calling for limited government spending on the day when personal income tax returns were due to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Among those advocating lower taxes and an end to “out of control spending” was Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), who is running against incumbent Patrick Rose (D-San Marcos) for the District 45 state representative seat in November. District 45 represents Hays, Caldwell and Blanco Counties.
Isaac’s message was particularly well-received by other ralliers, who numbered about three dozen on the courthouse corner of Hopkins Street and LBJ Drive during the afternoon drive time. Anticipating an intensification of the afternoon’s rain, rally organizers considered postponing the rally, but they decided to go ahead with a good turnout. Many drivers honked their horns as they drove past the protesters.
Tea Party rally organizer Rob Roark said the Tea Party has been negatively portrayed in the national media, which, he said, has called the Tea Party “an angry mob and even racist.” Roark said everyone attending the rally in Hays County was calm and diverse, adding that the ralliers were “people who love their country.”
Roark said the rally was an all-call for citizens to become pro-active in government and have their voices heard. He said citizens should be aware of what’s happening at all stages of government, specifically, he said, with the “printing of money that we don’t have, and putting the debt on our children.”
Naomi Narvaiz, president of the SMART group (San Marcos Republican Texans), said she was at the Tea Party rally in effort to advance “conservative values.”
Narvaiz said spending is out-of-control and the nation is headed towards socialism.
“We don’t need government to grow,” Narvaiz said. “They’re going to invade our lives.”
Narvaiz said the national leadership is “unethical” and is not comprised with “people of integrity.”
Tea Party rallies were held in every state across the nation for the second straight year. Thursday’s turnout in San Marcos was about one-third as large as the turnout last year, when April 15 fell on a mild, sunny day.
Isaac said citizens will have an opportunity to fight increased government spending through their votes in November. He said that though it will be an “uphill battle,” he is prepared to take on Rose with his conservative message of lower taxes, transparency in education funding, water protection and states’ rights.
Rose has served District 45 since defeating then-incumbent Rick Green (R-Dripping Springs) in 2002. Green narrowly lost Tuesday to Debra Lehrmann in a runoff election for the Republican nomination for the Texas Supreme Court, Place 3.
Isaac said he wants tax relief on businesses and lower property taxes, saying tax relief would stimulate the economy and create job growth. Isaac said he’s ready to start working on the state budget on Day One, if elected. Experts are projecting a Texas budget deficit of at least $11 billion, prompting Isaac to criticize Rose for expanding social programs.
“(Rose) is creating people to be dependent on the state for everything,” Isaac said.
Rose championed the expansion of the widely popular Texas’ Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which, Isaac said, only increases the state’s debt. Isaac said businesses should instead be provided with tools to afford insuring their employees, saying citizens would thereby be afforded more flexibility in deciding who their insurers should be.
Rose’s popularity in Hays County is due, in part, to his maneuvering of resources and millions of dollars from the state legislature for Texas State University. Isaac said he understands the struggles of the common college student, as he had to work and put himself through school. Isaac graduated in 1996 from Stephen F. Austin.
Rose received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and his law degree from the University of Texas.
Working against Isaac is Rose’s eight-year experience in the legislature and his tremendous fundraising ability. Though Isaac, by his own account, is not nearly at the level of Rose’s financial war chest, he said, “I think we’re going to surprise him.”
Isaac said he’s received ample contributions and expects only to increase incoming monies, although he cautioned that his financial gifts are not tied to special interests. Taking a jab at Rose, Isaac said he doesn’t “owe anything to special interests” and only has to answer to his wife and two children.
Isaac ran unopposed in the Republican primary on March 2. Rose defeated Andrew Backus of Driftwood with 79.7 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary.Email | Print