Hundreds hold tea party rally at Capitol on tax day

Tea party rally
Hundreds of people filled the mall in front of the Minnesota State Capitol on Thursday for a tea party rally on April 15, the deadline for filing federal income tax returns.
MPR Photo/Jess Mador

Hundreds of people rallied outside the Minnesota State Capitol Thursday evening to protest government spending and to mark April 15, the federal tax filing deadline.

Speakers included leaders from the Minnesota Tea Party Patriots, musicians and conservative radio hosts.

The rally coincided with events scheduled in other cities across the country, including a rally in Washington attended by Minnesota Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Toni Backdahl, a statewide tea party coordinator, said protesters are angry over gridlock in Washington. She said tea party activists don't like where their tax dollars are going.

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"We are saying, 'Wait a minute,' a lot of us are accountants and cost-efficiency experts and we are thinking, this is not productive; this is not the best way to utilize our tax dollars," Backdahl said. "We just want them to be more responsible with our money."

A long list of speakers protested government spending and health care reform and urged hundreds of attendees to help kick Democrats out of office in the upcoming midterm elections.

In Washington, Bachmann received big cheers for her criticisms of congressional Democrats and President Obama.

"And so what we have to do now is to take matters into our own hands, which we are doing, and this November we will peel back their numbers," Bachmann said. "And so we are going to say, 'All you little piggies, you need to leave. You need to leave Washington D.C.'"

Rallies were held in at least 10 cities across the state, including Brainerd, Duluth, Mankato, Milaca, Rochester, Princeton and Winona.