March 31, 2010
DAVID KIRKHAM SENDS THIS TEA PARTY REPORT FROM UTAH:
Last night an reporter from CNN travelling with the Tea Party Express showed up at our shop to talk about the Tea Party Express that was coming through Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah today. (I was the local organizer for the Provo event). I gave him a tour through our shop and then took him for a drive up the canyon in one of our cars. We talked the entire time. We ended up speaking for about 4 hours. At the end of our conversation, he dropped a bomb, “You know, I decided to come and find the facts about you guys for myself. The facts are the facts. Keith Olberman is way out in left, crazy field! You guys aren’t anything like the media has portrayed you.” I replied, “I know.” He told me he was then going to write a story on the “real” Tea Party people he met on his travels through Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.
This morning the Tea Party Express stopped in Provo. We had about 500 people show up. I introduced Mayor John Curtis who was just elected to office (off-year elections for the cities here). He inherited a 5 million budget shortfall. The first thing he did was cut funding for the Miss Provo Pageant. He said they were welcome to have the pageant–just not on the city’s dime. He then asked the city employees to pick 5 guys from each department to figure out where they could save money in the budget–and they DID! He balanced the budget without raising taxes a penny, just like he promised before he was elected. He left his business to run for mayor. He obviously brought his business skills with him. There are some great ones out there.
The comment of the day (Provo) came from a reporter who asked me, “I am trying to take a picture of a counter protester’s sign and I can’t find one. Do you know where any are?”
In Salt Lake over 1000 people attended. A total of 2 counter protesters showed up. They left after 10 minutes.
I spoke with several media people today. This morning I was on KSL radio, in the afternoon I was on PJTV (coming soon, I gave you a shout out!) and tonight I was on ABC Channel 4 News. The Channel 4 News anchors were most respectful and exceptionally nice both on the air and off the air. Throughout the day I spoke with more print journalists than I can remember. I have hopes all these flared emotions of late will temper. It was a great day.
Here’s a pic from Salt Lake City.