The Tea Party Patriots of Mid-Coast Maine held its first rally in Belfast June 5 at the American Legion Hall on Church Street. Tea Party Patriots of Mid-Coast Maine is one of 14 chapters of Maine Patriots and Maine Refounders throughout the state of Maine.

On a stage festooned with patriotic banners, and with a backdrop of a United States flag that flew on a battleship in Vietnam during that war, people from Waldo County and beyond spoke about the importance of upholding the Constitution as it was written, the importance of limited government, free enterprise, fiscal responsibility and lower taxes. Since the event was held three days prior to the very important primary, the rally provided a forum for gubernatorial and local candidates to explain their views on issues important to Tea Party.

The Rev. Peter Scheff from Palermo, who was also a primary candidate for House District 45, opened the Tea Party Rally with a prayer. Master of Ceremonies Captain Blaine Richardson, a retired Navy pilot who fought for this country in both Gulf Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, led the group of approximately 150 people in the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem.

The special guest speaker for the rally was Jacob Broom, one of the signers of the Constitution. Mr. Broom, dressed in the fashion of his day, came to discuss the events at the Constitutional Convention of 1789. He spoke of the discord during the Convention and the amazing document that was the result of the determination of the men who attended. The men who were the authors of the Constitution had experienced tyranny under the rule of King George III, and they were determined to protect themselves and future generations from an overpowering federal government.

Mr. Broom also spoke about the first 10 amendments that were adopted, what we now call the Bill of Rights. He pointed out that the amendments to the Constitution are written as limitations on the power of the federal government over the lives of the citizenry. When not in his Colonial persona, Jacob Broom is Jeff Cucci, one of the organizers of the Tea Party Patriots of Kennebec Valley.

Roy Horsey, historian for the Tea Party Patriots of Mid-Coast Maine, presented a lesson on American bravery. He spoke of the valor and bravery of Americans. He illustrated by telling us about a 17-year-old Massachusetts Revolutionary War soldier who pulled the fuse out of a 13-inch mortar shell that had fallen in amongst his company, thus saving 200 men.

He spoke of the charge of the First Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment at the Battle of Petersburg during the Civil War. The regiment had 900 brave men going into that battle. At the end of the terrible battle only 200 returned. Mr. Horsey then brought us to current time when he spoke about the Silver Star awarded to Pfc. Andrew Small of Wiscasset. Pfc. Small bravely held off an ambush in Afghanistan in order to save his squad leader and other members of his squad, at the cost of his own life.

The person responsible for the new platform of the Maine Republican Party, Ted Cowan, a member of Knox County Republicans, spoke about the importance of preserving the Constitution and of the significance of the Tea Party movement.

Tea Party Patriots of Mid-Coast Maine was fortunate to have Amy Hale, of Maine Patriots and Pete Harring, a.k.a. Pete the Carpenter, of Maine Refounders, address the rally. Their organizations formed the foundation for the Tea Party chapters now organized throughout the state. Both Amy and Pete inspired and energized the group with rousing speeches supporting, fiscal responsibility, free enterprise and less government.

The group was honored to have several political candidates as speakers. Bill Beardsley and Matt Jacobsen, Republican gubernatorial candidates, made time in their extremely busy schedules to address the Tea Party Rally. Paul LePage was unable to attend in person due to family obligations, but he was represented by his chief of staff, Capt. John Morris.

Also, there were several local candidates who introduced themselves to the group and spoke in support of Tea Party principles — Mike Thibodeau, candidate for State Senate District 23; Louis Baker, House District 43; Wendy Pelletier, House District 44; Paul Cowing, Peter Sheff and Ryan Harmon, all candidates in the Republican primary for House District 45. Many good people are running for political office and thanks go out to them for taking the time to speak at the Tea Party rally.

The Tea Party Patriots of Mid-Coast Maine, a local chapter of Maine Patriots and Maine Refounders, is a grassroots organization of citizens who believe that the keys to prosperity are free enterprise, limited government, minimal taxation and maximum individual responsibility.

The Tea Party Patriots of Mid-Coast Maine welcomes new members. The next meeting will be held Thursday, July 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the VFW in Belfast. Mary Adams, the original Maine “Freedom Fighter,” a vibrant, dynamic speaker, will address the meeting. Her talk will be entitled, “Discovering Lost Treasures in the Maine Constitution.”

In the 1970s Ms. Adams successfully led the effort to repeal Maine’s statewide property tax and prevented the state from reducing local control of public schools in Maine. For more information, contact Rita Horsey at 322-9146 or e-mail tppmidcoastmaine@gmail.com.

Additional information about Maine Patriots and Maine Refounders is available at their Web sites, mainepatriots.com and mainerefounders.org.

Rita Horsey is a resident of Belfast.