RI Tea Party rallies at State House


A couple hundred Rhode Island Tea Party protesters gathered in front of the State House on Friday afternoon for their third annual rally.

The crowd was smaller than in years past but, once again, those in attendance tried to send an anti-tax, anti-spend message to state officials.

“They need to cut spending. It’s brutal in this state. They spend it on the wrong things and they spend way too much,” said Cathy Grayko, of Cranston.

Wearing a tri-corner hat, Stephen Silva, of North Smithfield, added, “We’re just spending too much money and their only solution is to raise taxes.”

And the governor’s budget plan took center stage.

Many of the protestors came to sound off on Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s proposal to expand the state sales tax.

“I think the guy should just go.  He’s only been here three months and he’s done all this damage so far. I don’t need it for another four years,” said David O’Connell, of East Providence.

The governor’s plan brought out some people who never thought they’d be at a Tea Party event, like hairstylist Gianna Balducci.

“I came out here to support them because they’re supporting us.  I appreciate it,” she said.

Hairstylists have been one of the most vocal opponents to the governor’s proposal which includes taxing salon services.  Leaders of the House and Senate announced this week that they will not support the tax plan.

There were a number of opponents in the crowd, too.  They tried to argue that taxes are important to pay for some vital services.

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