Some 30 Republican sign-wavers, mostly from the Dick Muri for Congress campaign, faced off against some 20 Democrat protesters Saturday afternoon at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. The Republicans, with the advantage in numbers, occupied three of the four corners at the intersection of 15th and Commerce.
The Democrats were on hand to protest the appearance of Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele at a "Republican Resurgence" rally being held at the convention center Saturday evening. The Republicans were there to show that Washington doesn't "belong to the Democrats" as claimed in a e-mail sent by the Chair of the Pierce County Democrats.
The Republican message was clear: "Support our Constitution."
As was the Democratic message: "Feed the poor. Eat the rich."
Air Force veteran Fred Ahrens was among the yellow-and-blue clad throng, carrying an extra-large Dick Muri for Congress sign . He told me he is backing Muri because of Muri's strong pro-life beliefs, his support of veterans, his efforts to reduce spending and taxes, and his tough stance in illegal immigration, such as working to implement E-Verify in Pierce County. Fred asked me to remind readers that the Dick Muri campaign is looking for donations and volunteers for such things as phone banking to help defeat Adam Smith. Go to http://www.dickmuri.com/ if you can help.
Rising Republican star Hans Zeiger, who is running for the state house in the 25th Legislative District, dropped by briefly:
Meanwhile, the Democrats were a little reticent to speak, just as at their protest at the John Boehner-Dave Reichert fundraiser in Bellevue last week. I was directed to talk with Lynda Foster, who told me she was just a "volunteer" and was there to show solidarity with Democratic candidates, especially Patty Murray. When I asked her if they had a message for Michael Steele, she said it was simply for Democrats to make a presence to show support for their candidates too. I did speak with one Democrat protester wearing a union shirt and holding an American flag that said he had heard about the protest on the radio and came down to participate.
There wasn't any chanting (the Republicans had a drum,) but the Democrats did cheer "Light Rail!!" every time the Tacoma Link went by. But despite the Democrats' silence, their signs did have some specific messages:
You can see above that the Ron Paul/Campaign for Liberty folks set up next to the Democrats. After the Democrats walked up the street, the Didier supporters moved over by the Ron Paul supporters, naturally, as Paul just endorsed Didier for the U.S. Senate in Washington.
The back of the Ron Paul sign had a hand-printed message that read "Honk in Support 9/11 Truth." This picture to me demonstrated the strangeness of the Washington Senate race this year and the far-right fringe nature of some of those backing Didier: