St. Louis Public Radio News
7:01 pm
Tue August 4, 2009

Protesters target St. Louis Democrats on spending

St. Louis, MO – Police were sent to deal with protesters at a south St. Louis car dealership earlier on Tuesday.

Dozens of picketers came to McMahon Ford on Gravois to protest a Cash for Clunkers press conference with St. Louis Congressman Russ Carnahan.

Carnahan says the Cash for Clunkers program has been a huge success by a variety of measures and has also received broad bipartisan support, receiving over 300 votes in the House.

But demonstrators like Gary Frierdieck were not impressed. Many held picket signs and shouted "Ban Carnahan".

"We're here to send a message to Washington, Mr. Carnahan and Claire McCaskill that we are opposed to this spending spree that they're on, and it's going to destroy this country," said Frierdieck.

The 75 or so protesters tried to break up the event but were kept out of the showroom.

Carnahan says he understands that people may disagree, but that some people are more intent on causing a disturbance than engaging in debate.

"There are some who just don't think the government should be involved in much of anything," said Carnahan.

"Frankly, when we're in a recession the government needs to act. It needs to have programs that are targeted that work, so I think this is an important example of recovery efforts working."

Missouri car buyers received over $12 million in trade-ins. The U.S. Senate is expected to allocate another $2 billion toward the program this week.