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St. Charles County Republicans pleased with Tea Party turnout

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 2, 2009 - For St. Charles City Councilman Richard Veit, the big news at Friday night's first St. Charles Tea Party wasn't what was said against taxes, gun restrictions and health care changes -- or even the 1,000-plus people who showed up at Frontier Park, according to unoffical estimates by local police.

The news was what the crowd might mean to Veit and other Republicans in the politically split community of St. Charles, in generally solid GOP St. Charles County.

Veit won his council seat by only four votes in April 2007. He's hoping that the energy displayed at Friday's event will translate into more conservative activism and voters when he runs for election again -- perhaps for a St. Charles County judgeship.

"I'm excited this may get a lot of new people involved," Veit said as he surveyed the sea of people listening to speaker after speaker blast federal spending, bailouts, President Barack Obama and perceived threats to state sovereignty.

Kevin Jackson, Author of the book “The Big Black Lie,”  blasted liberals, saying that they often are proud of their "open minds...An open mind can be an empty head." The crowd cheered.

At least two St. Charles County state legislators also were on hand: Republicans Cynthia Davis and Mark Parkinson. Both were excited by the political aspects of what they saw and heard.

"It's an exciting day here,'' Parkinson said. "It shows that people are fed up with the amount of tax dollars the federal government is spending."

And that could translate, in his view, into more Republican votes in 2010, when he and others will be on St. Charles County ballots.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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