Mar 8, 2009 8 Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Update: The estimated numbers of those attending this Tea Party have nearly doubled since the OC Register story was written.
Thousands join talk show hosts in tax protest
Officials estimate more than 8,000 people showed up in downtown Fullerton to protest tax hikes in budget deal.
Slide Show here.
By LINDSEY BAGUIO
FULLERTON â€“ They’re revolting. Families with children, bikers, seniors, pirates – by the thousands descended on a Fullerton bar Saturday to join talk show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of KFI in protesting tax increases recently approved in Sacramento.
Police estimated that some 8,000 people came to the Slidebar CafÃ© in downtown Fullerton to listen to The John & Ken Show.
“I expected a lot and it was way more than I expected,” said co-host John Kobylt.
The talk show hosts put forward an ambitious goal for their Tax Revolt 2009 live broadcast that ran for more than three hours.
“The purpose is to vote down Prop 1A on May 19 because it’s a two-year tax extension,” said Kobylt. “The purpose is to tell people how their Republican legislators lie about their votes. The purpose is to get support to recall Schwarzennegger, (Assemblyman) Anthony Adams, (Assemblyman) Jeff Miller, and everybody else.”
Some wore buttons. One man brought a bloody effigy head of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and waved it from the end of a pike, while the crowd joined their hosts in a chant of “Repeal, recall, revolt.”
Many in the crowd held up cameras to capture a big hit as VHS cassettes, DVDs, laser discs, an action hero lunchbox and other memorabilia from the governor’s Hollywood career, were piled up and smashed with a sledgehammer.
Johanna Common, 45, of Fullerton, pushed her way to the front of the crowd to contribute her copy of the Schwarzenegger movie “Total Recall” to the pile.
“I wanted to see it smashed to smithereens,” she said.
When all is done, Common plans to get involved in recalling her local representative, Assemblyman Michael Duvall, she said.
Like many others, Kimberly Smith, 29, of Tustin, sported a button showing how much more she’ll have to pay in taxes: $1,645.
Capt. Jack Sparrow came by to say the taxes would cost him loot.
“With people losing the money they are losing, I lose too as an entertainer,” said the pirate, who goes by Vince Bartolome of Costa Mesa in his downtime. “It sucks for us all.”
Some of the demonstrators brought crayons in response to a column in the Los Angeles Times that called John and Ken’s politics simplistic. Some children opted for something a bit more artistic.
Hannah Ross, 6, and her sister, Olivia Ross, 4, of San Diego, used squeeze paint brushes to express a message suggested by their parents: “Stop Generational Theft.”
For Stacey Ross, it was her first time bringing her children to a political event.
“I believe children need to learn the First Amendment and their freedom of speech,” she said.
Moving forward, Kobylt said there will be other events to come. The talk show hosts discussed participating in future recall efforts.
“For day one, this is fantastic, but this a long road that’s going to take months and years,” said Kobylt.