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Montevideo tea partiers have message for D.C.

Doug Hodge, a retired sheriff's deputy, said he is concerned about the nation's debt and what it will mean to future generations. "They will pay for our excesses," said Hodge, left, as he joined others in the Trailways parking lot Thursday in Montevideo for the community's first ever tea party. Tribune photo by Tom Cherveny

MONTEVIDEO -- Carrying signs, flags and even dressed in red, white and blue, some three to four dozen people joined Montevideo's first-ever public tea party Thursday at the busy intersection of highways 212 and 7.

"We want to send a message to Washington that we've had enough," said Lyle Henning, one of the organizers.

There were no speakers or political candidates at the event, and pointedly so, according to Henning.

"This is the people's tea party."

Its purpose was to let office holders and candidates know what the people are thinking, added Barb Ulferts, who helped organize the gathering.

Those attending were eager to share their thoughts. "We believe our freedoms are being taken away," said Ardie Elliot.

Retired from a career in law enforcement, former Chippewa Sheriff's Deputy Doug Hodge said he was there to continue to fight child abuse. He said he is concerned about the debt we have placed on our children and grandchildren.

"They'll be paying for our excesses," he said.

Mary Bruns, dressed in red, white and blue, said she was there for her son Charlie, who will celebrate his first birthday next week. "It's time we Americans took a stand (against) what we know is wrong," she said.

Henning said the tea party movement is all about protecting constitutional and individual rights.

"It's good to see people willing to show their discontent," said Elliot as she held her sign for passing motorists. "It's a way to say we don't like what's going on."