by Joe Schwartz
RALEIGH—In case the Republicans who took officially took control of the N.C. General Assembly on Tuesday thought they had arrived, Raleigh resident Frank Ragsdale reminded them, “We are watching you. You are on probation.”
That was the message he orated to three dozen Tea Party supporters who rallied in the rain Tuesday on the Halifax Mall, a few hundred yards away from the N.C. Legislative Building on the opening day of the session.Moccasin Creek Minutemen and NCFreedom urged legislators to slash spending, curb taxes and reduce governmental oversight of the private sector. Supporters held signs reading “Don’t Tread on Me,” and “Taxed Enough Already.”
“Do not, as many of your predecessors have done, forget your campaign promises,” Ragsdale said. “Stop spending our money. Our checking account is closed. The people of North Carolina have nothing more to give you to spend and waste.”
Other speakers took aim at immigrants. William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration laid out his three-point plan for more rigid enforcement.
He wants to review voter rolls to insure that illegal immigrants aren’t allowed to participate in elections, stop providing non-emergency services to them and pass a law similar to but even stronger than Arizona’s infamous Senate Bill 1070.
With Republicans now in power, Gheen is full of optimism. House leaders are already floating a voter ID bill.
“This is one of the most beautiful days in my life,” Gheen said.
Overhead, the sky remained gray and the rain droplets became more rapid.