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Tea party rallies faithful to get involved with 2012 election

Lee Byberg, of Willmar, speaks Monday at the fourth annual tea party rally. Tribune photo by Carolyn Lange

WILLMAR -- Starting with an opening prayer that called President Obama the "liar in chief," the fourth annual Kandiyohi County tea party rally Monday night in Willmar featured a lengthy line-up of fire-brand speakers that encouraged participants to get involved with the 2012 election to oust Obama and Minnesota Democrats.

If that happens there will be "happy days again in Minnesota and it'll be because of tea parties like this," said Tom Emmer, the GOP candidate who was defeated by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2010.

Emmer said if he was now the Governor in the Republican-controlled House and Senate, Minnesota would "make Wisconsin look like the poor ugly step-child that they are."

During the nearly three-hour long rally there were speeches about the desire to repeal Obama's health care act, protecting gun rights, stopping abortion and the importance of family, faith and free enterprise.

Speakers also mocked renewable energy and those involved with the "Occupy" movement for being "politically impotent."

Conservative radio talk show host, Scott Hennen -- who is from Montevideo and now broadcasts from Fargo -- said the federal budget is an immoral fiscal mess that makes Obama a "fiscal child abuser" because the debt will be passed onto future generations.

Balancing the federal budget, limiting government and creating a system that enhances free enterprise was the key piece to Lee Byberg's message to the crowd -- which filled a room at the Kandi Entertainment Center -- as well as in comments in a brief interview.

If the federal budget can be balanced then "90 percent of all the other issues" will be solved, said Byberg, who is the GOP-endorsed candidate to run against U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson in the Seventh Congressional District.

Byberg was defeated by Peterson two years ago but said he's been working hard since then to connect with local farm and business leaders to "look at solutions" for balancing the federal budget and limiting the scope of federal government by creating a "local response."

He said there needs to be good debate and strong leadership to balance the budget.

Byberg said he hasn't signed the no-new-taxes pledge yet because the pledge hasn't yet been presented to him, but said he thinks he will sign it.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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