You know when St. Louis tea party co-founder Bill Hennessy writes a post claiming that some Tea Party event was a "huge success" without providing any evidence whatsoever, there's a good reason to take a closer look. Local non-elected Tea Party leaders John and Gina Loudon played an early role in promoting the "Stand With Arizona" rally in Tempe, a rally designed to offer monetary support to Arizona to reward them for their new racial profiling law. Hennessy wrote a post congratulating the Loudons for the rally, but the only video he provided was a promo for the rally rather than any footage or photos from the event. So I investigated a little, and sure enough the rally fell far short of expectations.
Rally organizers said multiple times that they expected 20,000 people to attend the rally and were confident that "at least 10,000" would be there. In fact, news estimates of the number of people who actually showed up ranged from "a couple thousand" to "close to 5,000" people. In other words, they got at best 1/4 of what they were expecting and maybe even far worse.
You can see a several pictures of massive numbers of empty seats from the blog "bullet people:"
In fact, this screen shot from a news report was taken 30 minutes after the rally was scheduled to start, and you can see huge numbers of empty sections in the stadium:
Meanwhile, a rally and march opposing the new Arizona law attracted 10,000 to 20,000 or over 30,000 people, depending on the estimates. One white supremacist counter-protester with a loaded shotgun was spotted at the rally, but kept separate from the marchers.
Recall that Gina Loudon was able to get a lot of media attention after greatly exaggerating her "Wholefoods Buycott" last year without ever having to present any evidence of the amount of money actually raised. She and husband John Loudon also played a central role in the anti-Prop A campaign that somehow only managed to get 37% of residents in the county to vote against a sales tax! It will be interesting to see if the local media further embarrases themselves by presenting this event as a huge success.
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