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‘Hot’ day cools turnout for Tea party

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By Alex Wimsatt

 SHEPHERDSVILLE – It was more than 100 degrees outside, but that didn’t stop more than 100 people from gathering at Shepherdsville’s First Street Park for the Voices of Independence-Bullitt County Tea Party rally.

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The recently held event boasted a live band, vendors and political booths, with a variety of speakers, including 84WHAS radio personality Mandy Connell, who served as master of ceremonies.

Teresa Buky, who helped organize the event, said the initial purpose of the rally was to celebrate the freedoms Americans enjoy under the Constitution. 

But with the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, Buky said the rally became a call to action.

“We’re really working to get people fired up about what our government is doing to us,” she said.

Buky said the format of the event had to be modified only slightly to address the Supreme Court ruling.

James Hughes, 64, of Louisville, who called himself an avid supporter of the Tea Party, said he attended the event after hearing about it on talk radio. 

Hughes said he wanted to show his support of the movement and what he sees as the erosion of the rights and freedoms afforded by the Constitution. 

“The government’s out of control,” he said, adding that he feels the Tea Party will play a significant role in the upcoming general election. 

“I think people are starting to wake up to what’s going on in the country and feel it’s time for real change.”

Master of ceremonies Mandy Connell agreed that the Tea Party is gaining momentum and will impact the fall election. 

“I think more and more people are sampling what the movement has to offer instead of writing them off as a bunch of crazy people,” she said, adding that she felt the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare has galvanized the Tea Party.

The Bullitt County Tea Party-Voices of Independence has been around for three years, but Buky said the group really didn’t become active until 2010 when they hosted their first rally with guest speaker Rand Paul, who was elected to represent Kentucky in the U.S. Senate that year.  

Today, Buky said there are 20-30 active members of the group and while she said they could use more members they’re not going anywhere. 

“We’re definitely not laying down,” Buky said. 

The Bullitt County Tea Party-Voices of Independence group meets the third Thursday of every month at the Shepherdsville Government Center.

For more information find them on Facebook.