MADISON -- With people chanting, carrying signs and waving flags, the state Capitol in Madison was very reminiscent of early 2011 on Saturday, April 14th. This time, the message was a bit different from a year ago as the crowd was on hand for a tax day rally hosted by the Tea Party organization "Americans For Prosperity."
Organizers had many messages they wanted to get across to the thousands in attendance including: reduced spending, lower taxes and economic freedom. But those weren't the only themes. Support for Governor Scott Walker, his Lt. Governor and four Republican senators being recalled was also a big part of the rally.
"I think it's important that the citizens of Wisconsin understand that there's a strong base supporting Governor Walker and what he does," Kent Demers of Racine said during the rally. "I believe that the numbers here show that it is a real grassroots movement, and it's coming from the small towns and cities in our state."
People like Graeme Zielinski with the Wisconsin Democratic Party, disagreed with the assertion that there is a strong base of Tea Party support at the rally and in Wisconsin. "They get smaller and smaller. They're small in number. Their influence is waning and folks know that," Zielinski said outside of the rally. "I've been to four or five of these guys and this one is the puniest yet. I think it kind of shows that the Tea Party fever has broken in America."
While the rally was mainly peaceful, there were verbal altercations between Tea Party activists and those who oppose their views.