Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Voice Of America Rally - Sept 5th, 2009

Today I will attend the Voice of America Freedom Rally with my family.

Here are the speakers:

Speakers 2:30pm-5:00pm
Meteorologist Rich Apuzzo
Vietnamese Immigrant and Small Business Owner DakLak Do
Honduran Immigrant Harlene Holland
Small Business Owner Greg McAfee
Cancer Survivor, Activist, and Houston Tea Party Member Tracy Miller
Physical Therapist and Small Business Owner Chris Orecchio
Ohio Freedom Alliance's Jason Rink
Dayton Tea Party Founder Rob Scott
Author Thomas Tabback
Cincinnati Tea Party Founder Mike Wilson
Lawyer, Grassroots Activist, and Candidate for Indiana's 9th District Todd Young
East German Immigrant Harald Zieger

Don't know if I will attend all day with kids in tow. I have no idea how they are going to take to it. Should be nice weather for it though.


Update: I had a fun time at the tea party and my kids had plenty of snacks and Ice Cream.

My favorite speakers were Rich Apuzzo and DakLak Do. I booed Mean Jean Schmidt.

The Taxman, Gordon Gecko went as well. He put the crowd at around 10,000.

The Cincinnati Enquirer put the crowd at over 6,000.

The offical Cincinnati Tea Party site claims 18,000.

This apparently came from the Sheriff, quoted in the Middletown Journal:

The crowd continued to grow throughout the afternoon, and an estimated 18,000 people had come together at the event’s peak, according to Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones.

Jones said the crowd Saturday nearly doubled that of the Tea Party’s event he witnessed in Columbus, which drew an estimated 10,000 people to the state’s capital in April.

Oxford Press repeated 18,000.

Channel 12: "Largest Tea Party Event in the Region, 18,000.

My brother was there early and had to leave. His estimate was 6000+ and growing. I got there after he left, and I would have put the estimate in around Mr. Geckos at 10k. My wife however claims it was easily 16-20k.

So there you have it, clear as mud. I do understand that politics come into play when it comes to crowd estimates. Supporters want the largest possible number, detractors want the smallest and most insignificant number. Does the Sheriff have an agenda? Does the Enquirer? Do they both.

My honest bet would be the Cincinnati Enquirer was way too low, and that the Sheriff was way too high. But I don't do this for a living, and both of those people would be better than I in acessing crowd size. So why does one say 6k and another 18k. That is a difference in order of magnitude.

And you can tell from the following email that the 18k number is something the Cincinnati Tea Party is going to tout big time.

Update 2:

Email from the Cincinnati Tea Party

Dear Fellow Citizens and Taxpayers,

This is the first of two email that I'll send today. I need to get some information together on the Washington DC rally next week.

First, a wrapup of yesterday's events. The first Voice of America Rally was held at the Voice of America Museum in West Chester. According to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, the crowd was almost double the 10,000 that attended the Columbus Rally on 8/1. He estimated the crowd size at about 18,000 as more people were still streaming in.

This would make it the largest in Ohio, the largest in the Midwest, and in the top 10 or so nationally so far this year. This is pretty impressive as the ones that I know about are in much bigger cities than Cincinnati and Dayton like Atlanta, Dallas and Houston.

18,000 is a number normally reserved for sporting events and presidential appearances.

To put this in perspective, this is the paid (not actual) attendance at the last Reds weekday home games:

9/2 - 11,541
9/1 - 10,304
8/31 - 9,087
8/31 - 13,051

I struggle to find the words to describe how amazing the event was. However, I can tell you that it was tremendously inspiring that so many people came on a holiday weekend.

They were treated to a great lineup of speakers and a town hall that exceeded all expectations. The representatives and John Kasich were subjected to a series of difficult questions that put them on the spot. Many videos are already up on Youtube and we're looking to get a list together that we can share on our web site.

The media covered it well in general, but some did a very poor job. I didn't see the Fox19 story on the news, but the article on their web site was terrible. The headline said we drew opposition at another event which was true. The problem is that they only got 20 people which meant we outnumbered them 900-1. I wrote a quick blog post last night with screenshots of the article. If you were there, give them a call at 513-421-1919 and let them know what you think of them being so deceptive.

The Enquirer also got it wrong. I am glad they highlighted the tough nature of the questions, but the reporter was clearly deceptive about the size. At one point, he asked our VP - National Affairs and Strategy, Justin Binik-Thomas, for a crowd estimate. Justin provided the 18,000 number given by Sheriff Jones and was told that the reporter did not believe it. Justin then brought the reporter to see Sheriff Jones where he repeated 18,000. Clearly the reporter is entitled to his own opinion, but he failed by not reporting his interaction with the Sheriff and going with his own unsubstantiated number. Again, if you were at the event, I suggest you contact the reporter, Steve Kemme -
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