Bachmann Wins Philly Independence Day Straw Poll — The Third Annual July 4th Tea Party on Independence Mall, featuring Herman Cain and Ambassador John Bolton, drew over 1,500 this year and included seven other speakers including the Honorable Anna Little and American Energy alliance spokesman, Dan Simmons. The program lasted slightly over two hours.
Cain, a businessman and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, is seeking the 2012 Republican nomination for US president. This is believed to be his first appearance in Pennsylvania after he announced his candidacy, although it was not necessarily a political one.
“He was here for the right reason, to honor the Declaration of Independence,” said Teri Adams, president of the Independence Hall Tea Party Association, which sponsored the event along with the Cherry Hill Tea Party of New Jersey and the Diamond State Tea Party of Delaware.
Despite Cain’s presence, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN6) finished first in the presidential straw poll according to unofficial tallies. Cain finished second. Ms. Adams noted that several Ron Paul votes were disqualified after event officials caught some of his supporters stuffing the ballot box. Paul, Christie, and Perry finished third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
This year’s event was named the 2011 Energy Independence Day Tea Party and a Declaration of Energy Independence, written by Association member Lin DeCesare, was read by Association co-founder Don Adams after Ms. DeCesare was unable to attend due to illness. The audience then voted to adopt the Declaration of Energy Independence by acclamation.
“Ever since Richard Nixon, presidents have declared for energy independence,” Adams said. “Congresses have come and gone and we’re as dependent on foreign energy as we were in 1973.”
Adams noted that last year, because of the excessive heat, only about 1,000 people attended the Proud to be an American July 4th Tea Party which featured commentator Bill Kristol as keynote speaker. Over 2500 attended the 2009 inaugural in which the late Herb Denenberg had the honor.
Adams said 20 groups involved with promoting limited government were involved this year. He also praised for WPHT talk show host Dom Giordano for his support. Giordano was among the speakers.
Among those receiving awards were Joey Vento, owner of the legendary Geno’s Steaks in South Philadelphia, who was given the 2011 Patriot of the Year Award, and Lancaster resident Sharon Cherubin of UNITEPA who won the 2011 George Washington Tea Party Leader of the year Award.
Weekly Standard editor and Fox News contributor, Bill Kristol, received the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Award for Courageous Journalism, in absentia.
Other award winners were:
Betsy Ross Activist of the Year for Delaware, Kristin Sherman;
Betsy Ross Activist of the Year for New Jersey, Bill Miller;
Betsy Ross Activist of the Year for Pennsylvania, Carol Klein and Phil Schieber.
One disappointment was that story, while covered by the Daily News and featured on several TV broadcast stations, it was not picked up by either the Philadelphia Inquirer or KYW News Radio.
Associated Press photos of the event ran in several publications throughout the nation, including the Washington Post.
The Independence Hall Tea Party’s next event on Independence Mall will be Constitution Day, Sept. 17.
Check out the group’s website at independencehallteaparty.com or call 215-690-4043 for more information.