Thousands Rally Against New Taxes
15,000 to 8,000 Revolt in Fullerton
By Brian Day -- Pasadena Star-News, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/07/2009 10:29:26 PM PST
KFI radio personalities, John Kobylt, center, and Ken Chiampou lead over 15,000 people in chants during their Tax Revolt 2009 rally at the Slidebar Cafe in Fullerton on March 7, 2009. John and Ken are leading a recall edffort on republican State legislators including Assemblyman Anthony Adams. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger)
FULLERTON - Droves of angry taxpayers gathered Saturday to protest tax increases in the recently approved state budget and to rally for the recall of Republicans who supported the increases - or didn't do enough to stop them.
Tax Revolt 2009 was hosted by KFI-AM talk-show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou in a parking lot behind the Slidebar Cafe in Fullerton.
They support recall efforts against Assemblyman Anthony Adams, R-Claremont; state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria; and Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona.
Adams and Maldonado voted in February to approve a budget that includes $12.8 billion in tax increases to help close a $42 billion deficit. Miller, the hosts allege, didn't do enough to stop the deal from passing.
Repeated calls seeking comment from Adams were not returned on Friday and Saturday. Kobylt and Chiampou said they also want to recall Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"They laid on us the largest tax increase that any state has ever passed in the nation's 233-year history," Kobylt said to the crowd, many of whom carried signs admonishing the Legislature and effigies of the governor's head on a stick.
The radio station reported as many as 15,000 people attended, but a Fullerton police sergeant estimated 3,000 to 8,000 people were there.
"We pay the highest sales tax in the nation, and that was before the tax increase," Kobylt said. "We pay the highest income tax in the nation, and that was before the tax increase."
Lee Crowley - chairman of the Atlas Political Action Committee, which is leading the recall effort against Adams - criticized Adams for signing a pledge promising to oppose all tax increases during his campaign.
Breaking the promise "means a lot to a lot of people," Crowley said.
Crowley accused Adams of being arrogant and said petition gathering to recall him will begin within the next few weeks.
Three months after that, he said, they hope
KFI radio personalities, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou lead over 15,000 people in chants during their Tax Revolt 2009 rally at the Slidebar Cafe in Fullerton on March 7, 2009. John and Ken are leading a recall effort on republican State legislators including Assemblyman Anthony Adams. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger)
to have the 37,000 signatures needed to initiate a recall election.
Adams - who represents parts of the San Gabriel Valley including La Verne, San Dimas Monrovia and Arcadia - defended his budget vote in a recent interview saying, "this was a necessary evil to ward off a financial crisis."
Bruce Woodhall of San Dimas said he wants to see Adams recalled.
"When you feel that you've been straight-up lied to and deceived, we don't need someone in that position with those principles," he said.
Woodhall called the amount by which taxes are being increased "ridiculous."
"If you dig any deeper into my pocket, all you'll get is lint and an IOU," Woodhall added. "We'll be just as broke as the state if they keep taxing us at this rate."
Walnut resident Richard Michael said he was also fed up with state government.
"I am just incensed that the politicians are not keeping their promises," he said.
The tax increases, he added, shouldn't be necessary.
"I have to save more money. I can't spend as much. They can do the same," he said.
During the three-hour event, Kobylt and Chiampou led the crowd in chants including, "Off with their heads," "Liar," and "Revolt, recall, repeal."
Many attendees carried signs with slogans such as, "Terminate the terminator," and "Recall Arnold."
Members of the crowd were invited to vent their frustrations by destroying DVDs, video tapes and action figures featuring Schwarzenegger with a sledge hammer, a shredder and a sword.
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