They also wanted to know why Hinojosa has yet to hold a town hall meeting in the northern part of his congressional district on the proposed bill.
“Where is he? Why won’t he meet with us? Why doesn’t he answer our questions or return our phone calls?” said C.R. Pendley, who carried a large sign that included a photograph of Hinojosa and the words ‘HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?’
The group met on the lawn of the Bee County Courthouse around 10 a.m. to kick off the protest rally.
Ann Allard told the group that Hinojosa’s office had expressed concern that the group would damage the Veterans Memorial, located in front of Hinojosa’s office, during the protest.
“How many of you here today are veterans, are married to a veteran or has a parent who is a veteran?” Allard asked the group.
Most of them raised their hands.
“How many of you want to damage the Veterans Memorial monument?” she asked.
No one raised their hands.
Virginia Pendley, who helped organize the event, told the group that Hinojosa’s office contacted Bee County Judge David Silva’s office and the Beeville Police Department and expressed concern about possible damage to the monument and the service plaques hanging on the wall of the Justice Center, as well as possible littering.
Silva confirmed the phone call and said he informed Pendley of the congressman’s concerns.
Beeville Police Chief Joe Treviño also confirmed that he was contacted by a member of Hinojosa’s staff.
“He said he knew the group had the right to march but he was worried about them littering or damaging the Veterans Memorial statue,” Chief Treviño recalled.
After meeting at the courthouse, the group marched across the street to Hinojosa’s office.
Pendley said Hinojosa was invited to meet with the group on Saturday. However, the congressman did not show.
“We need to sure remember this at election time,” said Kathleen Fish. “We’re going to remember that he doesn’t even want to talk to us. He’s not a representative that we need.”
Deborah Bailey, secretary of the local Tea Party Patriots, also had a message for the congressman: “We would like Mr. Hinojosa to represent the people of his district and not just the Democratic Party.”
Some members of the group carried signs that protested high taxes, government spending and taxation without representation.
Most of them said they were worried that the country was on the fast track to socialism because the government was bailing out private businesses and looking at providing free health care service.
“Mr. Hinojosa, I want you to vote no on the health care bill if you haven’t already voted yes,” Virginia Pendley said.
Donna Davis said she drove all the way from her home in Refugio to protest the proposed health care bill, which she called socialized health care.
Davis, a Hispanic, said she also wanted to ensure that Hinojosa knows that the Tea Party Patriots are not only made up of wealthy, white people, as some Democratic leaders are proclaiming.
“I thought that it was important to show that minorities were also attending these rallies, that Hispanics and blacks were also protesting,” she explained.
“Because that’s not what is being reported on television. The television news people are reporting that only neo-Nazi, wealthy white people are attending these rallies. Well, we’re not Nazis, Mr. Hinojosa. And I’m not white and I’m not wealthy. My husband is a blue collar worker and we are a middle-class family, like most of the people here today and like most of the people attending these protest rallies across the country.”
The group marched around the courthouse once and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
They left no litter behind when they departed after about an hour. The Veterans Memorial and the service plaques also were undamaged.
The group met again Tuesday night at the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library.