Tea Party inspired protest draws few protestors in Washington DC - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Tea Party inspired protest draws few protestors in Washington DC and Ashland, KY

Tea Party inspired protest draws few protestors in Washington DC and Ashland, KY

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ASHLAND, Ky. - Friday's message from "Operation American Spring" protestors in Washington, DC and here in Ashland, Kentucky is that they want top American leaders, republican and democrat, to step down.

"It's not just Obama. It's the whole group of them," says Mike Bates, who spent Friday afternoon in downtown Ashland with five others.

Their tea party inspired a group called, "Greenup County Patriots," and they were hoping to have more protestors here on Winchester Avenue.

According to several media reports, protestors in Washington were hoping for more as well.

Reports earlier in the week quoted organizers as expecting "ten to 30 million" to attend. A few hundred showed up.

Without the power that comes with numbers, members of the Greenup County Patriots still had a lot to say about America's debt, taxes and gun rights.

"I actually got sick when they started doing what they're doing with the guns, like they're trying to take our guns away," says Bates. "If they could, they would just come in and just take them from you, and not allow you to have them, but they're trying to put so many stipulations on it."

Since the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, there have not been any new federal "stipulations."

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) was one of the faces of legislation that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases.

It was shot down, even though polls said most americans were for it, by a three-to-one margin.

"Well, yeah, you should have a background check," concedes Bates. "Because you can't just hand them out to anybody."

The Greenup County Patriots say they just don't trust the current elected officials to handle gun control.

Republican candidate for US Senate, Matt Bevin, is getting support from Kentucky tea party organizations, including the Lexington Tea Party, The Louisville Tea Party and the Central Kentucky Tea Party which announced its support of Bevin on Friday in a press release.

The support may not change leadership here, as Bevin trails incumbent Mitch McConnell in numerous polls.

But it has changed the rhetoric. In a television campaign ad, Bevin calls McConnell a liberal, who caves to President Obama.

Back in Ashland, the Greenup County Patriots say, despite low turnout, and less political success, the movement is not dead, and they will be back, in greater numbers.