Later this morning, and this afternoon, President Barack Obama will make two visits to Henry County. The first of these will be in Atkinson and the second in Alpha, Illinois. The President’s staff are calling these meetings “Town Halls.”


Later this morning, and this afternoon, President Barack Obama will make two visits to Henry County. The first of these will be in Atkinson and the second in Alpha, Illinois. The President’s staff are calling these meetings “Town Halls.”

I think that is very misleading because these events are not open to the general public, and Democrat operatives, including some from all the way east into Chicago, are going to be populating and staffing these political sideshows to make sure no words of dissent or disagreement with the President’s plans are broadcast.

As an elected County Board member I thought that I might be able to score a ticket. I was wrong. After calling around, I found out that quite a few “elephants” were shut out. My wife went to Atkinson the day they were being offered, and the tickets were gone by 9 a.m. when she arrived.

There are prohibitions on free speech at these events. For instance, you cannot hold up a sign. I guess my Donald Trump-styled “You’re Fired” sign won’t be welcome.

If I were able to ask the President a question, I would go with one of these three:

1) Mr. President, there are 9 states in the country that do not charge a state income tax. These include big job growth states like Texas and Florida. Do you see the benefits of tax cuts and tax elimination plans in growing the economy, as Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy did during their presidencies?

2) Twice you have supported adding extensions to the unemployed who had already received pay for not working for 99 weeks. How about we put the unemployed to work doing public service jobs as long as we are paying them?

3) Forty-nine  states, all but Illinois, have some form of the legal right to carry a firearm on one’s person for personal protection. Gun manufacturers make up some of the most significant employers in Henry County, including Springfield Armory, Rock River Arms and Armalite.

Would you sign into law a bill legalizing the right to carry, with reasonable regualtions like background checks, training, etc., if it passed the Congress?

The Henry County Tea Party is hosting its sixth event since inception in 2009. From 4 to 7 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 20, there will be a picnic at the Ty Massey Pavilion in Colona near the Hennepin State Canal Park.

Bring a dish to pass. We will provide hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks.

Great speakers are confirmed, including  Congressman Bobby Schilling, State Rep. Rich Morthland, State Senate candidate Bill Albracht and Henry County State’s Attorney Terry Patton.

Unlike the Democrats/Obama event, this event is open to the public and we won’t limit free speech at this event.

Jon A. Zahm, Osco, Co-founder and chairman, Henry County Tea Party