Dick Armey to Keynote Harrisburg Rally

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(Lebanon, PA) – The national grassroots organization FreedomWorks has confirmed that former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey will be serving as the keynote speaker at the "March On Harrisburg" tomorrow at the state capitol.

"With all of the important issues going on in Congress right now, we can’t forget about the states," Armey said. "Families have been forced to cut back in these tough economic times, and state legislatures should be doing the same."

Armey, who served in the United State Congress from 1985 through 2003 and was one of the key authors of the "Contract With America" which led to Republican majorities in the U.S. House, has been Chairman of FreedomWorks since 2003.

Sponsors of the march and rally expressed excitement over the fact that the Harrisburg event, organized by the Pennsylvania Tea Party Coalition, has drawn the attention of a conservative luminaire like Armey.

"This will be an exciting event and having Dick Armey fly in to help rally reformers in Pennsylvania just adds to the important nature of what we are trying to accomplish," said Laurel Lynn Petolicchio, the 2009 Chairman of the Constitutional Organization Of Liberty (COOL), one of the sponsor groups.

"We need the out-of-control spending to stop, we need taxes cut and we need to make Pennsylvania a place where small businesses and private enterprise can flourish," she said.

Jeff Griffith, who will be serving as MC at the rally, concurred with Petolicchio’s assessment.

"Having Dick Armey here will be great," he said. "And the message that our state legislature needs to be fiscally responsible is incredibly timely."

"The recent Pennsylvania budget fiasco illustrated that Pennsylvania taxpayers deserve better stewards of public monies," he said.

Griffith also noted that a "Petition of Grievances" will be presented at the rally and representatives from the different sponsoring groups will be invited to sign it before it is presented to the Governor.

"The petition we are presenting is modeled after the ‘Olive Branch Petition’ made by our Founding Fathers in 1775, and just lays out the fact that we the people have identified problem areas with our state government and that we want these problems fixed," he said.

Griffith said that almost 50 different groups from across Pennsylvania are expected to be represented at the rally and anticipated most would be willing to sign onto the petition.

The November 14 event will involve rally participants gathering at Harrisburg City Island at 1:00 PM followed by a march to the capitol at 2:00 PM. The rally itself will be held in the capitol steps beginning at 2:30 PM, and will feature brief comments by reform-oriented leaders from across the state and the country.