A local group of citizen activists wants to make elected officials more accountable to strict constitutional principals and the voting public they represent.
About 30 people gathered Saturday at the Cape Girardeau Public Library for the second meeting of The Preamble Patriot.
Members of the organization planned local tea party events last year but are now working to attract a broader support base.
"The only way we can be effective is to represent high enough numbers of people to get candidates for office to come to a central location and explain we don't care what your platform is, what we want is for you to listen to us for a change," said Ken Ochs.
The group advocates smaller government and lower taxes. It supports a repeal of the 16th amendment to the U.S. Constitution providing for the collection of a federal income tax.
"We are too hooked on government heroin," said David Cameron of Cape Girardeau. "The public is going to have to be willing to give up some government subsidies like student loans and crop subsidies."
In addition to tax reform, other topics discussed included health care, immigration, energy policies and the Census.
Ensuring elected officials uphold fundamental constitutional principals is another of the group's goals.
"As citizens we owe it to ourselves to know who serves us and what they stand for," said retired state representative Mary Kasten, a group member.
At the meeting, some members suggested they form a research committee to compile lists of local elected officials' voting records and campaign contributions from lobbyist groups.
They also discussed holding a "Patriot Party" with music and food this summer share its mission with more people.
The next meeting of The Preamble Patriot is scheduled for 2 p.m. April 24 at the library. The group recently launched a website and blog at www.thepreamblepatriot.org.
Pertinent Address: 711 N. Clark St., Cape Girardeau