State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Trump supporters attempt to flip the script

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Mar 6, 2017 3:59 AM

Ralliers with signs, flags, and a semi truck make their case from the side of a Wilkes-Barre road. (Photo by Katie Meyer/WITF)

(Harrisburg) -- It's a balmy thirty-five degrees and windy in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County.

But in a vacant lot off a busy road across the street from a TGI Fridays, a couple dozen flag-toting ralliers are undeterred.

This gathering is one of five in Pennsylvania on this particular Saturday, and one of dozens scheduled in over thirty states. All of them are coordinated under the umbrella of Tea Party-allied group Main Street Patriots, whose stated mission is to show support for President Donald Trump in a "positive, upbeat manner."

One tall, red-bearded man, James Issermoyer, said he's a Civil War reenactor. And he thinks right now, the union needs uniting.

"We just need to learn to get along," Issermoyer said. "America is the greatest country on this planet--for now. We just got to keep doing what we're doing. We got to pip up, shape up, and stop the infighting."

That was a common sentiment.

Another rallier, Andrew Shecktor, is a former Trump delegate launching a long-shot US Senate campaign against incumbent Democrat Bob Casey.

He said this is a way to offset the recent waves of anti-Trump protests--and cited a conspiracy theory the White House has promoted on and off.

"We need to bring to light the fact that a lot of these protests are paid protests," he said. "They're not the people that are actually voting."

Leann Rompella Koons of Luzerne County, who organized the rally, agreed.

"[Trump] definitely needs some more positive press around him," she said. "He's our president now. And I think we should all come together--not just Democrats and Republicans at each other all the time."

The day wasn't without some conflicts.

Once, a man stopped his car in traffic and got in a shouting match with the ralliers through his window.

But most honks were friendly--a show of camaraderie against what these Trump voters see as media and other elites conspiring against the man they helped elect president.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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