SEATTLE—She calls herself "Liberty Belle". She's a conservative blogger, and founder of the Seattle "Tea Party" movement.
I took Liberty Belle out for a cup of... Hot Chocolate.
Her real name is Keli Carender... and she's an unlikely political pot stirrer. She's a 30-year old math teacher from Bremerton, fed up with what she calls a bloated, overspending government. She formed her first rally, "The Porkulus Protest", just over a year ago at Westlake Center. And by April of last year, she drew over a thousand people to join what she called the "Tax Day Tea Party, harkening back to our nation's founding.
"The tradition of people standing up against a government they think has grown too large or unrepresentative of the people", Carender says. She says the new health care law is the greatest misrepresentation of the American people in history.
On a Toutube clip that has over 70,000 views, Carender confronted Democratic representative Norm Dicks at a town meeting last August, challenging Dicks to take a $20 bill from her to distribute to whom he deemed as more needy than her.
"If you think it is moral to take my money and give it someone else based on their supposed needs, then you take this $20 from me and use it as a down payment on this health care plan", Carender says on the clip. Representative Dicks declined the offer.
"He should have the guts to come and take my $20 out of my hand and give it to that needy person, because that's what he does via legislation. He should do it in front of everyone. Be a man and do it."
She says the media isn't telling the truth about the health care bill because the media doesn't understand the health care bill. and she says our leaders don't either.
"I mean come on, when (House speaker) Nancy Pelosi says we have to pass the bill to find out what's in the bill... doesn't that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up?" Carender says.
11-year old Marcelas Owens from Seattle was thrown into the fray when he lobbied for the bill on behalf of his late mother, who lost her job, her health insurance, and eventually her life from pulmonary hypertension.
Conservative talk show hosts and some tea partiers called it a "sob story" for Democrats to sell their plan...
On the House floor, Washington Congressman Jim McDermott said, "On my work today, I saw a group of teabaggers..." McDermott goes on to say, "In all my years of public service, I can't remember seeing such a cheap and disgraceful campaign."
Carender fires back.
"When you've got (Washington Senator) Patty Murray and Jim Mcdermott calling us teabaggers... calling us racists...it's so insulting."
But Carender is getting used to the insults.. "I now get hate mail, things like that, so that's fun", she says.
It only fuels her resolve to fight harder. She is helping organize two "Tax Day Tea Parties" on April 15th. One in Olympia, and one at Westlake Park in Seattle.
"It's a great feeling", Carender says, "To have people get together and see they're not alone. (Westlake Park) was packed with people who were standing up for their beliefs and to give them the courage to do that, that was the coolest part."
Carender says she is also working to rally support for what she calls the "awesomely brave actions" by Attorney General Rob McKenna in joining other states in a lawsuit against the health care bill. The suit charges that being forced to buy insurance in the private market is unconstituional.