(Elizabeth Crum/Nevada News Bureau) – T.D. Barnes is the president and one of the owners of Startel, Inc., the company that owns the 160 acres where Saturday’s big “Showdown in Searchlight” Tea Party rally is going to occur.
Barnes said he was approached by the Tea Party Express for the use of his land, but that he doesn’t know enough about the Tea Party movement to determine if it satisfies his political concerns.
“I have not attended any rallies, nor am I active in grassroots,” he said. “I do, however, support anything that will expose and curtail the agenda of the current administration.”
Barnes did say the Tea Party movement appears to be “shining light on what the House, Senate, and Obama administration are doing to circumvent the wishes and needs of the voters.”
“Our citizens need jobs, not more government control, give-away programs and debt that future generators will have to pay,” he said. “In my opinion, fault lies with both parties and with a society turned passive and willing to accept a free ride.”
Barnes plans to attend the rally and said people are welcome to come down and camp on the land the night before if they wish. He said Tea Party Express coordinators have arranged for the provision of porta potties and trash receptacles on the land.
Barnes’ company, Startel, has a landscape rock operation operated by Vista Landscape Center of Henderson and which produces much of the crushed rock used to replace lawns and conserve water in southern Nevada. In addition to their rock operation, Startel is seeking to start up a solar renewable energy operation.
Barnes is also the Director of the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame and President of Roadrunners Internationale which consists of ex-CIA, Air Force and other military support personnel who built and flew the CIA U-2 and A-12 spyplanes at Groom Lake (Area-51) in the 1960s. (FYI: The A-12 preceded the SR-71, but remained classified until recent years.) Two years ago the CIA declassified the identity of Barnes and the others who worked on the A-12 Oxcart project.
Barnes and his wife, Doris, last week celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.