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Under the Heading 'There is No There — There'

Alameda County GOP fundraiser interrupted by Occupy protesters

The role of political party county chairman includes three main tasks: recruiting candidates, recruiting volunteers and raising money. The money we raise in our local activities, we use to support our candidates running for local office and our Get-Out-The-Vote efforts. Raising money for the local party is very "grass roots," and the members of our larger community with "big egos" and big money usually direct their efforts to statewide and federal candidates and campaigns. I believe this is the same way things are arranged in the opposition party. George Clooney, who recently held a big fundraiser for President Obama, is unlikely to show up at a Los Angeles County Democrat County Committee fundraiser.

It is a challenge to raise money for the county committee, competing as we are with candidates running at every level, Tea Party groups and other politically active groups such as Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works, Heritage Foundation etc. There isn’t a day that I don’t receive 10 to 15 requests for money in my email inbox, not to mention the direct mail pieces that find their way to my mailbox. But still we must raise funds since we do not receive any money from the state party and only from direct contributions from our network.

Our Alameda County GOP held a fundraiser last night [May 24] to beef up our bank account. Our ticket price was $75 per person, not an expensive event. We usually have a well-known speaker at our events to encourage attendance and last night that included an invitation to Republican Congressman Dan Lungren.  We also invited Ricky Gill, an exciting young Congressional candidate getting a lot of attention in his district near Stockton and Lodi.

We try to have our events in a nice location that will be comfortable and easy to reach and we held this one at Sequoyah Country Club in the Oakland Hills. Imagine our surprise when a group of about 30 Occupy Protesters barged into our private party on private property with a bull horn, a cameraman from Channel 2 and Carla Marinucci, political reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle. 

There was no one to see the protesters other than a few members of Sequoyah Country Club and the guests at our Alameda County GOP event. They were there to protest Congressman Lungren, whose re-election Nancy Pelosi and the CA Democrats would like to defeat. The Democrats hope to pick up one to six Congressional seats out of the 53 in California, and they think there is an opportunity due to the newly drawn district boundaries, and the fact that California is likely to be won by Barack Obama, which will help "down-ballot" races.

The protesters thought it was a "champagne and chardonnay" crowd of affluent Republicans raising money for Dan Lungren, and Carla Marinucci from the S F Chronicle didn’t bother to ask questions or check the facts. Prior to this I thought she was a higher-caliber journalist and not simply a "drive-by" reporter, but I can tell you that nobody, including Carla Marinucci, contacted me for information in order to understand why we were gathering. It was simply a rude "surprise attack" and Ms. Marinucci and Channel 2 participated.

So how did the protesters know about our party? Clearly our invitation was hijacked and shared. It is a sorry state of affairs when a local county party can’t hold a private event on private grounds without an obnoxious interruption by 30 uninvited people.  It is also sad to me that the news media chases a "non-story" simply to embarrass Republicans. There was no "there — there," to quote Gertrude Stein. The event wasn’t what they thought and if it is true that some of the protesters came from Dan Lungren’s district in Sacramento, they spent a lot of time and money (or their benefactors did) setting them up. They never did see Congressman Lungren, who arrived after the protesters’ departure.   

We called the police to remove the protesters from the private property and it took the Oakland PD about 30 minutes to respond. There weren’t any ugly altercations as the protesters moved on.

I could tell you more stories about the ugliness of the opposition party behavior.  There are stories about union leaders intimidating local Republican candidate family members, slashing tires and breaking into private property. Is this how we want our political discourse to be?  I have many friends who are Democrats and I wonder if they feel it is acceptable for this "anything goes" behavior? It is really very disappointing and ugly when confronted.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jon Spangler May 28, 2012 at 08:29 PM
P'town Momma, Although the Democrats hold majorities in both legislative houses the Republican minority is just large enough to obstinately block reasonable tax reforms, closing tax loopholes, and raising revenues to solve California's multi-billion-dollar budget deficits. By continually holding hostage hijacking state budget solutions with "no new taxes" polemics, the GOP extremists have made California's budget problems even worse. Insisting absolutely on "no new taxes" taken to the extreme is NOT a reasonable approach to governing--it is a recipe for statewide disaster.
Paul Vargas May 29, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Oh please, Spangler, leave your self righteous morality at home. Read your Bible, the Bible says we place faith in God not in government. There is nothing to keep you or any of your self righteous, self serving Democrats from individually helping the poor, the underserved (?????) or "society's need for justice" without using the coersive power of government to "force" charity upon others in the form of taxation.
Paul Vargas May 29, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Oh please Spangler. The GOP is obstructing the budget? California has a spending problem not a revenue problem Don't think you're talking to some pot heads in Berkeley. We're more intelligent than that.
Jim Faison February 08, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Yikes, one month after the inauguration of the Dem Maj in CA, all the wacky ideas can be pushed. Even when there was Republican ability to block spending and 'environmental projects', we got into the debt of $16 billion. Don't start blaming the Republicans for the future events, as I am sure you will do. When I ran for office, it was three years before one of the print media phoned to ask "Are your the same guy that appears in the phone book that is appearing on the ballot", which means that they never sought to balance the coverage, even though I had appeared in several 'debates' or candidate nights since 2008!! Half of which, Sandre' did not even appear. The Libertarian party results? Single Digit! So those 'independent' voters were just avoiding mailers; same with Green and peace And Freedom Party!! They don't even make 'the Patch', much less Facebook or the major media. Reporter smirked "your going to lose anyway, why run?.
Brash Brazen December 08, 2013 at 11:43 PM
I told you so !!! Eat your words you Republican morons,Obama won big & the big loser Romney was as close to winning the Presidency as the GOP will ever get ! Here comes 8 years of Hillary !!!

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