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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.

Paul Vargas May 27, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Bama is going down in defeat, we all know it. bahahhahahahahahaa
Paul Vargas May 27, 2012 at 09:52 PM
You must be describing Princess Nanchy Pelosi, because that clueless airhead jumped on the Occupy Bandwagon went they first crawled out of the the sewer.
Paul Vargas May 27, 2012 at 09:56 PM
I wear that with honor. You obviously can't argue the facts. So stay in the little corner of insanity called San Francisco Bay and take refuge with other like minded simpletons. The GOP will have a landslide victory in November and the whinning litle girls; Pete Stark, George Miller, Barbara Lee, and Babby Boxer will be on the floor of Congress crying in front of the CSPAN camera like they always do.
Jim Faison May 27, 2012 at 10:10 PM
No Nixon pix in the county club building. After bashing him for Watergate, and attacking those who would not waterboard him, they 'worshiped' him in repeated obituaries on his 'china policy' and Kissinger o pening up China to allow the spread of their lies. Read my letter to TIME magazine when they named Chairman Mao 'man of the year' in 1977!!! You wouldn't like my caliber of Republican.
John Piziali May 28, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Well now we know there is a least one Republican in Alameda County. Paul have you found any others??.
Paul Vargas May 28, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Oh, Pizza your back. Didn't get enough of an argument last time?
David May 28, 2012 at 01:32 AM
It's funny how the tyrannical majority in California vacillate between crowing about how there's only 1 Republican in Alameda county, etc, and then whining about how the vast Republican conspiracy is what has destroyed California over the past 40 years. That one Republican sure is powerful. I'd like to meet "the man" as it were. Heh. He must be both super-powerful and immortal.
Leah Hall May 28, 2012 at 01:41 AM
John & Paul are not much of a sample size to be basing your conclusions, Forever 2I. Though some might be interested in this op-ed about the "real" Hosers of the Universe: "And it has, in a way, been funny to see how childish and thin-skinned the Masters of the Universe turn out to be." -Paul Krugman http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/25/opinion/krugman-egos-and-immorality.html?_r=1&smid=fb-share
David May 28, 2012 at 01:52 AM
You still read that former Enron advisor's columns? That explains a lot. By the way, that Enron gig paid *very* well http://www.celebrityhousepictures.com/paul-krugman.php
Paul Vargas May 28, 2012 at 02:03 AM
David, some people cannot see the forest for the trees. Leah, on the other hand, doesn't want you in that forest to begin with, lest you disturb her "community garden". lol
Mike May 28, 2012 at 02:05 AM
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-08/private-jobs-increase-more-with-democrats-in-white-house.html A little jolt of reality for republicans
David May 28, 2012 at 02:12 AM
1) You realize Nixon was 40 years ago. 2) You realize that your "less intelligent" brethren in the hinterlands are enjoying their work as they actually have jobs, paying less taxes, getting more out of them (better schools, roads, etc). 3) Those "less intelligent" brethren are also enjoying their $200k 5 br/3 ba houses, new cars and boats thanks to lower cost of living, thanks to less government regulation. Gosh, those dumb hicks sure are living a heck of a lot better than you "smart" people with your lousy schools, torn up roads, tiny houses (or apartments, thanks for sacrificing for "mass transit" that 2% of people use). Must feel really good to be "smart." Because you sure are giving up a lot for your hollow feeling of superiority.
David May 28, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Sure, cut out FDR for the Dems and Eisenhower for the Republicans. Interesting. Also interesting. Clinton accounts for more than 50% of the job totals. What happened then? Oh yeah, government spending flattened out because...wait for it...Republicans were running the House. They don't say it, but JFK accounted for most of the rest. Why? Wait for it...Oh yeah, the economic boom unleashed by JFK's massive slashing of the top tax rates... You're right up there, Nixon would be a Democrat these days, spending more $$$ and giving up on "unwinnable" wars, and JFK would be a war-mongering, tax-cutting Republican. But hey, keep going "Forward" to the past. That'll get Obama back to Sweet Home Chicago.
Mike May 28, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Yet most republicans and southern democrats(the new republican party) voted against Kennedy's tax cut. http://newstalgia.crooksandliars.com/gordonskene/tax-cut-1963 Eisenhower might also be a democrat today as he was one of the first Presidents to call for a national health plan and also warned against allowing the religious right to influence the party.
Leah Hall May 28, 2012 at 03:09 AM
@ Forever 21, Yep. Amatuer and astonishingly thin-skinned conservative pundits on Patch, Paul Krugman...
David May 28, 2012 at 03:10 AM
No, Eisenhower would be as Republican as Romney. Are these the same southern Democrats (new Republicans) who are *still* voting in Democratic primaries in Kentucky, West Virginia etc, and who keep electing Democrats into state office? Such "Republicans."
Paul Vargas May 28, 2012 at 03:36 AM
What was the total number of Republicans in the House in 1963? They had no influence whatsoever.
Paul Vargas May 28, 2012 at 03:39 AM
What a laughable article. The Democrats screw up the economy, the GOP comes in and fixes it, then while the GOP economy is growing the Democrats come in and screw it up again.
Paul Vargas May 28, 2012 at 03:42 AM
And that fool Kennedy got rid of the silver certificates, leading to the devaluation of the dollar and eventually the removal the USA from the gold standard.
Brash Brazen May 28, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Once LBJ pushed through the civil rights legislation all the bigots became Republicans & you're welcome to them. I would rather live in a progressive state where the majority of voters share my views than a GOP hellhole run by white collar criminals & the church. Fortunately you're here & your vote doesn't matter,as you've been marginalized by your more liberal neighbors. The pious & elderly white folks are a shrinking minority whose days are numbered as the demographics continue to shift back to the left. You can live in the 1950's if it suits you,but America is changing & passing you by. What seems so strange about people having their fill of faith-based fanatics trying to force their puritanical lifestyle upon them through legislation. Enough is enough,it's time to send the smug & righteous packing this November !
Paul Vargas May 28, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Aint going to happen Brash Numb-nuts. The Dems are in for another electoral thrashing in November and your idiot, drug infested leftist voters will be crying and sobbing.
David May 28, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Brash, do you live in the same "hellhole" that voted to outlaw gay marriage? Did you vote for the pot-smoking, cocaine using president who is sending the DEA to bust pot shops in Oakland right now? The same "hellhole" that subjects its prisoners to "cruel and unusual" punishment and has to release 30% of them due to disgusting conditions (that we pay 2x the national average for)? What a backwards place. You should move to an enlightened place. Maybe Texas. Or Mississippi.
a94501er May 28, 2012 at 06:38 AM
@Paul Vargas, what are you smoking? The Republicans fixed the economy??? We're still cleaning up from 8 years of the toxic texan.
Paul Vargas May 28, 2012 at 08:02 AM
And we're still fixing the economy from the crippled.
Jon Spangler May 28, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Ms. Caro clearly discerns the difference between the Tea Party and other Republicans. Unfortunately, she then proceeds to attack all Democrats, falsely lumping the self-identified "Occupy Protesters" in with "the ugliness of the opposition party behavior." Her conclusion is unsupported by any facts: Occupy Oakland also attacked Democratic Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. "Occupy Protesters" do not support Democrats and they act independently from any Democratic organization. Smearing all Democrats as using the same tactics as "Occupy Protesters" does not advance Ms. Caro’s (rhetorical?) question: "I wonder if…it is acceptable for this "anything goes" behavior?" (No, it is not.) As a Democrat I know civility and mutual respect are crucial to healthy politics. But respect goes beyond that: those who ignore the needs of the poor, the underserved, or society's need for justice are irresponsible and have abdicated their moral right to govern. (Read your Bible.) I hope Ms. Caro and her GOP colleagues pay as much attention to meeting our obvious human needs as she has to the protesters who crashed her fundraiser. Those needs are far more pressing and more disruptive to our social fabric than a minor country club upset.
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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