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Obama visiting Orange County this week

No confirmation yet, but president may use OC Fair & Events Center to discuss health care, says local Democratic official.

March 14, 2009|By Brianna Bailey

President Barack Obama’s staffers are eyeing the OC Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa as a possible venue for a town hall meeting when the president visits Orange County on Wednesday, a Democratic party official said Saturday.

“We haven’t gotten any confirmation yet, but there are rumors they are considering using the fairgrounds,” said Melahat Rafiei, executive director of the Democratic Party of Orange County.

Obama will travel to Orange County on Wednesday afternoon, before heading to Los Angeles to spend the night, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said during a media briefing last week. The president will hold a few events in Los Angeles on Thursday before returning to Washington D.C. late that evening.

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The president could use the Orange County town hall meeting to discuss health care, Rafiei said.

Obama’s health care agenda incudes requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, creating a tax credit for to help small businesses to provide health insurance for employees and establishing a national health insurance exchange.

The fairgrounds 5,900 square-foot amphitheater holds about 8,500 people. The fairgrounds also has an open-air arena with seating for about 5,500 people, as well as a number of smaller venues.

Rafiei said more details about Obama’s visit to Orange County will become available in the next few days.


Reporter BRIANNA BAILEY may be reached at (714) 966-4625 or at brianna.bailey@latimes.com.

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