Corona del Mar Today: Republicans plan to protest Obama's Newport visit

February 11, 2012|By Amy Senk

Local Republican activists are planning a rally to greet President Obama when he visits Corona del Mar on Thursday morning for a breakfast fundraiser.

"I'm hoping what we can make this one of the most significant political rallies in the history of Newport Beach," said organizer Laura Dietz. "Our goal is to leave him with the distinct impression that California is not going to sit here idly by, that he has California totally in the bag. This is a hard-core campaign. Chicago politics is coming to Corona del Mar."

Dietz held an organizational meeting in her home and plans a Sunday meeting, where Republican supporters will spend six hours making signs for the rally, which she hopes will attract hundreds of people.


"I'm on a million email lists, and we're blasting everyone with information," she said.

Tea Party groups and other conservative clubs and organizations will be invited, she said.

"We've started doing a grass-roots effort to reach as many people as possible," she said. "People are enthusiastic. Our future is on the line. Our country is self-destructing."

The rally will include "interesting visuals" beyond signs, Dietz said, but she declined to discuss the specifics of what the protesters are planning.

She said groups would be stationed near Poppy Avenue and East Coast Highway, as well as other locations near Shore Cliffs, where the president is planning to attend the fundraiser at the home of Jeff and Nancy Stack.

The protesters, she said, may shift positions in order to work with police and Secret Service agents. The group does not need a permit to protest in Newport Beach but will not be permitted to impede pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

Many Shore Cliffs residents have called Dietz, concerned about possible traffic closures, she said.

Dave Murray, resident agent in charge of the Orange County office of the Secret Service, said that plans are being finalized for the president's visit.

"We don't discuss our security ahead of time," he said, although he added that some information may be released closer to the event.

"We make every effort to limit or mitigate the disruption to the public," he said.

The protesters will gather at 6:30 a.m., Dietz said.

The breakfast begins at 7 a.m. Tickets to the event cost $2,500 to $35,800 per person.


Presidential visit changes meeting time

The Corona del Mar Residents Assn.'s monthly board meeting will meet a day earlier this month because of possible traffic concerns related to President Obama's visit.

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