By Doug Porter
Nearly 400 activists with the network of 88 Indivisible-affiliated groups in Southern California took to the beach on Thursday, aiming to send a message to the Republican National Committee’s Spring Meeting at the Hotel Del Coronado.
Inside the building, it was business as usual for GOP delegates from around the country.
From the Union-Tribune:
On Wednesday, the second day in which President Trump’s administration was buried in fallout from his decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey, Republican National Committee members and guests gathered under festive white lights on the lawn of the elegant Hotel del Coronado, serenaded by a guitarist who played “Hotel California” as the sun set.
“Desserts, more beverages and … fine cigars” were waiting at the RNC’s next private party stop, a host told the happy and relaxed crowd.
On Thursday, RNC members heard optimistic assessments of the party’s financial standing, listened to an invitation-only speech by the president’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump and talked up strategies for the 2018 election.
For a few days, the members of the RNC are happily in a bubble.
On the beach side of the luxury property, activists sought to drive home the message business as usual will include public protests, no matter where the GOP tries to meet.
They wanted to make it clear that the toxic policies and conduct of President Donald Trump will cost the party its majority in the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections.
“The best way to stop the toxic Trump agenda is to flip Congress in 2018,” said San Diego County Indivisible organizer Kathy Stadler in a press release. “The recent House vote for the wildly unpopular health care bill has incensed voters. It personally threatens tens of millions of Americans and will galvanize intense opposition to any Republican who supported it. A Democratic-controlled House won’t prioritize tax cuts for the wealthy over the health and well-being of millions of citizens.
“Trump’s inept and obvious attempt to squelch the FBI investigation of his campaign’s collusion with Russia further underscores the need for a Democratic House,” added Stadler. “Right now, Trump appointees and Republicans can slow or block every avenue of investigation and prosecution. With the White House itself suspected of espionage and collusion with a hostile foreign power that manipulated our 2016 election, the stakes could not be higher. Voters who want the truth will vote for Democrats, so a House investigation can uncover what Trump is so desperate to hide from us.”
Camera crews from local TV news operations were joined by national correspondents from MSNBC and CNN as protesters marched up the beach.
Local offices for Congressmen Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter have been the focus of weekly protests for nearly four months now.
“Darrell Issa betrayed his constituents to give Donald Trump a victory on the American Health Care Act,” said Ellen Montanari, Indivisible organizer in Issa’s 49thDistrict via press release. “The Republican Party is rewarding Darrell Issa for his deciding vote to pass AHCA with high-dollar donations from the wealthy. But while he was off fundraising in Florida this week, more than 800 angry voters protested outside his office. I’m here to tell the Republican Party: money won’t save Issa’s seat. In 2018, victory will be ours when voters channel their outrage at the ballot box and put Darrell Issa out of a job.”
“Duncan Hunter’s seat is no longer safe for Republicans,” said Sheryl Brown, Indivisible organizer in District 50. “His constituents will pay a high penalty for the American Health Care Act that allows older Americans to be charged five times the rate of younger ones. Hunter’s voters are also patriots who do not condone Russian interference in our democratic election nor tolerance of possible Russian spies, like Mike Flynn, in the White House.
“Voters in District 50 live within their means and expect the same of their congressman,” added Brown. “Yet ‘Dirty Duncan’ is under federal investigation for illegally using his campaign as an ATM, withdrawing more than $60,000 to pay for vacations, cigars, groceries, utilities, dentists, jewelry and a $600 plane ticket for a rabbit. Our voters expect accountability, yet Hunter blames his child and his wife for these possibly criminal acts. For the first time, District 50 is primed to elect a patriotic Democrat with strong American values of honesty, integrity, and compassion for the old, the sick and the vulnerable among us.”
From the Times of San Diego coverage:
On the beach outside the hotel, protesters formed the numbers 2018 to symbolize their future efforts to unseat congressional Republicans.
The group had hoped to take a group photo with a drone, but wasn’t allowed to fly it due to the proximity to North Island Naval Air Station.
GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of North County was one of the targets of the protest because of his recent vote to repeal and replace Affordable Care Act.
Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, a fellow Republican, also drew the crowd’s ire. Hunter is being investigated for using campaign funds for personal use.
It wasn’t the first time anti-Republican protests rang outside the Hotel Del. In September 1970, demonstrators greeted President Richard Nixon while he held the first state dinner outside the White House.