Late this afternoon more than 40 protesters greeted the arrival of Congressman Barney Frank in Orange County, but the sentiments weren't welcoming in the place once hailed as "Reagan Country."
"No more [Sen. Barbara] Boxer!" the protesters shouted repeatedly in unison as attendees arrived for the biggest night in local Democratic Party politics, the annual Harry Truman Awards Dinner. Barbara Boxer is scheduled to win the "environmental award," but is not present. (Loretta Sanchez will accept the award on her behalf.) Frank, the powerful Massachusetts member of Congress, will serve as keynote speaker.
But the protesters--almost entirely Caucasian and waving either American or Arizona flags--weren't impressed.
Their signs said, "Stop illegal immigration," "Where are the jobs?" and "Impeach Pelosi and [Harry] Reid," the current top-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate. One man yelled, "Repeal and replace Obamacare!"
(Poor Sanchez, Orange County's lone Democrat in Congress, must feel ignored.)
Inside the UFCW Local 324 banquet hall in Buena Park, chatty attendees for the sold-out event didn't seem bothered by the protesters.
Frank Barbaro, chairman of the local Democratic Party, called them "lowbrow" during his opening remarks.
Other attendees included California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (and his not inconsequential security detail), OC trial lawyer powerhouse Wylie Aitken, a majority of the Irvine City Council: Larry Agran, Beth Krom and Sukhee Kang, Santa Ana Assemblyman Jose Solorio, longtime lovable activist Marti Schrank, Garden Grove Unified School District candidate Bao Nguyen, Democratic Party Executive Director Gerrie Schipske, Laguna Beach Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman, lawyer John Hanna, Chris Prevatt from theliberaloc.com, PI/activist Jeff LeTourneau, county government union boss Nick Berardino and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, who was the the last to arrive; first to leave.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly