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Cape Cod Times, August 12, 2014

Obama star of pricey Martha's Vineyard fundraiser event
By Jason Kolnos

TISBURY — Considering the ticket price, let's hope there was an open bar and some really good shrimp.

President Barack Obama was the guest of honor at an upscale fundraiser to benefit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Monday evening. The event was held at the home of Roger Brown, the president of Berklee School of Music in Boston and his wife, Linda Mason.

Rubbing elbows with the most powerful man in the country in person wasn't cheap, however. Tickets for the fundraiser ranged from $15,000 to $32,400, according to a DSCC official.

Shortly before 6 p.m., the presidential motorcade arrived at the couple's home, which sports a large back lawn with a view of the water.

More than 15 people gathered in a yard near the house and took pictures and waved, according to press pool reports. Across the street, signs read "Welcome Obama" signed Cara, Chris and Ben, and "Enjoy MV."

Some musicians from Berklee were in attendance, as was Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

Obama thanked Brown and Mason for their hospitality. The couple founded Bright Horizons, a child-care provider, and Mason is also a chair of Mercy Corps, an organization that helps people around the world thrive during crisis.

During remarks he made at the event, President Obama took a swipe at the GOP.

“What's preventing us from getting things done right now is you've got a faction within the Republican Party that thinks solely in terms of their own ideological purposes and solely in terms of how do they hang on to power,” Obama said. “And that's a problem. And that's why I need a Democratic Senate.”

The event was held to help the committee raise funds to keep the Senate majority by re-electing incumbents, putting forth challengers that can win in open seats and knocking off incumbent Republican senators where there are opportunities, DSCC National Press Secretary Justin Barasky told the Times earlier Monday.

The president spent about an hour at the fundraiser and briefly touched on a host of national and world issues in his remarks before returning to his Chilmark vacation home.

Police officials blocked any public access to the fundraiser but that didn't stop a group of protestors representing the Center for Biological Diversity out of Tucson, Arizona, from gathering nearby on Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road to wave and hold signs. Some wore snorkels and masks and they waved at the presidential motorcade as it zoomed by.

Emily Jeffers of Berkeley, California, was dressed as Frostpaw the Polar Bear and held a sign that read, “Yes you can! Stop Sea Level Rise.”

“It's getting harder and harder everyday because the world is getting warmer and my habitat is disappearing,” Jeffers said, channeling her inner polar bear. “I want to raise awareness about climate change and sea level rise and tell the president to take strong action to stop the rising seas.“

The demonstration also included three generations of a Vineyard Haven family. Carolyn Ware, an island resident since the 1960s, came to hold signs with her daughter Catherine Kilduff and grandkids Lila and Lane Kilduff.

“I became compelled to start advocating to protect our coasts and our oceans, so whether it's sea turtles or polar bears, they are affected by climate change and we have to act now if we want to keep our marine life and terrestrial life around,” said Catherine Kilduff.


Copyright © 2014. Local Media Group, Inc.

This article originally appeared here.

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton