West BloomfieldAugust 23, 2012
VP heads to WB for fundraiser
By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer
Local Democrats were bidin’ their time with Vice President Joe Biden during a fundraiser at the Shenandoah Country Club in West Bloomfield Aug. 22.
Soon after 5:15 p.m., a caravan of police motorcycles and their flashing red and blue lights led Biden’s motorcade westbound on Walnut Lake Road to the venue. Biden had earlier attended a campaign rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit.
Not one visible activist supporting or opposing Biden appeared to greet the motorcade as it headed into the parking lot for the West Bloomfield fundraiser. A representative from the vice president’s office told the Beacon that the fundraiser was closed to the press.
West Bloomfield Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste, a Democrat, said she was looking forward to attending the gathering. She praised the country club for being a venue that showcases the township well.
“This is the first time that we’ve had the vice president come to West Bloomfield Township, and certainly we are honored that he has come to the community,” she said.
Jim Manna, a West Bloomfield Planning Commission member, said he attended the fundraiser on his own behalf. He said approximately 60 and 70 people came to the event, many of them Chaldean. Jewish, Pakistani and Palestinian donors were also there, he said.
According to Manna, Biden shared his experiences in trying to help the Chaldean people, who are frequently persecuted in Iraq. He also discussed campaign issues.
“He says he has a bumper sticker: We killed Osama bin Laden and we saved General Motors,” Manna said.
West Bloomfield Police Chief Michael Patton said he spent the day coordinating security with the Secret Service. He reported that everything went smoothly, thanks in part to officers extending their shifts on short notice. He also said state, county and Detroit officers also contributed, as did an ambulance from the West Bloomfield Fire Department.
“It’s very security- and labor-intensive,” he said. “Someone as high-level an office as the vice president, he commands and requires a significant amount of resources.”
Calls to the Obama campaign on how much money was raised went unreturned. But according to an invitation, donors had to dig deep into their wallets to attend the fundraiser. Donations started at $500 for admission and worked their way up to $10,000, which let the highest contributors take part in a host greet and photo with the vice president.
The contributions went to the Obama Victory Fund 2012, a project of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.
Many pollsters have generally predicted that the state leans toward Obama, though Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney led by 3.8 percent in a poll taken Aug. 16 that was ordered by Fox 2 News Detroit.
Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., were scheduled to appear at a Commerce Township event at the Long Family Orchard, Farm & Cider Mill Aug. 24.
Learn more about Shenandoah Country Club at www.shenandoahcc.net.
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