Since the OB Rag‘s article on the Dumanis Fundraiser on Del Monte in Ocean Beach created such controversy, I decided to stakeout the event and report on any protests that may arise. Nothing says ‘political espionage’ more than a college student facebooking in a Mini Cooper.
If I were the kind of person who stereotypes (and I am), I might say that at a liberal fundraiser, I might expect to find an offering of free abortions, a justice of the peace presiding over same-sex marriages, and guests using the smattering of hors d’ouvres to make sandwiches for the homeless. I wasn’t sure what to expect at a conservative’s fundraiser– maybe a politician accepting monetary donations in exchange for political patronage? Oh, wait….
Having seen the fundraiser described in the comments of the OB Rag as something terrible that we must fear in the community, I must admit that I let my imagination get the best of me. Images of conservatives in togas made of red, white, and blue, their star-spangled butts shimmying to the likes of the macarena, whilst they dance around a bonfire kindled by public employee pensions and worship their Redevelopment and Chargers Stadium gods. Well, that must have been at Carl DeMaio’s fundraiser. Unfortunately, not here. That would have made for fantastic pictures.
At this OB event, Bonnie seemed to attract white, upper-middle class, older couples. While the only person of note I recognized was Denny Knox, Executive Director of the Ocean Beach Main Street Association, most of the congregation seemed to be of the pixie haircut and powersuit variety. However, that is to be expected. All in all, it was all relatively normal.
The most interesting thing to me, that I did not expect, was the two people on security detail, judging by the fact that they spent the entire time milling in the driveway and had to ask if they could come inside the house (I think the help has to use the basement bathroom?). The security detail was entirely unneeded. The only dangerous element at the scene was an unleashed, unchaperoned chow chow who interrogated my canine companion (not to fear, cooler heads prevailed).
The most atrocious thing on the block was that the house itself was quite ugly (Too bad Bonnie can’t prosecute architectural design disasters!). Though no protesters showed up, and it would have been interesting to see what the people of San Diego had to say to Bonnie, I have to say that I was more dismayed that I was the only person on the street that wasn’t invited (sadface). Hearing the gentle din of conservatives’ laughter (it doesn’t actually sound that much different than mine), I imagined offerings of California pinot noir and pâté with fig spread on watercress crackers. If it had been a dinner party, they would have served cornish hens with quinoa. Hey, Republican party-goers, we may have something in common after all.
I thought about joining the party, introducing myself, and exchanging witty repartee while munching on shrimp stuffed endive spears, but an obstacle: the front entrance to the home was outfitted with a check-in table. As guests approached, they flashed something to the check-in host– driver’s license? NRA membership card?– and promptly layed out their checkbooks. Guests were required to pay at least $150 per person at the door. The check in person took this monetary exchange very seriously. Home ddresses were written on the checks, as well as the signer’s driver’s license number. Word of Advice: DO NOT write a bad check to the effing District Attorney of San Diego’s political campaign. She will prosecute that shit. Word. It’s just my luck that I don’t happen to have $150 in my bank account. Whatever. I’m not that great at witty repartee, and I bet they served frozen mini quiches instead of the good shit anyway.
Being outside in the gray September twilight made me think of a few things. For one, if I were the type to derive poignant nuggets from metaphors contrived from meaningless phenomena (and I am), I would say Hark! Here I am, a poor, lowly native San Diegan, locked outside of a $1.055 million dollar home with only a cream soda from 7-11 to sustain me. Why doesn’t Bonnie want to invite me in? Why doesn’t she care what I have to say? Bonnie’s campaign strategy of hob-nobbing it in private homes with requirements for minimum political donations is a metaphor for the most hated aspect of politics: that our politicians circumvent our concerns, tie themselves to the elite, buoy their patrons through endless cycles of self-serving cocktail parties and formal dinners, and engage in the practice of politics that influences every citizen to the basest detail, all while alienating would-be supporters and disenfranchising huge sects of the populace.
I very well could be a would-be-Dumanis-supporter. But I am not afforded the opportunity to get to know her because she has sequestered herself into the realm of private cocktail parties and Del Mar soirees that tell nothing to the average voter, like me, what her plan for San Diego is, and why we should choose her over the myriad other candidates.
Bonnie, you seem like a nice gal. I respect that you started out as a clerk typist and worked your way up. I myself am a peon hoping to go to law school someday. San Diego needs a strong leader to walk a balance between supporting redevelopment and paying for infrastructure. Are you that leader? Talk to us. Please.