First lady venues eyed
By Thomas Dewell, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
July 31, 2012
First lady Michelle Obama will be in Jackson on Aug. 11, and Teton County Democrats are scouting locations for a public event they hope will attract a big crowd.
Organizers announced previously that the first lady will raise money for her husband’s presidential campaign at a luncheon at 11 a.m. at Snow King Resort. To get into the event, supporters can donate as little as $100 or as much as $38,500, according to the Obama for America website.
But Democrats also hope to showcase a Michelle Obama speech at a setting open to as many supporters as possible, said Chuck Herz, Wyoming Democratic Party chairman. Proposals range from an open-air speech at the base of Snow King ski area to the largest room in Snow King Resort to the Snow King Sports and Events Center, Herz said.
While the fundraising wing of the Obama-Biden campaign likes the idea of an event at the base of the town ski hill, those charged with protecting the first lady “have problems” with an outdoor speech, Herz said.
“Our real preference would be the hillside by Snow King, but there are security concerns with that” Herz said Monday. “They don’t usually do open-air events.”
The first lady’s remarks are likely to follow the Snow King luncheon, Herz said.
Valley Democrats also are working with Obama’s staff to take the first lady to Grand Teton National Park, Herz said. Details have not been set.
The campaign website initially offered entrance to the Aug. 11 luncheon for just $25, but those tickets sold out quickly.
During the weekend, the Obama campaign website suffered problems, making it difficult to reach a donations page.
To attend the Aug. 11 luncheon, supporters can go to https://donate.barack-obama.com/page/contribute/o2012-August11JacksonHoleLuncheon/.
County Democrats also are hosting a Jackson Hole Save Our Senate event on Aug. 14.
The fundraiser will benefit the campaigns of sitting Montana Sen. Jon Tester, Rep. Martin Heinrich, of New Mexico, and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.
Tester is running for re-election against Montana’s lone representative in the U.S. House, Republican Dennis Rehberg.
Heinrich faces former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson for the Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman.
Kaine is running against Republican George Allen, a former Virginia senator and governor.
Those interested in Jackson Hole Save Our Senators should send an email to email@example.com or call 733-2016. To contribute online, go to https://secure.actblue.com/entity/fundraiser/31162.
Earlier this month, Republican Mitt Romney raised a reported $4 million for his presidential campaign at a Teton Pines fundraiser.That event was hosted by former Vice President Dick Cheney.