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Protesters Greet President’s Motorcade As He Visits La Jolla

Evening Edition

President Barack Obama was in San Diego on Thursday raising money for Democratic congressional candidates.

Supporters paid thousands of dollars to be in the audience at the La Jolla home of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, but the reception on the street was not as welcoming.

Opponents of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline lined Torrey Pines Road. They held signs and chanted.

Aired 5/8/14 on KPBS News.

Protesters representing both ends of the political spectrum held signs as President Obama headed to La Jolla for a high-priced fundraiser.

It was all to get a few seconds of the president's attention as his motorcade drove by en route to the noon luncheon.

Masada Disenhouse works with San Diego 350, a liberal group concerned with climate change. She says the pipeline would carry dirty tar-sand oil from Canada to Texas.

"He is at three fundraisers this week in California. At each one of them people are out there telling him he needs to stop the Keystone Pipeline," Disenhouse said.

She pointed to the group of about 100 people gathered along Obama's route.

"We think that as he travels around the country and gets that message repeatedly. Even if it's only for five seconds at a time, he knows that people are really behind stopping the pipeline."

It's the president's job to decide whether the pipeline will move forward because it crosses the U.S.-Canada border. Obama has already postponed a decision several times.

There were also a handful of critics from the other side of the political spectrum.

Debbie Linson said she joined the conservative Tea Party when Barack Obama became president and she's been working to get him out of office since.

"He shouldn't be above the law," Linson said. "He and (Attorney General) Eric Holder pick and chose the laws they want to enforce, and ones the don't want to enforce, they don't. And that's not up to them."

The president didn't spend a lot of time in San Diego.

After just a few hours on the ground he was off to two more fundraisers in San Jose.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 8, 2014 at 5:21 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

I applaud the protesters for going out and letting their voices be heard.

The keystone pipeline is not just a danger the the environment, it is a severe public health disaster waiting to happen.

I know this is a political hot potato right now because some democrats are trying to get re-elected in the redneck South and "Palin Country", but the President must do the right thing and stop this from happening

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Avatar for user 'LaJolla_Neighbor'

LaJolla_Neighbor | May 9, 2014 at 9:39 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

It's unfortunately not reflected in Mr. Anderson's article, but protesters were not the only ones who greeted the President's motorcade yesterday. Many neighbors, UCSD students, and other San Diegans turned out to get a glimpse of the President as he drove past our houses. I guess we just weren't as vocal as some featured here, or people like the blond woman with the megaphone and "Illegal President" sign shouting unneighborly things like "Get out of the USA, Obama!" while her friends blasted the Darth Vader theme song across our yards that are more accustomed to birdsong and the sounds of happy soccer children. So after we waved to the President and all the strangers floated away, we went back into our houses to reflect on the American process, feeling lucky that we live in this great country where all people have free speech, and acknowledging that it is a special day when the President drives down your street.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 9, 2014 at 11:21 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

La Jolla Neighbor,

Spoken like a wealthy elitist who probably has the $10,000 for entrance to the Obama lunch in your wallet right now. Why didn't you go?

This is NOT the American process. It is the Washington Process. One that all La Jollans should have protested.

I'm just glad the dark cloud that Obama brought to San Diego has lifted and we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief that he will likely never return to San Diego ever again.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 9, 2014 at 11:52 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

What??? CA Off? Now you're against the accumulatin of wealth???

You're giving me whiplash!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 9, 2014 at 12:16 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago


I'm not against the accumulation of wealth to a degree, but I've ALWAYS been a defender of the middle class.

I don't know why that gives you whiplash. Are you reading KPBS while in a bumper car? Roller coaster? With a teenager learning to drive?

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Avatar for user 'LaJolla_Neighbor'

LaJolla_Neighbor | May 10, 2014 at 12:28 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Dear California "Defender:"

Thanks for giving me such a chuckle! The irony of your ad hominem attack is that, like almost everyone living on the motorcade route except for the newest bluff side homeowners, I am retired from UCSD, go to Costco, use senior discounts at the movies, and could not afford property taxes on the current value of my home. This describes the majority of folks here in La Jolla Heights. We do all know our former colleague Dr. Jacobs from his humble beginnings as a UCSD engineering professor, and we applaud his success and are thankful for his huge generosity to San Diego community, which has benefited many good citizens of all incomes and ethnic/racial backgrounds. We just aren't fond the bad vibes of hate speech invading our neighborhood - particularly those of us who spent a lifetime as California educators.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | May 10, 2014 at 10:07 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

La Jolla neighbor, well said!! Thanks for bringing some light to the average resident of your community since the media only focuses on the crazies.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 11, 2014 at 12:13 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

La Jolla Neighbor,

Shopping at Costco and using senior discounts makes you middle class?

You're a retired professor from UCSD who likely made six figures for decades and now draws a huge pension as you enjoy life in one of the wealthiest zip codes in America.

Sorry, but you're not middle class. I know, terrible news. Same goes for your neighbor Dr. Jacobs who had such a "humble" (as you put it) start in life as a Cornell and MIT grad/professor.

I'm also sorry you had all those people "invading" your neighborhood. Being in close proximity to the real middle class is icky.

Please keep on watch for more invaders, but don't forget to take a bottle of Dom Perignon with you to stay hydrated.

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