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News - April 10, 2013

Obama raises funds in Atherton

President Barack Obama was in Atherton on Thursday, April 4, to attend two political fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee: a brunch for 30 at the home of Liz Simons and Mark Heising and a luncheon for 200 at the home of Marcia and John Goldman.

The president got into some trouble at the Goldman home when he referred to California Attorney General Kamala Harris as "by far the best-looking attorney general in the country." He later apologized to her, and she accepted the apology.

Visit tinyurl.com/prez-462 to see the president's remarks at the home of Marcia and John Goldman.

Visit tinyurl.com/prez-442 to see the president's remarks at the home of Liz Simons and Mark Heising.

About 50 people gathered in the vicinity of Valparaiso Avenue and Alameda de las Pulgas on Thursday to watch the presidential motorcade. About five police-escorted SUVs traveled east on Valparaiso Avenue and turned right on Alameda de last Pulgas at about 10:30 a.m.

In the cheerful crowd were those holding professionally made signs to rally against the Keystone XL pipeline. The Raging Grannies were there, too.

The president flew to Atherton by helicopter, which took off from Crissy Field in San Francisco and landed at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton. In San Francisco, he had attended two other political events, including a dinner at the home of Ann and Gordon Getty, to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The president arrived at San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday evening for the fundraising trip, and departed SFO on Thursday afternoon.

Costs to Atherton

The president's visit cost the town of Atherton $7,616.41 in police and public work services, according to Jennifer Frew of the police department.

City Manager George Rodericks said "the responsible parties" will be billed. When asked if that means local event hosts would be asked to cover the costs, or if the Democratic National Committee could expect a bill in the mail, Mr. Rodericks said, "We will be contacting all parties involved."

There's not an ordinance on the books requiring reimbursement, he said. Former councilwoman Didi Fisher, at a special City Council meeting last week, urged the council to pass a law requiring hosts of presidential visits — regardless of political party affiliation — to cover costs to the town.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report