Obama Holds Fundraiser at Connecticut Beaches
Two Connecticut public beaches closed Monday even if it is the peak of the summer season. President Obama held a fundraising event at movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s mansion. The 238 acre Sherwood Island State Park closed so that the president’s helicopter can land and take off after the daytrip that starts in Stamford.
The two acre Burying Hill Beach is adjacent to Weinstein’s mansion and owned by the town of Westport. It is also closed to the public Monday. Both beaches border the Long Island Sound.
The Republicans were not happy about the closure of the beaches for the day. State House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr. said that this is the height of hypocrisy. He added that he was shocked to hear that the beaches had to be closed so that Obama can hold his fundraisers.
This is not the first instance that a state park has to be closed to the public so that a president can use it as an airport for fundraisers in southwest Connecticut. Then-president Bill Clinton used the Sherwood Park two times for trips that included fundraisers. He first used the beach in 1998 for several events that included a fundraiser that raised $350,000 for his party. A year after the park was closed for Clinton again so that he can attend a fundraising luncheon for the Democratic National Committee and the Women’s Leadership Forum, which raised more than $400,000.
Obama is set to start his Connecticut trip with a fundraiser at the Stamford Marriott Hotel. Then he will go to Weinstein’s evening fundraiser that will be attended by various celebrities, including Aaron Sorkin, Anne Hathaway, Joanne Woodward, and Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
Aside from keeping the public away from the beaches, the state will lose revenues from daily parking fees. According to state officials, they have received phone calls about local tax dollars being spent on additional security and beach goers being turned away from public places.