published Friday, October 21st, 2011

Occupy Chattanooga protesters to target U.S. House Speaker John Boehner

by Chris Carroll

Boehner? Bummer.

So says Occupy Chattanooga, the local anti-Wall Street group planning to protest U.S. House Speaker John Boehner's visit Thursday to a fundraiser for Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.

According to an event listing on Facebook, organizers plan to picket near the $1,000-a-couple benefit "from dawn until dusk" to "make John Boehner listen."

"A thousand dollars could mean the difference between foreclosure or having food on the table," said Megan Hollenbeck, a volunteer with Occupy Chattanooga. "It's an example of our unfair system in which people with money have better access to politicians."

Aides for Ohio's Boehner and Fleischmann, both Republicans, declined comment.

Protesters could encounter logistical challenges. The Walden Club, on the 21st floor of the Republic Centre on Chestnut Street, will host the invitation-only event.

At a recent $30,800-per-head fundraiser in an Austin, Texas, high-rise, protesters picketed but never got a glimpse of Boehner, who arrived in a black-SUV caravan that sped into the building's underground parking garage, according to the Houston Chronicle.

On the Facebook page, Occupy Chattanooga members expressed dismay with the fundraiser's pay structure. Along with the $1,000 entrance fee, an extra $1,500 buys a photo opportunity with Boehner and, for $10,000, couples get Boehner photos and "roundtable" seats near Fleischmann and the speaker.

Hollenbeck said Occupy Chattanooga is a volunteer group comprised of members of Chattanooga Organized for Action, the advocacy outfit behind the effort to recall Mayor Ron Littlefield, along with Democrats, tea party members and Ron Paul supporters.

Protest details will be decided at an Occupy event in Miller Park this evening, she said.

In a previous interview, Jordan Powell, a spokesman for Fleischmann, said the campaign hopes to raise $125,000 at the Thursday event, which would nearly eclipse how much the freshman congressman collected between July 1 and Sept. 30 -- about $135,000, records show.

Out of 799 votes, Fleischmann has voted with House Republican leadership 95 percent of the time, according to The Washington Post.

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EaTn said...

What's these folks problem? Using excess to buy access to politicians is the American way of life.

October 21, 2011 at 6:42 a.m.
joneses said...

Why are these looters not protesting Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore's million of dollars made off Wall Street and the backs of the taxpayers? Nancy Pelosi is worth 67 millon which is an increase of over 40% in the last two years. Al Gore is worth over 100 million dollars. Why are these protesters not asking Obama to return the 18 million dollars in campaign donations he received from Wall Street? This is the biggest bunch of hypocrits ever to gather.

October 21, 2011 at 7:09 a.m.
EaTn said...

joneses--unlike the right-wing group, this occupy movement is a non-partisan function that believes all 99% Americans need to be heard. I believe you will see both right and left excesses targeted, otherwise they will be no better than the other group.

October 21, 2011 at 7:55 a.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

These "occupy" people are losers. Flat out losers. Discuss.

October 21, 2011 at 8:14 a.m.
joneses said...

EaTn, Then why ae they always attcking the right of the political arena and never the left?

October 21, 2011 at 8:36 a.m.
EaTn said...

ChattanoogaVol said..." These "occupy" people are losers. Flat out losers. Discuss." Uh, yeah. They've lost their jobs, insurance, homes, hope--definitely not part of the 1% elite.

October 21, 2011 at 10:44 a.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

No EaTN. They want to live life like a freeloader. They want the government to intervene and cancel all their debt among many other stupid things. Just go look at their demands. Losers. Pure losers. Oh, and maybe these nimrods can bet a bath and quit crapping all over the place. Keep on disussing.

October 21, 2011 at 12:46 p.m.
bummedout said...

That 1,000 dollars would help me out a lot more than it would John Boehner. Living pay check to pay check isn't living at all. Reading this article makes me ill. I'm happy for the people that have money to blow like that, but the insensitivity toward people in hard times, like myself, is disturbing. I work really hard for every dollar I have, and to know that John Boehner gets paid for simply existing depresses the sh*t out of me. I'll be there protesting him, not just his politics, but his life.

October 21, 2011 at 12:54 p.m.
EaTn said...

ChattanoogaVol--not been there and can't judge these folks in NY, but will give them credit for lighting a fire on behalf of the forgotten in this country. Either their movement will spread by solid middle-class support around the country or fizzle out, in which case the middle-class will continue getting pushed down with no fault but their own.

October 21, 2011 at 1:07 p.m.
chatoccupied said...

As one of the 99%, I assure you that government intervention isn't what I want, unless it's the kind that gives everyone a fair shake. Government bailouts of big banks, when those same banks have gambled the economy into the great recession, are the opposite of fair. We've seen our home values plummet due to the collapse of a Wall Street bubble fueled by runaway speculation against mortgage backed securities. We've seen investment banks leveraged 30 to 1 against subprime mortgages that were fraudulently written to prey on those who were most vulnerable, just to make the investment banks richer. We've seen fancy names for selling bets to customers, and then betting on the bets to fail, created by the kings of the financial industry to fatten their wallets. We've seen laws that could have prevented the overleveraging and "too big to fail" phenomenon repealed, watered down, or just plain ignored by the government regulators who should have been vigilant. We've seen the global economy held hostage until the U.S. paid the ransom in the form of trillions in bailouts of the financial industry. We've then seen double digit unemployment, while the average American's income has declined 7% since 2000. We've seen the Supreme Court of the United States rule that unlimited money can be spent on our elections by corporations. We've seen the top 1% accumulate as much wealth as the bottom 90%.

So, no, I don't want any government handouts--especially like those that cost taxpayers trillions of dollars while enriching the already obscenely rich Wall Street gamblers. What I want is justice. Fairness. A return to the kind of America that required shared sacrifice when fighting wars. The kind of America where getting a good education, working hard, and producing something of value gets you a little further ahead in society. Where a college graduate had the hope of opportunity and prosperity, not the cloud of unmanageable student loan debt with slim chance of employment. The kind of America where folks who gamble with our hard earned money and lose aren't rewarded for it. The kind of America that thinks those large corporations who use our educated work force, our roads, bridges and public infrastructure should not be able to get away with paying zero taxes while we fight two wars to protect the nation that made it possible for them to make all that profit. It's time for those who say they create jobs to stop asking the public for all these handouts. We are the 99%. We say enough is enough. We want nothing but equal opportunity to live the American dream. That's what America is. Opportunity. The 1% thinks they can take it all away from us and keep on taking. They think we're just going to keep giving it to them, no matter how much the accumulate. They think they can buy our government and we'll just let them do it. I think they're wrong. I think it's time we asked for our country back. And I don't think I'm the only one.

October 22, 2011 at 12:49 a.m.
dotinoz said...

It's kinda wierd how many miss the point here. We are not protesting the 1% having over 40% of the wealth in this country...we object to them using their wealth to buy legislators, and the subsequent legislation they pass, to give the 1% an inequitable economic advantage. There are not two sides of the aisle here. The 99% merely want an end to the ability of ANYONE to be able purchase and own a member of Congress.

October 22, 2011 at 8:54 a.m.
ninenineshift5 said...

Agreed, dotinoz... and people are missing another very important point here as well.

If you aren't (or can't afford) this event or events like it, then you are the 99%! The people protesting events like this across the country aren't greedy... they don't want handouts... actually, they were probably just like you a few months ago and now they're out there with their feet on the ground fighting for YOUR rights. They deserve all the love and support we can give them because they're making great personal sacrifices trying to ensure that the common people have a voice in this country, not just the financial elite.

October 22, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.
fedup350 said...

This group is full of hypocrites. They are liberal/socialists and are too cowardly to say it out loud. Instead they attack the conservatives under the guise of politicians in bed with corporations. The biggest example of that is the obama administration. Yet no criticism is leveled at the democrats or the obama administration. This group has no credibility at all. Let them "protest". They are affecting nothing except to give the liberal news media something to try to blow out of proportion.

October 22, 2011 at 4:11 p.m.
gwbled said...

All I know is that despite big banks gambling with our money and giving mortgages to anyone and everyone which then crashed the economy yet they were rewarded with my tax dollars.

The fact that both political parties have fund-raisers where they can charge $1,000.00 a plate and if you pay more you get access and pictures to show your friends how powerful you are means that the common person is left out more and more.

Ban fund-raising events like this. Make politicians raise funds where $100.00 per person is the limit and that corporations are not allowed to participate then we might see some change because now the people we elect just want to stay up there and hold their hand out just like those some of those that comments on this article are complaining about.

What is funny to me is that it is so obvious that this is an event for the elite, by the elite and to avoid the people that our Representatives are supposed to be reaching out to and yet people defend them. Actually, that is not funny. Not any more.

November 1, 2011 at 7:14 a.m.
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