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Update: Privileged few attend Obama speech, with comment added from the Ohio Obama campaign

Andy Ouriel • Jul 8, 2012 at 12:05 AM

President Barack Obama's ice cream social Thursday in Sandusky was a sweet deal for roughly 300 VIPs who scored exclusive tickets to the event at Washington Park.

Thousands of others, however, were left with a bitter taste in their mouths, as they were entirely excluded from the heavily secured venue where the president delivered his speech.


UPDATE from Raymonde Charles, a spokesperson for the Obama Campaign in Ohio: "This week's visit to Sandusky was an opportunity for our strong volunteer base in and around the area to see and hear President Obama, who they are working hard to re-elect because they know he is committed to protecting the middle class and creating an economy built to last - one that is grown from the middle class out, not from the top down. And thats exactly why the President came to Sandusky on his Betting on America bus tour -- to explain the stark contrasts between his  belief that everyone should have a fair shot to succeed and should play by the same set of rules, unlike Mitt Romney who embraces an economic philosophy that rewards the wealthy at the expense of the middle class."


Obama's campaign officials earmarked tickets for people who have committed themselves to re-electing the incumbent Democrat for another four years.

Also on the guest list: nearly every single Democratic Erie County official.

Notably absent from the list: two prominent local leaders who have spearheaded efforts to lower the county's debt and reduce spending while promoting the region through Lake Erie and NASA Plum Brook.

At about 4 p.m. Thursday, Democratic Erie County commissioners Bill Monaghan and Pat Shenigo were staked out in the Erie County office building downtown.

Having been left off the guest list, that was the best vantage point they had to watch the president's speech.

"Naturally, my wife, daughter and I were disappointed that we weren't able to get tickets," Shenigo said. "But we were able to have a behind-the-scenes view. We didn't see the president, but we saw some very interesting things of how the Secret Service operates."

For more on the ticket process pick up Saturday's Register.

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