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

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.
Andy Ouriel
Jul 8, 2012

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.


Matt Westerhold

Re: Comment from Fair and balanced
Smell the reek of the slanted journalism of the Register.

Dear Fair and balanced:

Thanks for joining the reader comment section at sanduskyregister.com, and thanks for your recent comment.

I'm curious, however, whether you could be more specific. Your suggestion that readers should "smell the reek of slanted journalism" seems a bit of a cheap shot made without any specifics. It seems like a blanket statement to diminish the hard work of hardworking people without backing up the statement's harshness with any information.

Maybe I'm wrong. But these journalists are so often accused of being biased against conservatives, and now you are suggesting they might be biased against President Obama? It just doesn't seem fair, especially from a person who is calling for fairness. But, as I said, maybe I'm wrong. The vagueness of your statement, however, seems to be slanted against people who are simply doing a difficult job attempting to get information from multiple sources, each of whom is seeking to spin it toward one angle or another.

I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Matt Westerhold


Matt if you're really curious about your bias reporting,  listen once again to your video with Shaun Bickley after his arrest on the islands, it was sickening. I'm also curious, do you think that was fair to the police, or were you catering to Bickley at the expense of the truth, and mocking the "fhardworking people" in law enforcement.  I am very interested in your response

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for your comment dontcare. Given that the state and local agencies involved in the citations that were issued have improperly withheld information about the operation and investigations that led to the citations, I'm just not sure why that reflects the "biased reporting"  you suggest.

Perhaps it might be more prudent to be more concerned that these agencies are, in all likelihood, unlawfully keeping public records from the public they serve, hidden and secret, after taking police action on behalf of taxpayers. But that's just the view from here.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion even if you and I disagree. I'm pleased the Register has given you a place where you can express your opinion. Here's a link to the "Between the Lines" program with Shaun Bickley to which you referred. All previous "Between the Lines" programs are available for on-demand viewing from this link

I'll look into whether Bickley is open to a return appearance on "Between the Lines" this week, since it's still unclear whether the second planned Barge Party is going to happen given the state action that occurred at the first Barge Party last month.  


Julie R.

So how many of these privileged people actually went to war and fought for this country?

car 54

   Does anybody know why the Mayor or Vice-Mayor of Sandusky wasn't invited? 



Hey look, the Democrats gave a party and there were those who were not invited. Why all of the crying? I think the Registers article is a very slanted presentation and some of the comments here inappropriate!

And to the Democratic Party and Amy Whatshername: The Party did a bad thing! President Obama is the peoples President and you had no right to exclude or include anyone because of party affiliation. It gave the "Party" a black eye. Tell me that you could not have arranged for him to appear at Strobel Field and have a REAL party!

This was not a call made by the President. It was likely planned by the Erie County Democratic Party headed by Amy Whatshername and if I were to blame anyone for this, it would be her. I will still vote for Obama anyway. He simply makes the most sense, regardless of the Sandusky Ice Cream Social!



Taxed Enough Already

 I want to know if the county employees that were sent home for 1/2 the day on Thursday were paid for that time?


 Really???? Are you kidding me!!! Great writing Andy! Typical. You are such a suck up! Get a clue bud. You need to start thinking before you put this lousy crap in writing. You are just a puppet like I thought you were!

Swamp Fox

little mut, were you invited, guess not Dick Celeste took care of that.

The Big Dog's back

 I've already met the President.

Swamp Fox

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained lengthy or off-topic excerpts from other websites. Discussion Guidelines


This video is very misleading! The cover of the video is not even IN the video,there is NO VIDEO of Obama at all.


Julie R.

Retiree posted this on the wrong story:

"This has been going on for years in the United States. What is so different now? Ever since I can remember certain people always got preferential treatment. These people never fought in wars. It was not the elite people that protected your freedom. It was the middle-class and the poor. The area veterans and "purple heart" recipients should have gotten front row seats, not Baxter and Murray Jr. I am a Democrat and always will be, but I sure would not like rubbing elbows with that class of people.

I wonder if any of the 300 told the President what they ever did for this country."

The Big Dog's back

 julie r, this isn't Nazi Germany.


 It was interesting to see places like Maumee and Parma holding public rallies while Sandusky held a private rally for the so-called "elite".  That perfectly illustrates the problems in Sandusky.  Good job, libs.  I'm sure this will be remembered at the ballot box.



Priviliged ?

Journalism degree from Gary's Home School and Bait Store?  

Priviliged? I think there's a typo in the headline.

Matt Westerhold

 Thanks for the heads up on the typo, pcplayer. It's been fixed. 



Re: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.


Bitter taste?

The first question a good reporter would have asked: "Are you a registered voter"?




bored reader


The first question a good reporter would have asked: "Are you a registered voter"?

Really? The reporter should ask if someone is a registered voter but Obama and his minions want it to be illegal to ask for proof at elections????? Seriously?


TOP 200 ! ! !  How many know that we just made the TOP 200??  WE DID!  We are now the 200th most economically depressed County in the United States.  What is Obama doing about it?  MAKING SPEECHES! !  TELLLING US THE KEY IS EDUCATION! TELLING LIES!  HOLDNG PRIVATE ICE CREAM SOCIALS!  SENDING OUR MILITARY SECRETS TO CHINA!  What a waste. Citizens are barred from event. Sandusky is already hurting.  We can't even pave our streets. Did he bring money to fix them?  NO!  Did his campaign stop cost us money? YES!  Did he bring any jobs? NO! Has he kept any promises from 2008?  NO!  Has his policies improve our local economy? NO!  Lost us more Jobs? YES! Increased our Medicare Costs? YES!  Reduced our Social Security Income Net amount? YES!  Increased our cost of Living?  YES!  Reduced our quality of life? YES!  Destroyed the standard of living for GM Salaried retirees? YES!  Sold out to the Union bigwigs? YES! Over doubled the cost of Gasoline? YES!  Attempted to shaft the retired military by cancelling their benefits?  YES!  PLEASE! PLEASE!  WAKE UP! & REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!   NOBAMA!


The Big Dog's back

 v v, there hasn't been any cuts for veterans medical, so go get your meds.

Hey, I understand you cannot invite an entire county wide are. At least John McCann had an open visit, granted he was not president and security issues were not a huge problem. What I see as the major mistake here was, advertising and promoting that the president was coming to Sandusky. This in itself opened a huge can of worms, now if this so called ice cream social were to be by invite only as it turned out and it did disappoint many people, not myself!   The smarter thing to do, would have been to hand out the tickets quietly, hold it in a hall large enough for 300 people like one of the new ones at Kalahari, let only those in with a ticket and advertise that it was by ticket only so the place was not flooded and let the president tell all the people who planned to vote for him anyway what he wanted them to hear.   The problem was that the organizers were just baiting the public and it backfired on them! Shame on that team.....


They majority of the posters complaining are republicans.

They along with an employee that did not win a spelling bee are only in the game to stir the poop.

I was at a location that was cancelled at the last minute by the SS for security reasons; I have no bitter taste in my mouth.


Just Asking

Wasn't the first article regarding Obama's visit that of Andy Ouriel announcing how HE had bugged the secretaries at DC to get Obama to visit Sandusky?  Not that I really think Ouriel has that much pull.

So somehow the decision was made to visit Sandusky - who was in charge of the arrangements and why was it so limited?  It doesn't really matter now. 

I remember as a kid meeting Robert Kennedy as he champaigned for JFK.  Very limited security.  Was able to shake hands with no problem.  And as a junior in high school seeing JFK in New York two weeks before he was shoot.  He was there talking to the unions to avert a strike.  We had to wait 4 hours for him to show up.  Again limited security - but because of the large audience (national CYO convention) he was in the balcony and we were on the ballroom floor. 

Unfortunately because of the killings of the Kennedy's and attempts on others, things have changed and we must accept that.  All because of a few that have such deep hatred toward others whether they are Democrat or Republican, Catholic or Jewish, white or non-white.  They seem to believe that if a person is not exactly like them, then they are evil and need to be eliminated.

I wish that more could have particiated in the event.  But I agree with not inviting some so-called Democrats - those who just change parties because they would have an easier time winning.  Did either Monoghan or Shenigo risk running against Ferrell? 





This video is to create a divide.  I notice that this paper did not put positive feed back on President Obama stop in Sandusky.  If the Register really knew how to tell the truth about anything just maybe the would know that any President visiting an open area it must be cleared accordingly.  Instead of the Register telling the real story on how any sitting President is handled in an open area; the Register instead decided to state a select few in order to cause conflict to get another story. 

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the comment SheronOH, but I think you are missing the point. It appears also you haven't read any of the print editions of the Sandusky Register during the last week, which provided multiple stories about the President's visit and his interaction with members of the community. This story, the one you are referring to, and the news video included with it, simply provided residents who were disappointed with the limited access that occurred, a place to share their disappointment. It would not have been a good decision to ignore the many inquiries and community contacts Register reporters had on this topic. People who shared this point of view had just as much right to express that point of view as you have to express yours.  


Thank you Sandusky Register for your excellent coverage of President Obama's visit.  I have enjoyed the articles and pictures in your print edition.  Having read all of the articles, I believe that you covered both sides very well.  Yes, some people were disappointed  they didn't get to meet him, but it would have been impossible for him to meet and shake hands with everyone who would like to have done so.  It is still a rare privilage to have had the President of the United States in our town.  Let us be proud, not petty.


 all right wing folks aside, it seems as if the Great Uniter, has divided the local democrat party.  This will be my 2nd time voting for a non-democrat president, but it seems as if this move has shifted some fence sitter to the "wrong" side of Obama's corral