Obama visits Palo Alto to raise funds for Dems

Protestors crowd street to bring message against Keystone Pipeline to president

President Obama visited Palo Alto Thursday night to attend two fundraisers benefiting the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the first at the Crescent Park home of Flipboard CEO Mike McCue.

Around 200 protesters gathered about a block away from the event -- which cost $2,500 per person for entrance -- to voice their opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a massive project to transfer Canadian tar sands oil to the United States.

"We need to keep the Keystone pipeline from being built because it will keep the tar sands oil in the ground," said Lisa Altieri, a member of and the head organizer of the protest. "We have to keep it in the ground because we cannot afford to keep burning -- we need it to stop."

The protest brought together multiple environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club,, local environmental action nonprofit Acterra and the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Keystone pipeline would cut through the Midwest, adding 875 miles of pipe with the capacity to transfer 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil a day to the Gulf Coast for refining. The extraction of tar sands oil has been highly controversial because it produces two to three times the emissions of traditional crude oil, according to a report from Canada's Environmental Ministry.

When one man, Bernard Greening of Santa Clara, was asked about his opinion on Obama's environmental policy, he answered with one word, "Disappointment."

Another protester, Bob Moffat of Los Altos, voiced concern over the proposed benefits of the pipeline.

"My opinion is that the cost benefit never pays off," Moffat said. "The costs goes all on us, and the benefits all goes back to Canada. And I think there's no way that we should put a pipeline through our country when the Canadians wouldn't put one through theirs."

Obama arrived at Moffett Field shortly before 6 p.m. and planned to stay overnight in San Jose. On Friday he is scheduled to make a statement on the topic of health care.

Attendees of the second event, a dinner, paid $32,400 each and gathered at the Palo Alto home of Vinod and Neeru Khosla. The maximum donation included opportunities for discussion and photos, according to the program for the evening.

Khosla is a venture capitalist noted for his interest in cutting-edge green enterprises.

Khosla gave $1 million in 2012 to Priorities USA Action, a political action committee that spent $66 million to defeat Republicans, according to Federal Election Commission records and, the website of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics.

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Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm


These photos could be anywhere, not necessarily today.

The pictures giving the protestors publicity is just what they want because Obama probably didn't see them. I don't think it is a good idea to give the protestors the publicity - unless of course you are in agreement with the protests.

Like this comment
Posted by Carrie
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:26 am

When is his departure time? I need to be on the freeway!

Like this comment
Posted by Hal
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:48 am

Why do tax payers support the costs of these trips ? Throwing away dollars to pick up pennies that go towards getting a party member elected. Give me a dollar for overhead so I can get a nickel for my friends. A classic waste of our ever increasing debt.

Like this comment
Posted by moi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2013 at 8:28 am

I respectfully disagree with the comments made by "resident", criticizing your coverage of the Keystone Pipeline protest.

A critical part of democracy is making one's concerns known, not only to those in power, but to other members of the public. Last night's protest against the pipeline served to raise awareness of the ludicrous pipeline project.

Thank you, Palo Alto Online, for covering this aspect of the story.

Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 7, 2013 at 10:26 am

He was sworn into office for his second term a mere five months ago and has been on a fundraising binge for most of that time. AND AMERICAN TAX PAYERS PAY FOR HIS PLEASURE TRIPS! Boy, would I like a job like his!

Like this comment
Posted by The Playa, not the game
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 7, 2013 at 10:53 am

@enough - always good to see your consistency; to see that a trip out west by our President is all it takes to inspire your vitriol in the form of a post. Seems every Obama visit thread has a little slice of your hate and errors.

re: "TAX PAYERS PAY FOR HIS PLEASURE TRIPS" (nice caps, btw. Have you been staying on your blood pressure meds?)

President Obama is meeting the president of China this afternoon, out here on the West Coast. Would you prefer he fly all the way to Beijing for the meeting?

Too bad he isn't doing that, then we could hear another fringe right wing lie, like the one about the cost of the India trip (direct from the pathetic Drudge, Rush, Michelle Bachmann clan...): "REPORT: US to spend $200 million per day on Obama’s Mumbai visit…"

Drudge is always good for a ridiculous lie, but that was quite the whopper! And the Fox sheeple, ummm, I mean, Fox 'viewers' still repeat it.

Regarding the constant fundraising done by all politicians on both sides, change the rules or quit whining about it. Your hypocrisy is quite evident.

Don't hate the player, hate the game...

Like this comment
Posted by Grandma
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 7, 2013 at 10:54 am

Send him and the hosts bills for our police, fire, etc. This is a waste of our tax dollars!!
Too bad we can't bill for all our lost time and inconvenience. Had I been a picket I would have had a sign saying, "hands off our free press!"

Like this comment
Posted by The Playa, not the game
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 7, 2013 at 11:06 am

@grandma - good call! "hands off our free press!"


Start with the most recent extension of the vile Patriot Act that allows so much spying. Here is the vote count:

House Vote 376 - To Extend Provisions of the Patriot Act (2011) Web Link
For: 196 republicans, 56 democrats
Against: 31 republicans, 122 democrats

We should start by throwing out the mis-named Patriot act, and starting over, with the priority being protecting our Civil Liberties!

Way to go, grandma!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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