Groups to protest outside Herrera Beutler campaign event Friday

Kickoff will feature U.S. House Speaker John Boehner

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

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MoveOn.org and Occupy Vancouver are planning a peaceful demonstration on Friday outside of U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler's closed-door campaign kickoff fundraiser, which will feature U.S. House Speaker John Boehner as a guest.

According to protest organizers, the demonstration will highlight Republican policies that protesters say favor big corporations rather than create jobs for everyday people.

"John Boehner and the rest of the Republicans ran on a promise of jobs," according to a news release sent out by the protest groups. "Since then, all they have offered is the same tired policy agenda of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy and deregulation that we had under George W. Bush. … At the same time, they have blocked virtually every job creation bill introduced by the Democrats and reduced federal support to the states, resulting in layoffs for teachers, police and firefighters."

Rep. Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, is completing her first two-year term in Congress.

Members of the media are barred from attending the fundraiser. Boehner, R-Ohio, has a policy that "fundraising events are closed to the press," his spokesman, Cory Fritz, said in an email on Wednesday.

Herrera Beutler's campaign kickoff begins at 11:30 a.m. Participants can attend a photo reception with Boehner for $1,000 each. They also can pay $50 to attend a noon luncheon.

The fundraiser will take place at the Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay.

The protest will take place 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the sidewalks along Columbia Street, from the railroad overpass to the Red Lion parking lot.

Herrera Beutler faces opposition in the upcoming election from Democrat Jon T. Haugen, a commercial pilot from Vancouver, and Norma Jean Stevens, who is running as an independent.

Boehner, an Ohio Republican, also appeared at one of Herrera Beutler's fundraisers in September at the home of auto dealer Dick Hannah. At that event, participants could pay $2,500 to have a "roundtable discussion" with Boehner. The breakfast that same day carried a $500 price tag.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or stevie.mathieu@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reportermathieu or www.twitter.com/col_politics