McCain meets supporters at private Tahoe fundraiser | SierraSun.com

McCain meets supporters at private Tahoe fundraiser

Annie Flanzraich
Sun News Service
Geoff Dornan/Sierra SunPresidential candidate John McCain speaks to a crowd in Sparks, Nev. before heading to Lake Tahoe for a private fundraiser.
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INCLINE VILLAGE ” With blue skies and a slight breeze, more than 100 people attended a private John McCain fundraiser at the Lakeshore Boulevard home of Jan and Bob Davidson Tuesday afternoon.

The fundraiser was part of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s Northern Nevada tour Tuesday, which included a town hall meeting in Sparks. McCain did not host any public events at Lake Tahoe.

First McCain, R-Ariz., attended a private reception with attendees who paid $33,100 for VIP tickets. Afterward he spoke to a larger crowd who paid $1,000 to just eat lunch or $2,300 to each lunch and have a photo taken with the senator.

The senator’s wife, Cindy McCain, introduced her husband after talking about her own experience and charitable work in Rwanda, said Jim Clark, an Incline Village resident and president of Republican Advocates.

After the introduction, the Arizona senator spoke to the crowd for 10 to 15 minutes before leaving, Clark, who attended the event, said.

Topics included water rights, taxes, foreign policy and the war in Iraq, Clark said. Other Incline Village residents who attended the event included Chuck Otto and Maryanne Ingemanson.

The Bonanza did not attend the event because of McCain campaign policy that does not allow local media into private fundraisers.

Outside of the event, several Obama supporters gathered with signs that read “McCain=Bush.”

“This is an important election,” said Sue Bushnell who came to the event from Truckee. “People have to get out and show what they believe in.”

Inside, McCain left a good impression on some of the event’s attendees.

“The most impressive thing to me was his enthusiasm and his credibility and his sincerity,” Otto said. “He was very upbeat and injected a fair amount of humor into his speech.”

An example of McCain’s humor was when he jested that he was only becoming president to take back Arizona’s water from Nevada, Clark said.

McCain then went on to speak about water rights and other western state issues, Ingemanson said.

“He expressed a great familiarity with water rights and how incredibly important they are and has been since the West was settled,” she said.

Taxes were also a key point in McCain’s speech.

“He promised no new taxes, which received a round of applause from the audience,” Clark said.

As for foreign policy, McCain said that he believed the surge tactics in Iraq would also work in Afghanistan, Clark said.

Although McCain did not touch on any Lake Tahoe specific issues, Clark, Otto and Ingemanson said, he did comment on the lake’s beauty.

“He remarked that anytime a person from Arizona gets to be by a lake, it’s a very special event,” Ingemanson said.

An active Incline Village Republican, Clark said he was very proud that Incline Village could show support for McCain. Clark said the event’s goal was to raise $500,000 and that it was $10,000 away as of Monday night.