MU College Republicans attend rally outside fundraiser for President Obama’s 2012 campaign

Freshmen MU College Republicans gained experience in political affairs Tuesday at St. Louis jobs rally.

MU College Republicans and members of Columbia College Republicans created protest signs, donned their new College Republicans shirts and headed to St. Louis on Tuesday to participate in a jobs rally outside a fundraising dinner for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Obama for America, Tom Carnahan, Bob Clark and Joyce Aboussie co-hosted the fundraising event, according to Obama’s campaign website. Tickets sold for $25,000 per person or $35,800 per couple and went toward the Obama Victory Fund for the 2012 Presidential election. The event was held at Carnahan’s home Oct. 4 in Forest Park.

The rally was organized and sponsored by the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition, Americans for Prosperity and United for Missouri, amongst others.

Issues addressed at the rally included the lack of job opportunities, the mounting national debt, the bankruptcy of solar energy company Solyndra Inc. and the $107 million in federal grants, which, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, were allocated to the Wind Capital Group through the Recovery Act.

Carnahan is chairman of the board and former CEO of Wind Capital Group, a wind energy industry. Speculation among protestors included the notion of exchanged stimulus monies for political backing. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, officials from the Treasury Department affirmed that the Wind Capital Group’s facility qualified for the grants with no underlying political dealings involved.

Using a megaphone, MU College Republicans President Craig Arnzen addressed the protesters and said the situation was a “great injustice.”

“Keep the fight going,” Arnzen said. “We have to move forward, preach our ideas, pick up the argument and take the fight to them.”

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and Republican Martin Baker, who is running for United States Congress for the 1st Congressional District of Missouri, were two of the significant figures present.

Meeting the representatives of the constituents in the same setting as the Tea Partiers and everyday citizens will make this event memorable for freshman member Courtney Scott.

“Here, I realize this is a big group that shares my ideology and really gives me the opportunity to interact with others,” she said. “I really feel like I’m becoming a part of it.”

Exposure in the political realm is a major priority for MU College Republicans.

“People want opportunities to get involved, to get out there, to have their voices heard, and this is what we’re doing,” Arnzen said. “It’s good for the club to be as many places as we can and to let the older members of the party know that the youth isn’t the party of the future, the youth is what’s happening now.”

Freshman member Christopher Soelle is one such person. He joined the MU College Republicans to reach out to the public, spread the party’s ideas and motivate them to vote Republican.

“From this experience, I gained an understanding of how the opposition feels,” he said. “It’s good to know, because if you don’t know what they believe, or you don’t try to understand how they believe it, then how do you know why you feel the way you feel?”

Supporters of President Obama assembled near the rally to chant counter-cheers. The president’s motorcade arrived in intervals. New chants, including, “Tell us what democracy looks like/this is what democracy looks like,” “Where are the jobs?” and “Four more years” were added with more fervor each time new vehicles appeared.

A few torrid debates ensued between the two parties’ members, involving jeering, personal attacks, accusations of racism and tossing blame back and forth for the national debt.

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