Street Theater Greets House Speaker John Boehner in Rochester
A group of political street theater performers were on hand to greet House Speaker John Boehner on his August 4 visit to Rochester. Boehner was in Rochester to raise funds for Republican candidate Maggie Brooks, currently Monroe County Executive. Brooks is challenging Democratic incumbent Louise Slaughter's house seat.
The event was organized by Local 828 of the CSEA, a union representing Civil Service workers. Brooks has a record of cutting jobs and benefits of public workers in the county, and giving the funds to wealthy developers and bankers. Boehner has championed similar distributions of wealth to the wealthy as House Speaker and it is expected that if elected Brooks would be a staunch supporter.
There were not a lot of spectators at the event. According to organizer Ove Overmyer this was not meant to be a mass gathering, rally, or protest such as those put on by groups like Occupy Rochester and Band of Rebels. It was political satire, with actors dressed in top hats, fur coats and (fake) diamonds to call attention to the problem of a few rich becoming richer while others fall into poverty.
Also on hand was Liz Henderson, a local organic farmer, to call attention to a farm bill which was stalled in Congress largely due to Boehner and the Republicans. The bill would have provided funding for small local farms. Instead the funds were used to bail out large agribusinesses that were hurt by this summer's drought.