WASHINGTON D.C. - A $1,000-a-ticket Washington, D.C., fundraiser for Wisconsin Republicans drew hundreds of protesters Wednesday -- among them the vacationing Ingrid Johnson-Evavold of Superior.
After protesters spread into the street, Washington, D.C., police blocked it off, said Johnson-Evavold, an instructor at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical Institute.
Johnson-Evavold wasn't in town for the protest but was vacationing with her 15-year-old son, Isaac Evavold, when they heard about it at a constituent breakfast held by Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl.
"I'm interested in everything going on -- as a teacher and a parent," she said about why she and her son decided to attend the protest.
The fundraiser, held at the offices of major lobbying firm the BGR Group, was expected to feature Republican legislative leaders including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. All five Republican congressmen and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson also were listed as invited guests.
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson's one-time top aide, Bob Wood, is president of government affairs for BGR, the firm co-founded by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Johnson-Evavold said she had been to a recent protest in Madison and the feel in D.C. was similar.
"I felt like I was in Wisconsin ," she said. "It seemed like the s ame orderly non-aggressive cr owd, shouting and waving signs."
She said she asked several people if they were from Wisconsin and most said they were not, although a few said they were originally from the state.
Mark Jefferson, executive director of the state Republican Party, told the Journal Sentinel his group was not trying to capitalize on the controversy in Madison with the fundraiser. He said the event, which is held annually, was scheduled before the standoff in Madison over Gov. Scott Walker's budget- repair plan.
The following story was from the Duluth News Tribune, owned by Forum Communications Company.