President Obama: A Case of Bad Timing in Westport, CT

Last Friday the White House confirmed that they were weighing their options regarding an Executive Order since the Senate was unable to pass Senator Joseph Lieberman's (D-Connecticut) Cybersecurity Act of 2012, despite significant lobbying resources spent by the MPAA, RIAA and ESA. The announcement was met with lukewarm enthusiasm by legislators on both sides of the isle, who are not used to the Oval Office creating such broad-sweeping new laws.

In a case of perhaps unfortunate timing, President Obama, one business day later, used the popular vacation destination of Sherwood Island State Park in posh Westport, Connecticut as a half-day base of operations, shutting down both Interstate 95 and the Metro North Railroad for almost an hour (during the back half of rush hour) in the process. The reason for the visit was a high-profile campaign fundraising dinner hosted by Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein in his $20M waterfront Gold Coast mansion. The $36k per plate dinner was said to be a resounding success with over 60 paying attendees.

The town of Westport however, disagrees – seeking $15k in costs associated with putting on the lavish Obama-Weinstein spread and having to field the many unhappy calls from displaced commuters in the process.

One of the most affluent towns in the country, Westport is home to many Hollywood moguls and icons beyond Weinstein, including Joanne Woodward, the late Paul Newman, Michael Bolton and scores of additional actors of stage and film.

Photo © 2012 Walter G Arce /


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