Politics & Government

‘We can hate on all of them at one time.’ Protesters rally outside GOP fundraiser

‘Shame. Shame. Shame.’ Protesters gather outside KY GOP dinner featuring Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Protesters gathered in downtown Lexington ahead of the Republican Party of Kentucky's Lincoln Dinner, which featured White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr.
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Protesters gathered in downtown Lexington ahead of the Republican Party of Kentucky's Lincoln Dinner, which featured White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr.

Protesters came out in droves to voice their displeasure as the Republican Party of Kentucky prepared for its annual fundraiser in downtown Lexington Saturday night.

A chanting, sign-waving and, in some cases, Amy McGrath t-shirt-wearing crowd packed the sidewalk at Triangle Park for the Kentucky for Decency Rally, organized by the Kentucky chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Bluegrass Activist Alliance.

McKayla Weaver, who helped organize the event, said she had been asked if the rally was an anti-Republican event.

“I told them that it was an anti-deceit rally,” she said. “...What everybody here is hoping to get is transparency from their elected officials. Kentucky deserves better. I’m here because I love Kentucky. They’re here to make money for their campaigns.”

Inside the nearby Hilton hotel, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was the keynote speaker at the Republicans’ annual Lincoln Dinner, and guests included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr and Gov. Matt Bevin.

“It’s kind of nice getting four for the price of one,” said Deborah Whittington. “We can hate on all of them at one time. One stop shopping.”

Cherry Owens of Lexington carried a sign that said, “Lincoln dinner really???!!!”

“Lincoln would be horrified,” she said. “Selection of the name is poignant.”

Paul and Merry Jones carried a sign that read, “Guilty is as guilty does. Stop lying.”

“In order to bring change, we’re going to have to vote the current representatives out,” Merry Jones said. “They are frozen in time and afraid to speak up.”

Paul Jones added: “The American people deserve better, but democracy requires better, and that’s the bottom line.”

Leslie Alfaro was among protesters outside a Republican Party of Kentucky event Saturday in Lexington where White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spoke. Alfaro said her uncle was detained by immigration officials earlier this year.

There were an abundance of signs with slogans such as “Make America Truthful Again” and “Art and Science and Immigrants make America Great.”

And there were chants of “vote them out,” “shame on Barr” and “ditch Mitch, dump Trump.”

A small group of bearded “sisters” from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence paraded in drag down the center of the sidewalk, chanting “Hands too small can’t build a wall.”

Jonathan Richardson of Lexington carried a handwritten sign that read, “So bad even introverts are here.”

When asked why he had come to the rally, he responded with the succinctness of an introvert.

“We won’t tolerate hate,” he said. “And I just want people to know that.”

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McKayla Weaver chanted ‘this is what democracy looks like’ as she and other protesters demonstrated in Triangle Park across from the site of the Kentucky GOP’s Lincoln Dinner. Matt Goins

Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr contrasts himself with Democratic opponent Amy McGrath at the Republican Party of Kentucky's Lincoln Dinner in Lexington.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders urged Kentucky Republicans to make sure U.S. Rep. Andy Barr gets re-elected at the Republican Party of Kentucky's Lincoln Dinner in downtown Lexington.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin announced he will run for governor again in 2019 at the end of his speech at the Republican Party of Kentucky's Lincoln Dinner in downtown Lexington.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the death of U.S. Sen. John McCain at the Republican Party of Kentucky's Lincoln Dinner in downtown Lexington on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.

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