Inverness Club, which has hosted some famous golfers over the years, Wednesday hosted a famous politician who is also known for playing golf.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) teed off Wednesday at the famed Toledo golf course as part of a fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green).
The event was supposed to be a closely guarded secret but after word spread in the community, it attracted a small demonstration from political opponents and a challenge by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) to join her in lowering the cost of political campaigning.
Mr. Boehner started play on the first hole about 9:45 a.m. and appeared to be traveling in a golf cart with Mr. Latta. He did not leave until late afternoon.
Security was tight earlier as the speaker arrived on a bus with other players. Toledo police escorted a Blade photographer and reporter off the premises and deployed several cars of officers at the club's entrance through the day.
Instead of making Mr. Boehner available to the local media, Mr. Boehner's communications director, Cory Fritz, issued a statement.
"Rep. Latta is a reformer who is working on behalf of Ohio families and small businesses to put a stop to runaway Washington spending. The speaker was glad to be able to visit northwest Ohio in support of Rep. Latta today, and he'll continue doing everything in his power to help Republicans who are fighting to get our economy back to creating jobs," Mr. Fritz said.
Players -- who paid $1,000 to $10,000 to be part of the day -- were greeted by a line of 19 golf carts.
After warm-up time on the driving range, play started. A reception followed at 1:30 p.m. Some people were able to pay $150 a ticket to be part of that event.
The Inverness Club recently hosted the U.S. Senior Open and has been the site of several prestigious tournaments through the years.
Mr. Boehner is considered an excellent golfer and recently golfed with President Obama at a Washington-area country club.
A source told The Blade that Mr. Boehner shot 81 on the famously difficult course, with a 38 on the back nine and a birdie on the 18th hole. Mr. Boehner golfed the first nine holes with one group and the second nine with another group.
The event was billed by Mr. Latta as the 2nd Annual Inverness Golf Outing and raises money for his re-election campaign.
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Lucas County Republican Chairman Jon Stainbrook said Mr. Boehner's presence in Toledo was good for this area.
"For somebody of that stature to come here, it shows they know we're here," said Mr. Stainbrook, who attended part of the golf outing.
Miss Kaptur -- in whose district Inverness is located -- used the occasion to challenge Mr. Boehner to endorse bills she has introduced aimed at limiting campaign spending.
"As he visits Toledo to play golf at Inverness at $10,000 per person, Speaker Boehner should recognize that unlimited campaign spending is a threat to our system of government," Miss Kaptur said. "We need to take the big money out of politics if we are to preserve our republic. I encourage the speaker, a fellow Ohioan, to join me in a bipartisan legislative effort to restore the government to the people."
A small group of protesters from the Service International Employees Union waved signs outside the entrance to the country club calling on Mr. Boehner to focus on creating jobs rather than playing golf.
"We're here to deliver the message to Speaker Boehner that we need job creation for Ohio," said SEIU organizer Greg Lyons. "He's got 30,000 unemployed people in his own district. Instead of fund-raising and golfing, we need him in leadership to create jobs."
When he was asked if SEIU also would picket Democratic President Obama if he went golfing, as the President is known to do, another SEIU organizer said their objections to Mr. Boehner is that the Republican-led House was responsible for the crisis over raising the debt limit that threatened to cause the U.S. government to default on its debt obligations last week.
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