Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence are coming to the Monterey Peninsula and Carmel Valley on Wednesday, Nov. 13, in search of honey as well as some sweet campaign donations. Locals can expect road closures during the afternoon and evening on roads between the Monterey Airport and Bernardus Lodge, where they’re the guests of honor at a fundraising dinner where tickets are selling for between $1,000 and $35,500.
Earlier this month, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Pence would be in California for a fundraising swing, including a stop in Monterey for a private fundraising dinner on Nov. 13. Within two days of the dinner news spread among locals by word of mouth and social media that the dinner is at Bernardus.
“You are invited to have dinner with Vice President Mike Pence!” reads an event listing on bayareagop.com, under “Monterey News & Events.” No time or location are listed, only a note that those details will be provided upon confirmation of RSVP.
Carmel Valley Road will reportedly be subject to temporary road closures starting around 1pm, as the Pences are shuttled between locations.
Karen Pence posted to her Twitter account early on Wednesday morning, “Wheels up! Looking forward to visiting bee-autiful California and meeting with local beekeepers!” No specifics are listed as to which beekeepers—there are several in Carmel Valley—but Bernardus Lodge does advertise its own apiary “flush with 180,000 Italian honeybees hard at work in our bountiful and rich gardens,” on its website.
Not all commenters on Twitter were quite as enthusiastic about the visit as the Second Lady. One shot back, “It’s too bad the administration is doing everything it can to harm our pollinators instead of protecting them.”
The vice president was especially active on Twitter in the morning before his arrival. After tweeting that he’s heading to California, he proceeded to retweet others’ comments about the “sham” impeachment hearings that opened today, including one from the official White House Twitter account stating that Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Los Angeles, also the House Intelligence Committee chairman leading the hearings, deserved “four Pinocchios” for lying.
The Monterey area is a prime location for Trump 2020 campaign dollars. According to data from the Federal Elections Commission, Trump is the number one candidate for donations in several local zip codes, including Carmel (93923) where he’s collected $13,657 so far this year, and Corral De Tierra, where he’s collected $11,093. Prunedale is another area that’s donated more than $8,000 to Trump. (The data only tracks donations from individuals who have donated $200 or more in a single year, which means there may be more money from smaller donors.)
As far as donations, the city of Monterey remains strong for Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, to the tune of more than $10,000 in donations this year. Pete Buttigieg is the top recipient from Carmel Valley (93924) donors, taking in $6,285.
This is the second visit to the area for Pence this year. He last flew into Monterey Regional Airport on March 18. According to a report in Politico, he met that week with Pebble Beach donors to Republican causes— including anti-Trump donors.
According to Politico, one of Pence's meetings was with Warren Stephens, a 62-year-old Arkansas investment banker who was a $5.9 million contributor to a pair of superPACs that tried and failed to prevent Trump from winning the Republican nomination in 2016.