Obama protester is former San Luis Obispo County employee
June 5, 2013
First Lady Michelle Obama confronted a protester Tuesday night during a Democratic Party fundraiser at a private home in Washington, D.C. The protester, lesbian activist Ellen Sturtz, is a former San Luis Obispo County employee who served as the local cable franchise coordinator during the 1990’s.
According to press pool reports, Sturtz, 56, interrupted Obama repeatedly during the First Lady’s remarks to demand that President Obama sign an anti-discrimination executive order. Obama showed her displeasure by pausing to confront Sturtz eye to eye. [WashingtonPost]
“One of the things that I don’t do well is this,” Obama said to applause from most of the guests, according to a White House transcript. “Do you understand?”
Obama left the lectern and moved directly in front of Sturtz, who had paid $500 to attend the event.
“Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving,” Obama said. “You all decide. You have one choice.”
The audience responded by asking Obama to remain and a woman next to Sturtz told her, “You need to go.”
Sturtz was escorted out of the room. She said later in an interview she was stunned by Obama’s response.
“She came right down in my face,” Sturtz said. “I was taken aback.”
The proposed executive order that prompted Sturtz’s outburst would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Sturtz, originally from New York, lived in Sacramento before moving to the Central Coast in 1993 to become the county cable franchise coordinator. Her primary job was to provide oversight for all issues relating to cable television in the county, a job that eventually led to repeated clashes between her and Charter Communications. The position was abolished in the early 2000’s and Sturtz left Los Osos for Los Angeles before eventually moving to Washington, D.C.