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Rogers buys lunch with McKeon

Congressman's office calls move a 'political stunt' but praises Democratic candidate for donation

Posted: March 5, 2012 6:57 p.m.
Updated: March 5, 2012 6:57 p.m.

Challenger Lee Rogers, who has filed to unseat Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon in this year's elections, bought himself a "power lunch" with his opponent at a recent fundraising auction.

Allowed three guests for the event, Rogers said Monday he plans to invite three reporters.

"I don't anticipate the lunch will be a debate," Rogers told The Signal on Monday.

"You can talk with your mouth full but you can also listen with your mouth full."

Rogers, a podiatrist and co-director of the Amputation Prevention Center at Valley Presbyterian Hospital, is the Democratic challenger to McKeon in the upcoming race for the congressional seat in District 25.

Rogers scored the chance to lunch with the incumbent congressman Saturday night when he placed an auction bid for the chance to do so at the College of the Canyons Foundation Silver Spur Celebration.

The foundation dinner held at the Ronald Reagan Library Air Force One Pavilion in Simi Valley raised money for educational improvements in areas of teaching, scholarship, vocational training and innovation.

McKeon staffers in Washington, D.C., issued a formal response to what they called a "political stunt," saying they were "thrilled that Mr. Rogers chose to donate to this worthwhile charitable cause."

The auction item, presented to dinner guests with a starting bid of $250, was billed as: "Lunch with Congressman Howard ‘Buck' McKeon - it's the ultimate power lunch."

Rogers bid $300 for the lunch. His was the only bid, he said.

Dinner guests at the fundraiser were told they could invite three guests to the lunch and "discuss the latest news from Washington."

Rogers plans to invite three reporters to his lunch with McKeon, he said.

When asked what he would do if the lunch promise was honored after the election, Rogers said: "I'm not waiting eight months for lunch.

"I'd like to do it sometime in April," he said.
Rogers, a self-proclaimed omnivore who believes in the productive merits of "breaking bread," anticipates lunch talk with McKeon will be "collegiate" and casual.

His preference is to order a healthy meal at the Salt Creek Grille.




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